Caroline Leeper

Print Obituary
Caroline May Leeper, nee May, 96, of Belleville, IL, born April 19, 1927, in New Concord, OH, passed away Friday, October 20, 2023.

Caroline was one of seven siblings born to Carrie, nee Jarus, and James May.  She lived her life with a bit of Bohemian flair, once square dancing with her husband on a glacier in Alaska and climbing Mount Fuji in a typhoon with her husband and children.  In 1948 her first husband, Orman Coffin, USAF, was transferred to Tachikawa Air Force Base, Japan, where Caroline learned Asian cooking from Catholic nuns who had escaped from mainland China.  After Caroline and Orman returned stateside with their daughter Sharon, they had a second daughter, Sandra.  Next, they were transferred to Stewart AFB in Nashville and bought a home in Donelson, Tennessee.  While stationed at Stewart AFB, she was an active participant in the Military Officers’ Wives’ Club, taught swimming lessons and played golf.  After Orman passed away in 1973, Caroline travelled extensively in Europe. When she returned to the states she met Neil Leeper, USAF, and they were married for thirty years until he passed away in 2016.  Neil and Caroline travelled in their motor home for many years and through several hurricanes before settling down in O’Fallon, Illinois. Caroline was the last of a great generation, and before passing was fortified with the Sacraments of the Church.

Caroline was preceded in death by her daughter, Sandra Coffin; first husband, Orman Coffin; second husband, Neil Leeper; her parents; and all six of her siblings.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law; Sharon and Gaylon Woods; three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; along with numerous nephews and nieces.

Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association or Siteman Cancer Center. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, October 31, 2023, at St. Teresa Catholic Church, Belleville, IL.

Interment will be at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, October 31, 2023, at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, MO.


2 Comments on Caroline Leeper

Darla Clark said : Guest Report Feb 26, 2024 at 10:01 PM

I’m so sorry to hear of Caroline’s passing. Her and Neil were the most perfect couple I’d ever met. He was so sweet to her. I just loved them.i just loved her as the most beautiful soul and I will miss her greatly.

  • St. Louis
  • MO
Gary said : Guest Report Oct 25, 2023 at 11:11 AM

I’m so sorry to hear about your passing but I’m so thankful for the times we spent with each other you and Gracie you will never be forgotten.

  • Fairview

Add Public Condolence

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.