Acme man pursued life with passion
Charles E. Leeper Jr. gave 100 percent to everything he did — including his construction business, his family, and his long list of hobbies.
“He would always have some kind of activity that he would be interested in, or some new hobby or something,” said his daughter, Connie Leeper Baker.
As a woodcarver he not only won many competitions, but taught his skills to others.
As a hunter he earned the “triple trophy” award, given to hunters who harvest an antlered whitetail, black bear and wild turkey in the same year.
As a fisherman he got his captain’s license so he could operate a charter boat for family and friends.
Charles Edward “Duke” Leeper Jr., 88, of Acme, died Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019.
He was born Sept. 19, 1930, in Belle Vernon, son of the late Charles Edward Leeper (Casey) and Pauline Dubarr Leeper Wilkins.
He graduated from Hurst High School in 1946 and served in the Army during the Korean War.
He was a partner in Fretts and Leeper Construction Co. and was responsible for building and renovating many buildings around Acme, including a Mt. Pleasant fire station and the Mt. Pleasant Veterans of Foreign Wars building.
Mr. Leeper loved the outdoors, and taught his children to follow in his footsteps.
“I’ve been hunting and fishing since I was probably 8 years old,” said his son, Chuck Leeper.
Mr. Leeper did not see his retirement as a chance to take it easy.
“I knew he was not going to sit still,” Baker said
As a member of the Keystone Carving Club he specialized in carving songbirds.
He was also a hobbyist woodworker who built his own furniture and refurbished antiques.
His interest in antiques extended to antique school bells, which he collected.
When he wanted to become a captain he had his wife train him with flash cards. He passed the test with flying colors, buying a charter boat he called “Rocky Top” and taking his loved ones on extended fishing trips.
“It worked out really great, we had great family time and got a lot of big fish,” his son said.
Mr. Leeper always let his loved ones know how much he cared about them, Baker said.
“He was so kind, and he always put others before himself,” she said. “His conversations were amazing. You’d just come out of a conversation and you’d feel so special.”
Mr. Leeper is survived by his wife, Betzy A. Thorne Leeper; children, Sharon DiNicola and husband, James, of Acme, Leslie Weir and husband Greg, of Acme, Connie Leeper Baker, of Latrobe, and Mark C. Leeper and wife Desiree, of Gambrills, Md.; six grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
Visitation for family and friends will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at New Stanton United Methodist Church, 612 S. Center Ave., with the funeral service immediately to follow.
Military honors will be conducted after the service by American Legion Post 446, Mt. Pleasant.
Internment will be in Fairview Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to Fairview Cemetery, 1278 Kecksburg Road, Mt. Pleasant, PA 15666.
Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter .