In Memoriam

Leo John Imperial
Leo John Imperial

NORFOLK - Leo John Imperial passed away Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011.

He is survived by his wife Shirley of 61 years; sons, Michael and daughter-in-law Beverly and Mark and daughter-in-law Karen; daughter, Shirlene; sons Lee and Robert and daughter-in-law Pattie. He had six grandchildren, Michelle and husband Chris, Meagan, Kathryn, Brianne, Brooke and Jonathan. He is also survived by sisters, Rose and brother-in-law John, Mena and Elsie and brother-in-law Jerry. He had three nephews, Larry, Alex, Dennis; and one niece, Susan; and several great-nieces and -nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Leopold and Elsie; mother-in-law, Esther Angwin; and brother, John. Leo was born July 8, 1926 in Port Washington, N.Y.

Immediately upon graduation from high school, he entered the United States Naval Construction Battalion. During his tour of service in the South Pacific, he also played the trumpet in a number of service bands and participated in the entertainment of the troops. In 1949, he graduated from Stetson University in Deland, Fla., with a degree in music education. He and his wife Shirley were married in Flagler Memorial Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine, Fla., March 19, 1949 and in 1951 they moved to Virginia where they raised their family.

During his busy career, Leo taught in Norfolk Public Schools for 25 years, the majority of that time spent as the Granby High School Band and Orchestra director. He was director of bands at Old Dominion University while completing his master's degree in administration. He then returned to Norfolk Public Schools, and from 1974 to 1987 he served as instrumental music consultant. His dedication to the promotion of music in the public school system is certainly one of his lasting legacies. Leo retired in 1987 and lived in St. Augustine, Fla., before moving back to Norfolk in 2006.

He was a life member of the Elks Lodge, VMEA and MENC.

His memory is honored and cherished by his family and friends.

 A funeral will be conducted at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011 at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Laskin Road Chapel, by Dr. J. Scottie Griffin. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Virginia Opera Association or charity of your choice.

Published in The Virginian Pilot on January 14, 2011