Leo was cremated, according to his wishes. His interment took place at St. Peter Catholic Cemetery, Clinton Township, Michigan.
Leon Henry “Leo” Vergote, 85, of Nixa, passed away in his home Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. He was born in Tielt, Belgium, the son of Emil and Margaret (Vanderputte) Vergote on June 21, 1934. As a child, along with his family, Leo came across the Atlantic to the United States on the Queen Mary. They lived in the Detroit, Michigan area where Leo became a master electrician at the age of 19. He became a naturalized American citizen in 1957 after his enlistment in the U.S. Army.
Leo was a successful businessman and owned several businesses, in spite of only having a ninth-grade education. He was proud of the fact that the Bush presidents stayed at one of the hotels he built and owned in Michigan. When he moved to Missouri in 2002, he continued his business career. Leo taught many how to work hard (no, really hard) and that success would follow.
Leo was a fearless adventurer. He held a small aircraft pilot’s license and enjoyed parachuting. He ziplined in Costa Rica, and finished in the top 7 percent in the World Series Poker Tournament, after the age of 70. Leo also made time for his special friends. He was a member of the Elks Lodge. He enjoyed playing cards, not for the money but for the “W.”