Leon Biri

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Francis L. "Leon" Biri, 93, of Cape Girardeau passed away Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010, at Saint Francis Medical Center.

He was born Jan. 20, 1917, in Jackson, to the late Monroe and Mary Louise Duval Biri.

Leon was an Army Air Force veteran of World War II, serving honorably from January 1942 to September 1945. He was awarded five Bronze Stars for the battles and campaigns of Tunisia, Sicily, Rome, Arno, Algiers, French Morocco, Naples and Foggia.

Upon returning from the war, Leon briefly worked at the former International Shoe Co. in Jackson. He then worked 40-plus years with the carpenters union, primarily in residential carpentry. After retiring, Leon became a very devoted volunteer at Saint Francis Medical Center.

He was a member of St. Mary Cathedral, Altenthal-Joerns American Legion Post 158 in Jackson and VFW Post 3838 in Cape Girardeau.

He is survived by a son, Donald (Connie) Biri of Cape Girardeau; a daughter, Saundra "Sandy" Blevins-Gremard of Jackson; three grandsons, Brian Biri of Cape Girardeau, Larry Blevins of Jackson and Biri (Jessica) Blevins of Gordonville; three great-grandchildren, Kaylee Biri of Jackson, Dillan Hayes of Marble Hill, Mo., Logan Blevins of Gordonville; two sisters, Joann Johnston of Jackson, Dorothy Johnston of Jackson; and a brother, Paul Biri of Fruitland.

He was preceded in death by his former wife, Lavern Mason Biri in 2004; a son-in-law, Al Gremard; three sisters, Hazel, Louise and Helen; a brother, "Jr."; and two infant sisters.

Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. today at the chapel of McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson. An American Legion service will be held at 7.

The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home, with Deacon Jim Long officiating. Interment will be in Russell Heights Cemetery in Jackson, with full military honors.

Memorials may take the form of contributions to the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society or Disabled American Veterans.

Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.mccombsfuneralhome.com.