Leslie Andrew Page, 92, devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away January, 17, 2017 at his residence in Blue Springs, MO. Leslie was born June 5, 1924 in Minneapolis, MN, to Henry R. Page and Amelia S. Page.
Les attended and graduated with honors from Central High in St. Paul, MN in 1942. After graduation, he was the piano accompanist to a Gospel Quartet which performed throughout the Midwest. Entering the U.S. Army in 1943 he served in the 89th Infantry Division under Gen. G.S. Patton in his Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns in early 1945. Because of Leslie’s interest in photography, he was assigned at the war’s end as an Official U.S. Army Photographer in Gen. Mark Clark’s HQ in Vienna where he photographed military and political dignitaries for the Army’s Stars & Stripes newspaper.
Following discharge in 1946, Leslie entered the University of Minnesota graduating in 1949 with a B.A. in bacteriology. He was recruited as a researcher for the Army’s Biological Warfare Station in Frederick, MD. While there he was encouraged to pursue graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley where he obtained an M.A. in 1953 and Ph.D. in 1956 in medical bacteriology. His dissertation research centered on investigating the pathology caused by bacteria of the genus Chlamydia which infect a wide variety of wild and domestic animals including man.
After graduation, Leslie joined the staff of the University of California. Veterinary School in Davis, CA as a researcher/instructor where he continued his research on Chlamydia. He also became a scientific consultant to the San Diego Zoological Hospital from 1957-60 and identified causes of diseases in the zoo’s reptiles and penguins. In 1961, Leslie was recruited to join the staff of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s new National Animal Disease Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, where he was Research Leader for chlamydial diseases of wild and domestic animals.
In the following years, Leslie authored over 70 scientific publications, and was the USDA’s consultant on his specialties to veterinary scientists in the U.S. and many other countries. He also made numerous scientific presentations at national and international conferences. He was elected president of the international Wildlife Disease Association and was the first editor of its Journal of Wildlife Diseases and a book Wildlife Diseases. In 1987 he founded a corporation to market a unique skin sanitizer that he invented and patented. The patent was then sold to the McCormick Distilling Co. The product continues to be sold nationally.
Leslie is survived by his loving wife, Mary Ellen of 40 years; sister, Renee Ottersen; sons, Randy Page (Kirsten), Michael Page; daughters, Kathy Seronko (Steve), Caroline Page; step-daughters, Sally Rittgers (Gary), Mary Lou Waters (Rob), Nancy Bowman, along with 9 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.
The family will receive friends from 9-10:00 a.m., Friday, January, 20, 2017 at the Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church, 3108 S.W. U.S. Highway 40, Blue Springs, MO. Funeral service will start at 10:00 a.m., with Pastor Joseph Carle presiding. Committal service with full military honors will follow at 12:00 p.m., at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery, 20109 Business Highway 13, Higginsville, MO. Funeral services have been entrusted to Meyers Funeral Chapel in Blue Springs, MO. Memories of Les and condolences to the family may be shared at meyersfuneralchapel.com.