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Leo Anthony Pauwels

August 4, 1956 ~ February 10, 2024 (age 67) 67 Years Old

Leo Anthony Pauwels Obituary

On February 10, the world lost the booming laugh and generous heart of Leo Anthony Pauwels. Born August 4, 1956 to Gerard and Irene (Wojtysiak) Pauwels, Leo was the youngest of the seven smart, wisecracking siblings on Johnson Street and an instant best friend to his grandfather Gus. His early years were spent at St. Stan’s for assorted school and parish activities, and it was there he met “my buddy John” Kush, a friendship that would last his entire life. 

Leo was graduated from St. Joseph’s High School and Indiana University before embarking on a career that was also a passion: the railroad. In 1992 he joined the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad, where he was still employed at the time of his death. 

Leo married the former Teresa Snively later in life and made an instant family, immediately making her children his own. His greatest joy was his child Rachael, with whom he shared his unique sense of humor, love of trains, and an endless stream of memes. 

Leo was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Christine Pauwels, his niece Sarah Starczewski, his nephews Jeff and Dan Pauwels, and a great-niece, Delia Grace Abaray. 

Along with Teresa and Rachael, Leo is survived by his stepchildren Patrick Ball and Katie (Todd) Boruff, three grandchildren, his buddy John Kush, his goddaughter Paula Kay Horvath and godson Noah Abaray, five of his adored siblings: Ken (Marie) Pauwels, Mike (Mary) Pauwels, Larry (Vicki) Pauwels, Mary (Mike) Abaray, and Cathy Stradtner, and dozens of beloved nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews. To honor Leo’s memory, do a good deed for someone who has no ability to repay you, stop worrying about being right and start worrying about being loving, wear a funny t-shirt, count the cars on a passing freight train, or make a fart joke. All of these would bring him great joy. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1:00 p.m. Friday, February 16, 2024 in Holy Cross Catholic Church.  Burial will follow in Highland Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 12:00 p.m. until 12:45 p.m. Friday in Holy Cross Church.

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February 16, 2024

12:00 PM to 12:45 PM
Holy Cross Catholic Church
1050 Wilber Street
South Bend, IN 46628

Mass of Christian Burial
February 16, 2024

1:00 PM
Holy Cross Catholic Church
1050 Wilber Street
South Bend, IN 46628


Highland Cemetery
2257 Portage Avenue
South Bend, Indiana 46616


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