RALEIGH, N.C. -- LeRoy J. Wacker, 77, of Raleigh, N.C., passed away peacefully in his home on Tuesday (Feb. 25, 2003). He is survived by his wife, Eileen, of 55 years; two daughters, Cynthia Nelson of Raleigh and Lynette Johnson of Rio Rico, Ariz.; one son, Steven Wacker of Moorpark, Calif.; one grandson, Matthew Johnson of Creston, Iowa; three granddaughters, Alexis Nelson of Atlanta, Ga., Whitney Nelson of Raleigh, and Stephanie Wacker of Moorpark, Calif.; one aunt, Henrietta Fahrenbruch of Cheyenne, Wyo.; and two sisters, Genevieve Lovell of Memphis, Tenn., and Marjorie O'Brien of Scottsdale, Ariz.
LeRoy Wacker was born Jan. 5, 1926, in Culbertson. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He served with the 509th Bombardment Squadron in the Pacific Theatre as a radar mechanic. After his discharge, he graduated from Kearney State Teachers College. He taught math and science in Springview for four years. While in Springview, LeRoy was instrumental in having girls athletics re-instated in the high school.
In 1954, LeRoy and his family moved to Ames, Iowa. He taught math and was athletic director for two schools during the next 30 years. LeRoy received the Iowa High School Athletic Association "National Hall of Fame Award" in 1985. After retiring, LeRoy and his wife moved to Hayward, Calif., where he was the assistant to the athletic director at California State University.
LeRoy and his wife moved to Raleigh in 1992. In 1996, he was one of 19 local residents selected to relay the Olympic flame along its 15,000 mile journey to Atlanta, Ga., for the summer Olympics.
LeRoy loved sports, especially track and field. Although track is a team sport, each athlete is actually competing against himself, trying to improve his own time or distance.
A memorial service will be held at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Raleigh on Saturday, at 2 p.m. Inurnment will be in the Culbertson Cemetery at Culbertson at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Our Savior Lutheran Church, 1500 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC 27608 or to Duke Community Hospice Services, 3325 Executive Drive, Suite 112, Raleigh, NC 27609.
The Cremation Society of the Carolinas in Raleigh is in charge of arrangements.