Leo Francis Himmelsbach
Resident of San Jose
Aged 87, died on October 1, 2013 of natural causes. He is survived by his wife, Cornelia and his children Mary King, Eileen, William, Laura and Sharon Himmelsbach, and Jane Lomas. He is also survived by his brother, Harold Himmelsbach. Leo was born in 1926 on a farm in Yakima, Washington. In 1944 he was accepted into the United States pilot training program, although his hopes in flying came to a close with the end of World War II. He joined the US Navy and later enjoyed working in army intelligence in Baltimore during the Korean War. He earned his bachelor's degree in Literature from Gonzaga University in 1949.
Leo met Cornelia O'Neill in 1954 in San Francisco and they married in 1956. Leo graduated from Golden Gate University Law School and established himself as a successful trial lawyer with Santa Clara County. Leo was elected DA in 1982 and served two terms, making dramatic improvements there during his tenure. He once remarked, with a twinkle in his eye, "The best decision I ever made, next to marrying Connie, was to become a lawyer."
Leo was a great lover of literature and, above all, poetry. He had a passion for the sea, and he and Connie enjoyed many years sailing on the San Francisco Bay. His children hold many cherished memories of summers spent exploring the wonders of California's forests, beaches and lakes with their dear dad. Leo spent countless hours sharing life's simple pleasures with his grand and great-grandchildren, such as the beauty of a rose in the garden or a hummingbird passing by. Leo's greatest pleasure was in caring for others' happiness and wellbeing. He possessed a generosity of spirit that knew no limits. His absence in this world creates a space that cannot be filled.
A funeral mass will be held on Monday, October 7, 2013 at St. Christopher's Catholic Church in Willow Glen, San Jose. Vigil at 2:00PM to be followed by mass at 2:30. Reception immediately following at Campbell Community Center, 1 W Campbell Ave.