MAHOMET — Arthur L. Leenerman, 95, of Mahomet, passed away Monday (Nov. 4, 2019) at Heritage Health, Gibson City.
His funeral will be at noon Sunday at Rosenbaum Funeral Home, Gibson City, with Pastor Jim Davis officiating. Burial will follow the service with military honors at Mount Hope Cemetery, Sibley. Following the burial, guests are invited to attend a short celebration of Arthur’s life at the fellowship hall at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Sibley. Visitation will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.
Arthur was born July 5, 1924, in Sibley, a son of Alonzo Louis and Ida Brucker Leenerman. He married Ethel L. Bryant on July 26, 1969, in Champaign. They were married 47 years. She preceded him in death Nov. 14, 2016. Arthur is survived by his son, Gregory (Susan) Leenerman, Broomfield, Colo., and his sister, Marilyn Gudenrath, Normal. He is also survived by two granddaughters, Emma Leenerman, Grand Junction, Colo., and Kristen Leenerman, Seattle, Wash.; grandsons, Jason Eaton and Ryan Cooper, both of Palmetto, Fla.; and three great-grandchildren. His stepdaughter, Cynthia Cooper, preceded him in death.
He is additionally survived by many cherished nieces, nephews and friends as well as 317 shipmates from the USS Indianapolis. Special thanks to niece, Deb Steinman, and friend, Greg Bauman, for their special support to Arthur as his health failed him.
Arthur served in the United States Navy during World War II aboard the heavy cruiser, USS Indianapolis. He was a radarman 3rd class. Arthur survived the sinking of the USS Indianapolis after it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the closing days of the war. He was one of only 317 sailors who survived the sinking and spent four and a half days adrift on the sea before being rescued. Arthur was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds inflicted during the sinking and his ordeal in the sea.
Arthur was a member of the USS Indianapolis Survivors Organization, attending numerous reunions since its inception in 1960. He has been honored in several of the books and documentaries about the sinking of the ship.
Arthur was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing. He also enjoyed gardening and he grew trees from seedlings which he planted at the Mount Hope Cemetery, Sibley.