Leo “Louk” Frederick Custer
October 11, 1929 - December 29, 2021
It took a global pandemic --unseen in a century-- to convince Louk that there was more fun to be had on the other side of the rainbow.
Born Leo Frederick Custer to Anna and George Custer on October 11th 1929 in their home on Washington Avenue, Leo was the youngest of four siblings; George, John (Jack), and Josephine.
Leo was fun. He played football and basketball in high school and in the summers frequented a local swimming hole nick-named Bare-Ass Beach. He graduated from Phoenixville High School in 1948.
Too young to follow his brothers into WWII, Leo was still eager to serve his country, and joined the Army in 1948. Stationed in California, he spent his three year service stateside before enlisting in the National Guard, where he spent 14 years of service and earned the rank of Captain.
He worked at BF Goodrich on the tire production line, later moving into maintenance. The man could tinker, build, and craft just about anything. After Goodrich closed in ‘86, he took his side hustle full-time as CEO of Louk’s Lawn Service. Working outside in the sunshine kept him happy and healthy, and may have been the secret to how he powered through cancer, and then knee and hip replacements in his later years. Proud of his fast stride, he frequented Relay for Life events and never slowed down.
A study in contradictions, Louk was a character. He never drank or smoked and stayed physically fit for his entire life, but he also hated vegetables and was known for eating cookies for breakfast. A devout Catholic, he was an usher at Sacred Heart Church, and an incorrigible flirt who would never miss an opportunity for a naughty joke. Always active, he could spend hours on his front porch with a glass of lemonade, just counting the airplanes that flew by. He usually knew what make they were by the sound alone.
Finding satisfaction in cleanliness and military precision, Louk also filled every storage area of his home with his flea market finds. He was always ready with a joke, but also delighted in barking orders and yelling at people when he directed traffic as a volunteer fire-police officer. He took immense pride in being Captain of the Fire Police. It married a lot of his strengths, allowing him to give back to his community and keep order. Simultaneously he was of service, and given reign to yell at idiot drivers who tried to go through the barricades. He counted his fellow members of Station 65 among his friends.
Louk was generous; always willing to help friends and strangers alike. Like the dark-haired cutie he saw walking along Main Street while he was driving his shiny car with white walled tires. She did need a ride, and then she needed someone to dance with at the Civic Center later that week. Her name was Eleanor, and she possessed a fiery wit that had Louk smitten.
Louk married Eleanor Janet Freece on October 9, 1954. They shared over sixty-three years of laughter, coffee, decorating every square inch of the house for Christmas, dancing, and light-hearted pranks. Two stubborn jokesters, they were perfectly matched. He loved to sneak up behind her and poke her in her ticklish sides to make her jump.
Now that he is back dancing with his girl again, Louk is survived by his children Nancy Lynn (Stu Strauss), Lisa Ann, and Leo Todd (Angela Ciarrocki); his granddaughter Katie Lynn (Paul Liao); his great-grandson Xonor, and his cats Houdini, Polaris, and Fancy.
There are many, many furred friends with whiskered faces or wagging tails to greet Louk on the other side. He loved spoiling his pets and was especially fond of golden retrievers. The first twenty minutes he is in Heaven, Louk will spend it reuniting with Dusty, Honey Bear, Glicky, Nugget, Paisley, Merowski, Ditto, Follow, Colonel, and all of his long-missed companions.
After 92 years of laughter, dancing, and desserts, our lives are dimmer without his sunshine. But Louk would hate for that to be his legacy-- to leave without spreading a little joy in his wake. With an impish gleam in his blue eyes, he would ask you if you knew how to tell if your new girlfriend was ticklish. His answer, delivered with an irrepressible grin: give her a couple of “test-tickles”.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Funeral Mass in St. Ann Chapel, 604 S. Main Street, Phoenixville, PA on Thursday, January 6, 2022 at 11:00 am.
Burial will follow in Sacred Heart Cemetery.
A viewing will be held in Chapel on Thursday from 9:45 am to 10:45 am.
Mask are required in church.