Life and times of Carl McClellan DeLeeuw (provided by his family)
I was raised on an 8,000 foot elevation cattle and sheep ranch in southern Utah. My Dutch ancestors migrated there from Holland and my mother's from Scotland. While riding my horse across the hills I would look up and see the contrails of the airplanes and vowed to be a pilot on one. When the ware looked eminent I joined the Army Air Corps and started on my way to Australia and then the Pearl Harbor bombing sent our ship on to India where I spent my war years which are chronicled elsewhere. On my return home, I joined United airlines and followed my dream and spent 34 years, piloting everything from DC-3s to the DC10. I shared a love of the mountains with my wife Denise and daughter Jeri-Anne and we used our airline benefits to travel and ski all over Europe.
Our first venture abroad was interesting: We had read about a road race in Europe, checking in and getting stamped from seven alpine locations to win a gold medallion for your car grill. My wife researched buying a car there, driving the race and shipping the car home. It meant tightening the belt, staying in tiny local hotels and meeting people through the Berlitz phrase book…this was in 1958 and not that much English in these little towns we had to find. One dark night trying to find the check station in Andorra, we drove on past restaurant closing time and we finally found a man walking along the road and he was nervous and didn’t want to try to fathom what we were trying to say, so I drew a picture of a fried egg and the light dawned. His friend opened the little tavern and he made omelets for us and we made good friends!
We skied and visited in many places, and thanked God we had the means to vacation and travel and see the world, which was mostly at peace. Seeing behind the iron curtain, and the struggle war torn cities had faced in rebuilding was an eye-opener. Visiting death camps gave our daughter a look at “man’s inhumanity to man” as it says at the Dachau memorial, and gave our daughter a greater appreciation of our life and a desire to promote peace and appreciate all people for what did, not how they looked.
Remembering Shared Honor notes: Carl M. DeLeeuw was a veteran, and Past National Commander of the CBI-VA. We hope we can continue to work with his friends and family, including his children and grandchildren, to create a great remembrance for him here. Even though we did not interact with him for a long time, he still impressed us with his grace and humility. I will never forget that one of the first things he asked was why we wanted to interview him, since he 'wasn't a hero.' But he seems like a big enough hero to me. Carl M. DeLeeuw passed away in January, 2007, but we will never forget (Patrick Lucas).
Also, despite some of the technical and video editing problems we are having, below are links to our interview with Carl M. Deleeuw in August, 2005 at his home, where we were graciously hosted by Carl and his wife Denise. Our apologies in advance for the obvious deficiencies in video quality.