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Published: Thursday, 5/13/2010

WWII vet enjoyed umpiring ball games

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Isadore "Izzy" Leibovitz, 90, whose workdays were at industrial laundries and cleaners and whose summer evenings were on Toledo area ball diamonds as an umpire, died Wednesday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township.

He was in declining health in recent months, his wife, Charlotte said.

Mr. Leibovitz, of Sylvania Township, was 64 when he retired from Major Laundry Rental Service, a firm that dealt in the laundering and rental of work clothes and linens and that recycled work gloves. He was a salesman and interacted with the firms that did business with Major Laundry.

For a few years after World War II, he and his wife owned Western Dry Cleaning Co.

"We wanted to buy a business. We were newlyweds," his wife said.

A quarter century of youth umpiring began with a simple request: His son was on a ball team and asked his father to come watch. Next thing Mrs. Leibovitz knew, Mr. Leibovitz was an umpire.

"He'd come home from work and rush to eat dinner and go," his wife said. "He would be out in the hottest weather and the coldest weather. He loved teaching the boys. He felt very much at home."

He was born May 23, 1919, in Napoleon to Anna and Jacob Leibovitz. The family moved to Toledo, and he was a graduate of Scott High School, where he took part in track and field.

He enlisted in the Army and in World War II served in Europe and North Africa theaters.

His daughter, Lois, learned about Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio, which sends veterans without charge to Washington so they may see the World War II and other memorials up close.

"He was very interested in it. Those five years he was in the service were turning points in his life," his wife said.

Then came the flight and his Washington visit.

"Everything they did for the veterans was first class," said family friend Judi Fox.

His wife said: "That was the brightest day of his life. He was so proud of going on that."

He was a member of Goodman-Goldstein VFW Post 6909. He volunteered on Memorial Day to place flags on veterans' graves.

Surviving are his wife, Charlotte, whom he married Sept. 2, 1945; daughter, Lois Levison; son, Jerry Leibovitz; two granddaughters, and three great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow in the Robert H. Wick/Wisniewski Funeral Home.

The family will receive friends after services tomorrow at Congregation B'nai Israel, where he was a member, and on Sunday at the Leibovitz home.

The family suggests tributes to Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio; Hospice of Northwest Ohio; Congregation B'nai Israel; Congregation Etz Chayim, or a charity of the donor's choice.

Contact Mark Zaborney at:

mzaborney@theblade.com

or 419-724-6182,



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