Saturday, May 30, 2020
11:00 AM EDT
St. John Neumann Catholic Church
44800 Warren Road
Canton, MI 48187
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.
Gary Sinise Foundation
Life Story / Obituary
Leo I. Tschirhart was born on October 5, 1925 and passed away on May 26, 2020 at the age of 94. Beloved husband of Eleanor for 67 years. Loving father to his four children Michael (Donna), Karen (Michael) Goss, Lee (Laurie), and Mark (Catherine). Dearest grandfather to six grandchildren, David (Alicia), Eric, Kara (Michael) Laitila, Jeffrey (Shauna), Lauren, and Alex. Loving great-grandfather to Olivia and Thomas Laitila, Madeleine, Colette, and baby Tschirhart due in July. Adored brother of Dolores and the lates Vera Reiman, Marie Woltman, Florence Jess, Sister O’dilla, Ruth Kenney, Vincent, Bernard, Claude, Rose, Leonard, Lawrence, and Violet. Leo is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Leo was born in Detroit, MI in a flat above his father’s meat store. He was one of 14 children and grew up in Ferndale, MI. When his family moved to Ferndale, they lived in the lower level and rented out the upper level for extra money. The Tschirhart kids made a lot of noise downstairs and the people upstairs would bang on the floor to get them to quiet down. This didn’t usually work and simply incited Leo’s brother, Leonard to take a broom and hit the ceiling. As a young man, Leo served two tours in the Army. During his first tour, he was in Georgia where it took him all summer to learn Morse Code. His second tour took him overseas into the Korean War where he was a Morse Code specialist and a radio operator. After being discharged from the Army, Leo met Eleanor Downey at a dance in Detroit. They married on August 9, 1952 and had four children. Leo attended night school and was a tool designer and draftsman for General Motors Hydramatic Division at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, MI.
Leo was a talented piano player and taught himself to play by watching the keys on a player piano. He then learned to play by ear. He was most fond of boogie-woogie piano music and wrote several of his own songs. He was very creative and enjoyed math. One of his favorite activities was developing math puzzles, including Magic Squares. Many of his math puzzles were featured in Parade Magazine in “Ask Marilyn,” a column written by Marilyn vos Savant. His puzzles were also featured in a local publication “The Courant” that is published for Washtenaw, Livingston, and Oakland counties. In addition to playing piano and creating math puzzles, Leo loved to play softball and played in the Army and on city leagues. He also bowled on a General Motors bowling team until the age of 87. Leo also loved to tell ‘dad jokes’ and enjoyed watching the unknowing recipients groan.
Donations may be made to the Gary Sinise Foundation which was established to honor our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need. Donations may be made through garysinisefoundation.org (see link below)