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Mr. Leon Andrew Golfin

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Memories & Candles

“Leon - with great shock, we reluctantly accept the news of your death. We are proud to have known you and pray that you are resting in peace reunited...Read More »
1 of 10 | Posted by: Elaine Petrides Scott - Friend

“Leon was a great man. He will be missed greatly. I am blessed to have been adopted into his adoring family through the marriage of Amanda and Levi....Read More »
2 of 10 | Posted by: Mary Sweazy - Flower Mound, TX

“Wonderful memories. My sincere best to Elaine and the girls at this sad time. He lived a long and wonderful life. Love from the Reynolds family to...Read More »
3 of 10 | Posted by: helen reynolds blake - ballwin, MO

“Kind thoughts to Elaine and the girls on the passing of a gentle man who lived life well. I remember the burgoo parties in Crestwood, rolling the...Read More »
4 of 10 | Posted by: Maggie Vogelweid - Saint Louis, MO

“GOOD BY OLD FRIEND. ”
5 of 10 | Posted by: DON WALLIS - STL.MO., MO - FRIEND

“My condulences to the Golfing family.He was a man of many talents and someone to look up to as a person of great carector and love of life. ”
6 of 10 | Posted by: Bob Bradley - Concord Village, MO

“I am so sorry for your loss. Leon Golfin was full of life. He was a great man, proud, dignified and admired by many He had a full life. He was a Hero...Read More »
7 of 10 | Posted by: Julie Devlin - St Louis, MO

“Much love to the Golfin family. ”
8 of 10 | Posted by: Jason brooks - St. Louis, MO

“Unfortunately I never met Mr. Golfin but because Lucy shared photos, memories and updates about her folks on Facebook, I got a sense of how special...Read More »
9 of 10 | Posted by: Nancy Melsheimer Rudolph - MO

“Well done, Mr. Golfin. I grew up in Crestwood and went to school with Lucy. Reading the obituary, I could feel the love and pride of your family in...Read More »
10 of 10 | Posted by: Scott Keck - San Francisco, CA


Patriotic Emblem

Leon Andrew Golfin, age 92, of Saint Louis. On November 9, 2015, Leon Andrew Golfin came to the end of a life filled with the riches of a loving family, several rewarding careers, and the respect and admiration of his friends and colleagues.
He was uncommonly brilliant, with an unbounded exuberance, a gentleness of spirit, and a perpetual love of life. He shaped ambassadors of intellect, kindness, and courage, and left a legacy of looking always to the future and what is possible. He achieved many "firsts" confidently and courageously throughout his life.
Leon was born a first-generation American in 1923 in Benld, Illinois to Greek immigrants Andrew Golfin (Golfinopoulos) and Stamatia Corfiatis Golfin. He was proud of his Greek heritage and grateful to be an American. He embraced his exemplary work ethic early on, in his father's Palace of Sweets in Benld, and later selling newspapers on Saint Louis street corners in his boyhood.
A gifted student, he passed over three grades and graduated high school at age 16. He was the first in the family to graduate college, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Missouri.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served as an officer on Admiral Nimitz' staff in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He was one of the first to be privy to encoding a top-secret message with orders to deliver the atom bomb, which led to the end of the war.
After proudly serving his country, Leon married Elaine Pete Adam, the beautiful daughter of Pete Adam of Litchfield, Illinois, who had been his father's business partner and boyhood friend in their hometown of Rossena, Greece. Together, Leon and Elaine settled in south Saint Louis and purchased one of the first condominium concept homes, then called a "cooperative", in 1950.
Leon and Elaine moved to the then-new suburb of Crestwood, purchasing a home in one of the first neighborhoods there. They raised three daughters in this home: Emily, Lucy, and Jane, in whom he instilled his unwavering values of positivity, enthusiasm for life, and education. He loved his country and involved the neighborhood children with his front-yard flag ceremonies. He embraced all his neighbors young and old with his celebration of the simple joys, from his backyard "burgoo" parties to inviting neighborhood children to pick a candy cane from the largest Christmas tree he could purchase at Ted Drewes. During this time, he worked as a cost engineer at NL Industries, where he retired after a 30-year career. He sent his three daughters through college, telling them their education was the "jewel in their crown".
Leon embarked on another "first" when he moved his family home from Crestwood to one of the first condominium efforts of the 1980s - what is now the sought-after Brentwood Forest Condominiums. He contributed in making this community great by serving on the board of Brentwood Forest as President for four years.
Not one to rest on his many achievements in retirement, he began a second career at Saint Louis County Government. He established the Waste Management program for the county, writing the first ordinances for infectious waste controls and landfill disposal. He also established the first county recycle program. He retired from his second career with the county at age 69.
During this time in Brentwood, Leon conducted a successful campaign that earned him the title of Elected Official, serving on the Brentwood Board of Aldermen for seven terms. He served his community in this capacity until age 83. He was instrumental in much of the development and civic improvements that occurred in the City of Brentwood during these years.
Leon greatly valued his membership in the greater community, serving also at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church for 12 years, as President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. He was a lifelong member of the American Lung Association of Eastern Missouri. He also supported Autism Delaware on behalf of his grandson Nicholas.
Of all his roles, the one he cherished and embraced most was that of "grandpa". He had six devoted grandchildren for whom he modeled a life lived with enthusiasm, dignity, and service to others. This man of "firsts" always looked to the future for his children and grandchildren, giving each of them a solid foundation for the challenges and triumphs of life, and celebrating them for the unique individuals they are.
Leon spent his later years happily traveling with his beloved wife Elaine, spending summers riding his bike and sunning on Lake Michigan and winters boating with friends on Pine Island, Florida.
He and Elaine spent four happy years together at Bethesda Barclay House in Clayton, Missouri, where Leon again created a "first" by bringing merriment to his fellow residents as creator and master of ceremonies of a very popular and well-attended yearly talent show.
Leon Andrew Golfin, who lived a life of "firsts," will live first in the hearts of his family, who feel unwavering gratitude for the legacy of a life well lived that he has bestowed upon them.
Leon was preceded in death by his parents, Andrew Golfin and Stamatia Corfiatis Golfin, and his sister, Maria Magafas. He is survived by his loving wife, Elaine Golfin, and his three daughters: Emily Heitzmann (Gary) of Dallas, Texas; Lucy Graham (Dave) of Wilmington, Delaware; and Jane Hake (Steve) of Saint Louis, Missouri. Leon's grandchildren are Amanda Sweazy (Levi) and Gregory Heitzmann, Sara and Nicholas Graham, and Maggie and Ellie Hake. His surviving brother is Byron Golfin (Carolyn). He has nine nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Autism Society of Delaware, 924 Old Harmony Road, Suite 201, Newark, Delaware, 19713.
The family is planning a private burial at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. A more public gathering in celebration of his life will be planned in the coming months.
The Family would like to invite friends and family to share photos of Leon

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