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In Memory of
Robert Lee Leis, Sr.
September 5, 1930 - October 2, 2015

Breitenbach-McCoy-Leffler Funeral Home, at 517 S. Sutphin Street in Middletown, Ohio.
Thursday October 8, 2015 from 9 – 11 a.m.

Breitenbach-McCoy-Leffler Funeral Home, at 517 S. Sutphin Street in Middletown, Ohio.
Thursday October 8, 2015 from 9 – 11 a.m.

Woodland Cemetery in Xenia, Ohio

Robert Lee Leis, known to many as Bob, aged 85, of Gun Barrel City, Texas, died in the evening hours of Friday October 2, 2015. At the time of his death he was receiving hospice care at the South Place Nursing Facility in Athens Texas. His death was due to complications from pancreatic cancer that was first diagnosed in June of 2015. Bob was born on September 5, 1930, in Dayton, Ohio. His parents were William Earnest Leis and Sarah Eloise Harshman. He has a half-sister Ellen (Cline) Shrout of Carlisle, Ohio. His lifelong friend, Shannon Eugene Wells lives in Dayton, Ohio. He attended Roosevelt High School in Dayton. After high school Robert was a member of the Ohio National Guard for a while where he served in a communications unit as a lineman. Robert was first married in 1947 to Betty Bausman of Dayton, Ohio. Together they had three children. Bob remarried on August 5, 1952 to Wanda (Hodson) Bailey. They were married for 56 years until her passing in November 2008. Together they had five children. Robert was employed as a taxi driver in Middletown, Ohio when he met his future wife Wanda. Shortly after they were married he was employed by the Armco Steel Corporation. He worked there for 37 years until he retired in June of 1989. He worked for most of those years in the Coke Plant department where he was the senior benzol plant operator at the time of his retirement. His work involved the delicate task of removing useable chemical compounds from the waste smoke and tar produced in the making of coke to fuel the blast furnace. It could be dangerous work as evidenced by the deaths of two of his co-workers in that same operation in 1958. For a time in 1973 his step-son Steven worked alongside him there in that plant. Later his son Floyd worked with him in that plan as his helper from 1980-1984. Bob and his wife Wanda lived at several addresses in Middletown, Ohio until 1959, then for a short time in Preble County, near West Elkton, Ohio, and then for 29 years at their family home in Madison Township, Butler County. After his retirement, they moved to Gun Barrel City, Texas to be near their youngest son. They both lived there until their passing. Robert and Wanda were both very active with the Boy Scouts of America. They served Cub Scout pack 28 of Poasttown, Ohio, and Bob served as an Assistant Scoutmaster and then as the Scoutmaster of Scout Troop 29, at the Middletown Sportsman’s Club. He also served as an Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 1 at the First Presbyterian Church in Middletown, where his son Shawn earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Bob completed the leadership program for adult Scouters called Wood Badge, and later served on the staff of that training program. After that he served as a Merit Badge Counselor and on many committees of the Mound Builders District and the Fort Hamilton District of the Dan Beard Council of Scouting. He was a Vigil Honor member of the Order of The Arrow, Nachenum Lodge. Bob was recognized several times by the Boy Scouts of America for his exceptional service. He was presented the District Award of Merit, and the Scoutmaster’s Award. His highest recognition came when he was by honored with the Silver Beaver Award. The Silver Beaver Award was introduced in 1931 and is a council‐level distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America. Recipients of this award are registered Scouters who have made a significant impact on the lives of youth through service given to the council. Bob and Wanda were also active with the Middletown Chapter of the American Red Cross. Both were First Aid and CPR instructors and they helped many volunteers learn the skills needed to assist others. He even trained his son Shawn and remarkably came to be saved himself by those actions. One evening when Bob and Shaw were returning home from a Scout meeting, Bob stopped his truck to help a man walking alongside the road. For reasons unknown, the man attacked Bob and stabbed him with knife in the hand and arm. Shawn was able to get his father away from the attacker and then applied first aid to his wounds. Bob enjoyed fishing all his life. He passed that hobby on to all of his boys and frequently loaded the car with them and the gear to go to some lake or stream to enjoy the day. His family vacations included week long fishing trips to Indian Lake where he was sometimes joined by his friends Shannon and Eugene Wells. Bob would often share tales of his exploits as a boy and young teen growing up in Dayton. He told his children how he and his friends participated in the aluminum and rubber drives during World War II, going about the neighborhood and collecting scrap materials to be turned into fighting machines used in the war. In another story he told about how he and his friends would jump on the back bumper of the city buses and catch free rides around town. After his wife Wanda died, Bob became active with the survivor support group at the hospice Center where she died. He attended weekly meetings there which he said he really enjoyed. He shared several accounts of offering support to other members of the group. When his daughter-in-law Connie’ father, Harry passed away, he counseled Connie about her loss. She subsequently has said that his support was very valuable in helping her get through that difficult time. Robert is survived by his half-sister, Ellen Shrout, and eight (8) children, Robert L. Leis (wife Barbara) of Dayton, Ohio, Michael Leis (wife Janet) of Camden, Ohio, R. Steven Bailey (wife Sharon) of Fairfield, Ohio, Floyd W. Leis (wife Connie) of Germantown, Ohio, Linda Adams (husband Phil) of Jacksonburg, Ohio, James D. Leis (wife Brenda) of Aberdeen, Ohio, Diane Pernicka (husband Phillip), and Robert Shawn Leis (wife Kacey) of Athens, Texas. He is also survived by fifteen (15) grandchildren, Michelle Leis, Garret Wilson, Kaila Leis, Ryan Leis, Austin Leis, Matthew Bailey, Caryl Derbyshire, Jason Young (wife Regina), Brian Leis (wife Cassie), Amanda Taylor, Chris Adams (wife Opal), Jennifer Leis, Justin Leis, Kinsey Leis, and Karger Leis. Robert is also survived by six (6) great-grandchildren, Logan Derbyshire, Audrey Taylor, Logan Taylor, Madeline Leis, Riley Leis and Adeline Leis. Bob is survived by a nephew Kyle Shrout and a niece Kathy Edelen. Robert was preceded in death by his parents William and Sarah Eloise, his step-father Floyd Cline, first wife Betty, his second wife Wanda, his daughter Beverly, and three grandsons Jimmy, Bradley and Jacob. A visitation with friends and family will be held Thursday October 8, from 9 – 11 a.m. followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. All services will be conducted at the Breitenbach-McCoy-Leffler Funeral Home, at 517 S. Sutphin Street in Middletown, Ohio. Pastor Jerry Minor will officiate the services. Following the funeral service, a graveside service and burial will take place at 1:00 p.m. at the Woodland Cemetery, 281 Dayton, Avenue in Xenia, Ohio. Pallbearers for the service will be Matthew Bailey, Brian Leis, Chris Adams, Jason Young, Justin Leis, and Phil Pernicka. For additional information about these arrangements please contact the Breitenbach-McCoy-Leffler Funeral Home at 513-423-9443. Those wishing to make a memorial donation in-lieu-of flowers or attendance may do so to the Dan Beard Council of the Boy Scouts of America, or to the Middletown Chapter of the American Red Cross. Robert’s family extends its thanks to the many doctors, nurses and medical assistants who helped him reach the end of his life with the least amount of discomfort. We especially thank our brother Shawn and his family for their constant service and sacrifices for Dad in his final days. Knowing that they were giving him the care that he needed made the burden of losing Bob more tolerable for those of us who were far away. Thanks also go to the staff of the Breitenbach-McCoy-Leffler Funeral Home for their professional and compassionate guidance through this process.

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