Jul 7th 1918 - Apr 22nd 2012
A likable fellow by all accounts, Leo Trim just simply enjoyed life. Within his often quiet and gentle nature, he also possessed the gift of humor, and thoroughly enjoyed socializing. Throughout his 93 years, Leo lived fully and completely, having seen and experienced much. Gone but never to be forgotten, he will be dearly missed and remembered.
Leo's story began in Kalamazoo, Michigan on July 7, 1918. The son of Burel and Sadie (Cassada) Trim, he was the youngest of three children in the Trim household. Raised alongside his older siblings, JD and Ruth, they made their family home in southern Michigan in the small village of Bloomingdale. It was a significant time in our nation’s history, as the end of World War I brought welcome relief for many. Cause for great concern during this time, however, was the Spanish flu which reached epidemic proportions.
At the age of six, young Leo and his family moved to the Kalamazoo area where he attended the local schools. He enjoyed a childhood typical of the times and spent much time during his youth playing one of his favorite sports, baseball. Throughout high school he continued to love the game and became a great baseball player, too. After graduating from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1936, he had hopes of playing professionally, but life took him on another journey which came to satisfy him just fine.
Soon after high school, Leo met Ardelle Hart on a blind date, and she captured his heart for the next 65 years. Separated by war when Leo enlisted in the U.S. Army, he served from January 1941 until his honorable discharge in November of 1945. He earned the rank of Master Sergeant, and spent much of his time stationed overseas in Germany. Although he played some basketball in the service, Leo's love for baseball never waned. Along with his comrade, Joe DiMaggio, Leo often played left field while Joe played center. In fact, in one game alone he out hit Joe by several runs.
When Leo returned home to Kalamazoo at the war's end, he was greeted by Ardelle's faithful and loving arms. He worked at Bryant Paper Company for a time, but soon bought a hardware store and went into business for himself. Trim Hardware was a mainstay in the Oakwood area for numerous years before he moved the business to the Southland Mall.
In November of 1947 Leo and Ardelle sealed their love in marriage. They honeymooned south over a long weekend, enjoying the mountains. After setting up house, they soon began a family of their own. With two children to share their love, Jill and Paul added much to their lives. Leo was a hard working man and provided well for his family. He spent long days at the hardware store and it proved to be quite successful. Ardelle helped as often as she could, but her main focus was found providing a good home for Leo and their children. Nothing satisfied Leo's appetite more than Ardelle's home cooked rump roast with mashed potatoes, gravy, and pecan pie for dessert.
Leo fulfilled another one of his dreams when he earned his pilot's license. He absolutely loved being a pilot. They had good friends who shared in the ownership of a plane and together they had many wonderful trips to the Bahamas, Chicago and many other destinations.
After selling the business in 1989 after 35 years of faithful service to the community, Leo found it difficult to remain still in retirement. He was a bank courier for a time, and as a lifetime member of the Elks, he was an avid golfer, playing nearly every day. He enjoyed a variety of sports, but especially liked watching the Lions, and of course, baseball. In time he owned his own plane and flew often.
Leo was very social. Easy going and easy to like, it was easy to see that he clearly enjoyed life and those around him. Everyone simply liked Leo for his fun-loving ways and spirited humor. Never one to lose his temper or swear, he had a quiet way about him that made him a gentle man, all wrapped into one. He loved going to the Beacon Club and was always up for a game cards with friends.
In time Leo's legs began giving out. He underwent knee surgery, but never fully recovered. It slowed him down dramatically, almost to a standstill. Sadly, on Sunday, April 22, 2012, Leo died at Rose Arbor Hospice. For 93 years, Leo Trim lived fully at every opportunity. He savored much in his lifetime with a loving family and good friends by his side. Lovingly remembered, he will be dearly missed.
Leo was preceded in death by his siblings: JD Trim and Ruth Hackman. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Ardelle Trim; two children: Jill (Leonard) Hower and Paul (Mary) Trim; grandchildren: Michelle and Martin Olson. Services will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be directed to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Please visit Leo’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can submit a memory or photo, and sign his online memory book.