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Published: Thursday, 11/9/2006

Jeep worker owned eatery with his wife

TEMPERANCE - Leo J. Vogelbach, 81, a longtime Jeep worker who co-owned a German restaurant with his wife, Manuela, died on Tuesday from complications of cancer in St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center.

The couple owned the Little Bavarian Inn at Douglas and Sterns roads from the early 1970s until about 1988. Mrs. Vogelbach was from Germany, and the couple met in Munich, where both were civilian workers for the U.S. Army after World War II, son Denis said.

"He always enjoyed the Bavarian, which is the southern German mystique and way of life," his son said. "He had the idea that a German-style roadside inn might be a nice addition to the community."

Mr. Vogelbach renovated the building. His wife was the cook and hands-on manager who ran the inn day-to-day. He was there on weekend nights to meet customers and tell stories.

"He was a very outgoing, gregarious type," his son said.

Mr. Vogelbach worked at Jeep and was a former steward for UAW Local 12, retiring in the late 1980s after 30 years.

He grew up in South Toledo and attended Central Catholic High School.

His brother, older by a year, joined the Army while still a senior, and so did Mr. Vogelbach. He was in Gen. George Patton's Third Army and completed his service, then took the civilian job, despite his brother's death in the war.

Mr. Vogelbach, formerly of the Old West End, also sold real estate and owned apartments and other rental properties.

He and his wife married in 1947. She died June 13.

Surviving are his sons, Michael and Denis; sister, Jean Kreuz; four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

The body will be in the Bedford Funeral Chapel, Temperance, after 5 p.m. tomorrow. Services will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Temperance. The family suggests tributes to Immaculate Conception Church, Toledo.

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