Leroy was an active member of the United Mine Workers of America. He started working in the coal industry after graduating from Freeburg Community High School. He then became an Illinois state patrolman, but after six years, returned to the coal industry. He worked in Peabody’s River King mine for 17 years. Leroy held several positions in local coal mines and later was elected Secretary-Treasurer and President of the UMWA coal miners in Illinois.
After serving four years in the Air Force, he was offered a contract to play professional baseball. He refused because he would be away from home again. He did pitch baseball locally for the Freeburg Merchants, Belleville Motors and the Belleville Stoebers. He was also a member of Freeburg Community High School Sports Hall of Fame. He was a member of the United Mine Workers, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Freeburg Sportsman’s Club, the Freeburg Masonic Lodge, the Scottish Rite and Ainad Temple Shriners.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Ferrol M., nee Miller, Bauer, whom he married on January 16, 1943, and who died on April 8, 2005; his parents, William and Ida, nee Mueth, Bauer; and a brother, William Bauer Jr.
Surviving are his three sons, Gary L. (Leslie) Bauer, Patrick J. (Donna) Bauer, and Jan L. (Deborah) Bauer;
two granddaughters, Jennifer (Christopher) LaGatta and Ashley (Lou) Lengerman;
three great-grandsons, Jackson, Luke, and Dominic LaGatta;
and two great-granddaughters, Ella Rose and Jolee Lengerman.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Shriners Children’s Hospital. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Funeral: Graveside services will be at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, Freeburg, IL, at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, December 16, 2017.
Burial will be at St. Joseph Cemetery, Freeburg, IL.