Harold “Leo” McBride was born Dec. 3, 1930, in Zearing, Iowa. He and his identical twin, Leon, were the oldest of five children born to Harry and Evaline Palmer McBride.
The family moved to Frankford, then Farmer, Mo., where Leo attended Vannoy, a one-room school. He attended Bowling Green High School, then enlisted in the Air Force, and received orders to go to Korea during the Korean Conflict. While he was on the ship his orders changed to a former Kamikaze base in Japan where he served on the flight line furnishing parts for the airplanes and personnel. Leo worked at CE Refractories in Farber for over 30 years in the kiln department, carpentry mold shop, and as an electrician. He then worked as an electrician at Christie Minerals in High Hill for 10 years before retiring.
Leo married Carolyn Gatson in 1952 before he left for Korea. After his overseas duty, they lived in Fort Worth, Texas, Mexico, Mo., then Farber where their three children were born. They later moved to Vandalia. Their three children are: Laura Martin and husband, Gerald, Fair Grove; Leann Rosenmiller and husband, Alan, Old Monroe; Norman McBride and wife, Andrea of Curryville. Their grandchildren are Jesse and Jonathan Wasson; Leah and Lucas Rosenmiller; Renee and Ryan Reynolds; Jason Giltner, and Aaron McBride. Great-grandchildren are Rodger and Lillie Giltner; Owen Reynolds; Bennett, Harlynn, and Adalyn Wasson. He is also survived by his two sisters, Mary Andrews, and Delores Miller, along with numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Leo was preceded in death by both of his parents; his two brothers, Leon and Larry; two infant grandchildren, Anna Rosenmiller, Joshua Giltner; and his wife of 69 years, Carolyn.
Leo loved the outdoors, especially hunting for quail, pheasant, turkey, deer, elk, and fishing for bass. He fondly remembers sharing a shotgun with his brother. They would take turns; one sighting the gun while the other held and steadied the barrel on his shoulder. Leo enjoyed playing baseball and shooting skeet competitively. His favorite pastimes were working and relaxing at his farm with his family, as they played washers and ate his homemade ice cream. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends for his kind and sincere nature.
Leo gave his time to coaching Khoury League teams for each of his children. He was active with the Optimist Club as a young man and campaigned with local candidates for public office. He fried fish and served with the VFW at parades and funerals. Leo was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and volunteered with the church at the women’s prison.
A Mass to celebrate his life will be held Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Vandalia. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m.; a Rosary reciting from 10 to 10:30 a.m.; and a funeral at 10:30. Burial with military honors will follow immediately at the Vandalia Cemetery. All friends and family are invited to attend a luncheon served in the Parish Center directly behind the church.
Donations can be made in his name to the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Vandalia.