Just one day before the Eudora USD 491 Board of Education passed a resolution honoring him for his work to improve district schools, Leo “Doc” Lauber, 82, died of cancer at Medicalodges, Eudora.
Lauber, who played an integral part in the development and improvement of the community, moved to Eudora in 1959 with his wife, Jean, who also was known as Dusty.
The father of six served on the Eudora City Council, Eudora Planning Commission, Eudora Board of Education, the ECO2 Commission of Douglas County and the Lawrence-Douglas Planning Commission. He was the former president of Lions Club, was a member of MENSA and fought in World War II.
Lauber was a chiropractor by trade but also was a successful entrepreneur. He founded the Orthopedic Casting Laboratory, which Eudora’s largest private employer during the late 1970s, and M-PACT Worldwide, which produced medical supplies.
Eudora Mayor Tom Pyle, who moved to Eudora about the same time as Lauber, said everything Lauber did in Eudora was for the betterment of the community.
Pyle said there is no better example than when he built Intech Business Park in 1986.
“He didn’t build Intech with the idea to get rich. He did it with the idea that Eudora needed it,” Pyle said.
For Eudora 491 Superintendent Don Grosdidier, Lauber’s passing was difficult because Grosdidier’s family lived on a lot that neighbored Lauber’s and he had fond childhood memories including a spur-of-the-moment winter trip to the Ozarks with the Lauber family.
“I had a real personal connection to Doc on top of the professional connection, and you just can’t replace somebody like him,” Grosdidier said.
Lauber served on the Eudora Board of Education in the early 1960s and was a tireless supporter of all of the district’s bond issue campaigns, including the most recent $46 million campaign passed last November to build a new elementary school and a package of other improvements to existing schools.
“He was willing to get out there and campaign and talk to groups that weren’t necessarily in favor of schools,” Grosdidier said. “Even during the campaign last year, his health was beginning to slip but he was still willing to come to our meetings and give guidance and get out there to talk with groups of people.”
Grosdidier said Lauber never lost sight of the fact that the quality of life for families in Eudora depended heavily on the quality of Eudora’s schools.
“I’m going to miss him because was just really a special person, and most people will never meet a man like him,” Pyle said.
Funeral services will be at 3 p.m. Monday at the Warren-McElwain Mortuary – Eudora Chapel. Burial will follow in the Eudora Cemetery.
By David Oakes August 15, 2008
The Eudora News