- July 24, 1916 - November 4, 2003
- North Dakota
of Eugene's Passing
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“Keeping you in prayer.
1 of 2 | Posted by: Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery - ND
“Thinking of you at the time of your loss of your father. God Bless you all. Thanks for the call Jaque.Hi to Pat and Frank.
2 of 2 | Posted by: Joanne (Lechler) and Glenn McCrory - ND
Eugene "Bus" Leary, 87, died November 4, 2003 in a local hospital.
Services will be held at 10 AM Friday at the Church of the Ascension, Bismarck, with the Most Rev. Paul Zipfel, Bishop of Bismarck presiding and the Rev. Thomas Kramer and others con-celebrating. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, Bismarck, with military rites provided by the VFW Post #1326.
Visitation will be 4-8 PM Wednesday and 9 AM-12 Noon Thursday at Eastgate Funeral Service, Bismarck. A rosary will be held at Marillac Manor, Bismarck, at 2 PM Thursday with visitation one hour prior to the rosary at the Manor. Visitation will continue from 3-6 PM Thursday at Eastgate Funeral Service. A rosary will be held at 7:30 PM at the Church of the Ascension Thursday evening.
Eugene "Bus" Leary was born July 24, 1916 at Marmarth, ND to Raymond and Katherine Leary. He was raised and educated in Marmarth, and graduated from Marmarth High School in 1934. Bus served in and was a lifetime member of the Civilian Conservation Corp.
Bus came to Bismarck in 1936 and married Bertha Bredy at Scranton, ND on July 26, 1939. He was an Air Force Veteran and served during WWII.
Bus was employed by National Food Stores, which was a retail grocery. In 1949, he opened the first Super Valu store in Bismarck, which was located at the corner of Broadway and 7th Street. He served as director and president of the ND Association of Food Retailers. Among the many awards he received from Super Valu Stores, Inc. Headquarters, was the Retailers National Good Government Award in 1977.
With his abounding energy and enthusiasm for serving within the community, Bus was a founding father, a member, and often a leader for many of Bismarck's clubs and organizations. His love of the Bismarck community prompted him to run for mayor, and with immense enjoyment of the task before him, he dutifully served the city as a full time mayor for eight years, from 1978 until 1986. Other civic groups and memberships include Bus acting as a director; then president of the Bismarck Chamber of Commerce in 1965; director of the National Liquor Dealers Assoc.; director of the ND Milk Stabilization Board; director of First Bank from 1965 until 1981; the ND Automobile Club A.A.A. Board of Directors for 20 years; the first president of the Golden Kiwanis Club; and the past president on the DRIS Board. Bus also served on the ND Trade Commission; was volunteered by the ND Governor to serve as Regional Chairman on the Heritage Foundation Building Fund Drive; worked to pass the One Cent City Sales Tax; received the Distinguished Service Award from Bismarck State College; the President of the "All Veterans Memorial" fund drive for the building located on the state capitol grounds; and served as chairman of the Original Fund Drive for St. Mary's High School "BACEF" for Catholic Education. When serving as mayor, Bus and his wife, were invited to the White House by President Ronald Reagan on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1982, to meet and have dinner with the President of Ireland. He was the only mayor from the US invited.
Eugene was a charter member of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit Catholic Church, a life member of Knights of Columbus, Elks, United Commercial Travelers, American Legion, Eagles, and ND Stockman's Club.
Eugene is survived by his wife, Bertha, Bismarck, ND; three sons and two daughters-in-law, Mike and Michelle Leary, Bismarck, ND, Ken Leary, Tacoma, WA, and Bill and Linda Leary, Albuquerque, NM; three daughters and two sons-in-law, Patty and Frank Schmaltz, Shakopee, MN, Jacque and Allen Gillette, Twin Falls, ID and Kathy Leary, Federal Way, WA; 16 grandchildren; and 10 great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers; and one sister.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Bismarck Area Catholic Education Fund or St. Vincent's Care Center.