Leo Anthony Baca, 76, of the Petronila/Robstown area died Feb. 5, 2009 at home with his wife, Kathy, son David Neal Baca and his wife Belma, and daughter Regina Kay Baca, and friends Margie Mixon and Tracy Little Jr. present. Other survivors are his brother, Edmund Baca and his sister, Irene Wilson both of San Antonio.

He died of melanoma cancer. Leo volunteered for clinical trials at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston in May 2008 to battle the melanoma cancer.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Herman and Louise Baca.

Leo was born Jan. 5, 1933 in Orange Grove and was raised as a Christian Catholic by his parents and family. He was preceded also by a brother, Allen Baca of Round Rock, and his sister-in-law, Peggy Baca of San Antonio.

Leo entered the USAF in July, 1952 and served as a 1st Class Airman as an Air Traffic Control Operator at Keesler AFB, Mississippi and Carswell AFB, Ft. Worth, Texas and was awarded as a unit member to the 1st AACS Squadron Mobile (MATS) January 1955-November, 1956. He served in Japan, Formosa, and Okinawa.

He married Kathy Loessin on Jan. 27, 1962 in Robstown and had celebrated 47 years recently. Leo became a member of the First United Methodist Church and a member of United Methodist Men of Robstown.

Leo and Kathy moved to Alice in 1970 and he was employed by Harkins & Co. and later Fesco. He was a scout master of Troop 270 in Alice and earned the wood badge. He was also a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow, and the Alice Optimist Club.

In 1983, they returned to Robstown and attended the Bishop FUMC. While there, he was called to be a local pastor of the UMC in 2001. He served at Riviera, Donna, and at Kingsville, Christ United Methodist Church in the McAllen District of the SWTX Conference.

Funeral services were held in Bishop at First United Methodist at 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9. Burial took place at Memory Gardens of Corpus Christi following the church service.

Pallbearers were David Baca, Paul Aaron Pieper, Tracy Little Jr., Roger Custer, Will Bippert and Robert Knetig.

Honorary Pallbearers were Ronnie Klosterman, Troy Thennis, Brad Mixon, Michael Mixon and Paul Richard Pieper.

Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 387, Bishop, Texas 78343, in memory of Leo Anthony Baca.

Sawyer-George Funeral Home