Leon Ropelewski

Leon A. Ropelewski

1920 - 2012

Recommend Leon's obituary to your friends
Share Your Memory of
Leon

Obituary of Leon A. Ropelewski

Please share a memory of Leon to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.
Leon A. Ropelewski "Rope" Elmira: age 91, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, died on Friday, March 9, 2012 at the Chemung County Nursing Facility in Elmira, New York. Rope was born on August 15, 1920, in Elmira, New York to the late Leo and Cecilia Ropelewski. His grandmother, the late Barbara Ropelewski, was a significant influence in his life. He attended St. Casmir Elementary School and graduated from the Elmira Free Academy. Rope quarterbacked the 1939 undefeated Elmira High School football team. During the 25th Anniversary of that season, his coach, Art Hirst, was quoted as saying "You know, this boy could do everything. What a passer! He was my first really good one." In his first game as a starting sophomore quarterback, he gained 263 yards, scoring 3 touchdowns. Rope later became the first four-time inductee into the Elmira Sports Hall of Fame. He received those honors for basketball, football, softball and baseball. He was also voted by local sports reporters as the Number 1 Basketball Player and Number 1 Male Athlete for the years of 1900 to 1950. Rope won the Southern Tier Basketball Conference scoring title in 1938-39 and went on to a 15 year semi-pro basketball career, 14 years as an all star. Rope's biggest post high school success however, came on the baseball diamond, in which he played professionally in the Cubs organization in 1940 and 1941. He also played shortstop for the Elmira Pioneers winning the Governor's Cup in 1943. Rope's baseball career ended when he was drafted into the U.S. Army just a few days after the end of the season. He landed at Omaha Beach and served under General Patton during the Battle of the Bulge. When he returned from World War II, he began a long officiating career and was extensively involved in Small Fry Baseball. Rope helped start Robinson Building Materials and served as its first Vice President, not retiring from the lumber yard until he was 83. Rope was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 63 years, Geraldine (Gerry). He is survived by his children Lee Ropelewski, Lynn Mills, Gail Ropelewski-Ryan and Jim Ropelewski; their spouses Mary Brooks, Thomas Mills, John Ryan and Nancy Ropelewski; 7 grandchildren: Tiffany (Mills) Haller (and husband Fred), Zachary Mills (and wife Zandi), Christine and Paul Ryan and Jack, Hannah and Brian Ropelewski; and 2 great grandchildren, Sara and Angela Haller. He is further survived by his brother Gene and countless men and women, to whom he served as a mentor and father figure throughout his life. The Mass Of Christian Burial for Leon Ropelewski will be held at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 1100 W. Church Street, Elmira, New York. Father Kubinski will officiate. Interment, with military honors, will take place at St. Peter and Paul's Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Dominican Monastery, 1310 W. Church St., Elmira, New York.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Leon Ropelewski, please visit Tribute Store
Tuesday
13
March

Mass of Christian Burial

11:30 am
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Our Lady Of Lourdes Church
1100 W Church St
Elmira, New York, United States
Service Time: 11:30 AM
Tuesday
13
March

Interment at: St. Peter And Paul's Cemetery

12:00 pm
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
St. Peter And Paul's Cemetery
623 Franklin Street
Elmira, New York, United States