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Col. Robert Leinen, Sr (Retired)

September 4, 1939 - June 2, 2014
Dearborn, MI



Thursday, June 5, 2014
2:00 PM to 9:00 PM EDT
Turowski Life Story Funeral Homes
Canton, West of Sheldon
45100 Warren Rd.
Canton, MI 48187
(734) 453-3008

Rosary 7 PM

Driving Directions


Friday, June 6, 2014
1:30 PM EDT
St John Neumann Catholic Church
44800 Warren Rd
Canton, MI 48187

In State 1PM until mass begins.

Graveside Service on Friday October 10, 2014 at 9:00AM


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Wounded Warrior Project
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Cardwell Florist
(734) 421-3567

Life Story / Obituary


A man of honor, integrity, and selfless dedication to his family, his friends, and his country, Col. Robert Leinen, Sr. was an incredible man to know and love. As much as he was a true soldier in every way, he was also nurturing, supportive, and one of the most lovable people around. Although Bob accomplished so many things of which to be proud, it was his family tree that grew to include grandchildren and great-grandchildren who made his heart swell with great joy. With a life that spanned a great many things that most only read about, Bob created a timeless legacy that is deeply rooted in hard work and devotion to others that will be proudly carried on by those who follow in his footsteps.

As the 1930s were drawing to a close, America had been coping with the hardship of the Great Depression for an entire decade. It was in 1939 that the eyes of the nation began to focus overseas as the turmoil of WWII gained unbelievable momentum since more and more of Europe became involved. Amidst this eventful time a young couple from Auburn, New York, was focused on a time of great joy in their own lives as they welcomed a healthy baby boy into their hearts and home on September 4, 1939. Robert David was one of three sons born to his parents, Robert R. and Mary Irene Leinen, and he was raised in the family home alongside his brothers, Joseph and James. His father worked painting houses while his mother worked in the gift shop at a local hospital.

From the time Robert, or Bob as he was often known, was a young boy he was always on the go. He enjoyed fishing, had a special place in his heart for animals, especially dogs and squirrels, and together with his friend, Luigi Lombardi, he formed the first ever men's gymnastics team for Auburn High School. In fact, Bob and Luigi excelled so much at gymnastics that they went on to place in the New York State men's gymnastics finals that same year, scoring high in pommel horse and parallel bars.

Prior to graduating from high school, Bob fudged his age and begun his military career by joining the New York State National Guard. His selfless devotion to serving his country continued when he went on to enlist in the US Army and received his first station in Fort Benning, Georgia in 1966. In October of 1967 he was sent to Vietnam where, as a Captain, he led several platoons for the 6th Infantry, 198th Light Infantry Brigade. He was wounded in 1968 and returned to Fort Benning to be with his family. For his gallantry in action during his time in Viet Nam, Bob was awarded the Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars, and 2 Purple Hearts.

After Viet Nam, he became the Chief of Protocol at Ft. Benning, then was sent on to Tampa, Florida where he earned his Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration. A 1 year station in Thailand followed from 1972 to 1973, and then his assignments continued as he joined the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, North Carolina achieving his qualification as a Jump Master. He also spent time in Fort Bragg working with the 7th Special Forces, before relocating once again in 1977 to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas for Command and General Staff College. During this time period he earned his promotion to Lieutenant Colonel. In 1978, after the completion of CGSC, he went on to earn his Masters of Science in Logistics Management from the Florida Institute of Technology. In January of 1979, Bob received a new assignment, sending him and the family to Stuttgart, Germany where he joined the J4 Logistics team at the US Headquarters for the European Command. In 1983, he took a brief assignment at the pentagon, earned his most coveted and memorable promotion to Colonel, and then immediately transferred back to Germany in 1984 where he served as Director of Logistics for the 7th Army Corp in Stuttgart. In 1989, Bob and Family returned to the US, where he was sent to become Base Commander at Selfridge Air National Guard Based in Michigan and simultaneously served as the Commander for the Detroit Arsenal's Tank Automotive Command (TACOM).

In 1989, Bob ended his military career when he was honorably discharged upon retirement. While he left the military behind, he continued to serve in Civil Servant capacity, working for the City of Pontiac, Michigan and the City of Dearborn, Michigan. He also spent some time working at the Henry Ford Village assisted living community.

Throughout his life Bob’s family was of the utmost importance. He was thrilled to be a father to seven amazing children including Dawn, Robert Jr, John, Kathy, Mary, Wendy, and Jamie. Bob forever treasured the days that each of his children were born, and he was later so incredibly pleased when sixteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren joined the family. He also loved making the trip home to Auburn where he had many happy visits with his mother and brother Jim.

As someone who enjoyed being busy throughout his life, Bob was a man of many interests. Bob loved cars and attending car shows. In fact, he had a couple of vintage cars of his own including a 1948 MG TC Sportster and a 1987 Porsche 944 Turbo. Bob watched several Tigers, Red Wings, and Lions games, and he was also a fan of Redskins football. As a dog lover, he enjoyed the companionship of two special German Shepherds, Rinnie and Gretchen. He also enjoyed the friendship and camaraderie that he shared throughout many years with his brother Jim. Together, they shared a love of politics, but debated their beliefs with Bob, a staunch Republican, and Jim a devoted Democrat.

With a zest for life that was contagious to others, Col. Robert David Leinen, Sr. brought such color to the world around him. He was a natural leader who was a fighter and a soldier through and through. As his family and friends can attest, Bob was hilariously funny and loved making people laugh. He will be deeply missed and forever remembered by those too numerous to count.

Col. Robert David Leinen, Sr. (Retired) died on June 2, 2014. Bob’s family includes his children, Dawn (Leu) Ouanesavanh, Robert D. Jr. (Grace), John (Kathy), Kathy Ann (Shaun) Buckley, Mary Beth (Joe) Martinez, Wendy (Paul) Pfannes, and Jamie (Abigal) Leinen; sixteen grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and his loving brother Jim. Bob was preceded in death by his parents; Mary Irene and Robert R. Leinen; brother, Joseph Leinen; and granddaughter, Kimberly. The family will receive friends Thursday 2:00-9:00 p.m. at the Neely-Turowski Funeral Home, 45100 Warren Road (West of Sheldon) with a rosary service at 7:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will be held Friday at 1:30 p.m. at St. John Neumann Catholic Church with a 1:00 p.m. in state. Interment: Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family has requested donations be made to: Wounded Warriors Project at www.WoundedWarriorProject.org/Donate. Please sign the online guestbook or share a memory at www.TurowskiLifeStory.com