Coffee Chat/Ron LeatzPublished 6:50pm Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Name: Ron Leatz
Occupation: Retired fire chief. His career spanned 1957 to 1988, when he nearly lost his life as a passenger in an auto accident.
Where are you from originally? St. Joseph
When did you move here? Why? Seven years ago. It’s my wife Ann’s hometown. (They will be married 51 years in October. In fact, they married at Champs Hotel, with a reception dinner at the Armory.)
To what clubs do you belong? Until June served as president of the Checker Car Club of America (he owns a taxi). Belongs to the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers and volunteers as host for the Dowagiac Amtrak station.
Education: St. Joseph High School, Benton Harbor Community College and Technical Institute (a forerunner of Lake Michigan College) and graduated from Santa Ana College in Santa Ana, Calif., in fire science in 1974.
If you didn’t do what you did, what would you have done? God only knows. I wanted to be a firefighter since I was a kid. My parents weren’t happy because they owned barber and beauty shops. It was presumed I would take over the business, but I didn’t want to work Saturdays.
If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it? Help my four kids (a son and three daughters, and six grandchildren).
What’s something most people don’t know about you? I sang with Lighthouse Chorus.
Favorite food? Italian
Last book you read? Probably never. I’m not much of a reader.
Favorite TV show? none
Where would you go on your dream vacation? Europe. Ancestors from Germany.
Pet peeve? speeding
Best advice you ever got? Love your wife through good and bad times. (He might have lost his arm during 37 days in intensive care at four hospitals without Ann’s persistence.)
What would you want on your tombstone? He had a good life.
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