In Memoriam – Leo Gustave Cheim

Leo Gustave Cheim, a treasured Alumnus of Menlo College, died at his home June 12th, 2009 at the age of 85. June, his loving wife of 52 years, was at his side.

Leo was one of the first children born at San Jose Hospital. He lived and was schooled in Willow Glen, California. A music lover, he learned to play the piano and saxophone. He attended Bellarmine Preparatory, and graduated from Menlo High School in 1942. While attending Menlo College where he studied business administration, he played All-Conference tackle in football.

Leo joined the United States Marines in WWII, serving 4 years. He was on board the USS General J.R. Brooke in the European and Pacific theaters as a Line Corporal. Leo returned to finish his studies at San Jose State University and went to work for Cheim Lumber Company as an Account Executive. He became a partner in 1981.

He enjoyed playing golf, watching San Jose State football games, and playing tennis. He loved to laugh and entertain friends on the golf course. He was a member of the Elks Lodge for 64 years, San Jose Country Club, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He also was Scoutmaster to 5 boys that all achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and served as altar boys in the community church. All of his children were trained on piano and other musical instruments.

He is survived by his brother, Bob E. Cheim (Barbara N.), his loving wife Barbara June, and children Gregory (Hye), Johnathan, Paul (Catherine), David (Gloria), Scott (Jann), Daryl, Robert (Elizabeth), Cynthia (David), and April (Scott), and 22 grandchildren, and a great granddaughter. His family was the love of his life.

Leo always spoke highly of Menlo College, and we were fortunate enough to host him and his family at the April 25th reunion for the classes of 1959 and earlier. Our thoughts are with his family.

Services will be held at the Chapel of the Roses, Oak Hill Funeral Home, in San Jose on Friday, June 19th, at 1:30 p.m. Rosary is on Thursday, June 18th, at 7:00 p.m. Viewing is at 5:00 pm ‒ 9:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Kaiser Hospital, Santa Teresa, and or the Free Constitutional Church of Tonga, Palo Alto.

For the full San Jose Mercury News obituary, click here.