TEMPLE, PA — Leroy Leibelsperger, a dedicated and always fun-loving staff photographer of Area Auto Racing News for over 30 years; and prior to that a stock car racer, has passed away.
Mr. Leibelsperger, 85, of Temple died May 19 at home.
Going back to the 1970s, Leroy and good friend and fellow AARN staff member Henry Plesnarski traveled to most all of the eastern NASCAR Cup level races as photographers for this publication. In the era before digital photography, they would take pictures at the track, then have those black & white images developed and printed in the darkroom. They would then drive to the AARN office in Trenton, N.J., with pictures in hand to make the early Monday deadline.
Not just a racing photographer, Leroy was also a huge NASCAR fan. That led to many special and treasured friendships for him among track operators, NASCAR officials and race team members who enjoyed visiting with him. Even in recent years, when health issues slowed him down, Leroy was still a regular at his “home tracks” of Pocono and Dover thanks to fellow AARN photographer Dean Patton who drove him there and made sure that he was taken care of.
Before becoming a racing photographer, Leroy was a stock car driver in the flathead motor era, competing in a coupe at the close to home Pennsylvania dirt ovals of Reading and Grandview.
Leroy was born in Kutztown, Pa., on November 29,1930. He was the son of the late William and Edna (Gift) Leibelsperger.
Leroy retired in 1984 with 25 years of service, last working as a tractor trailer driver for Bachman Pretzels. Mr. Leibelsperger served his country with honor in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict.. He was a former member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Kutztown..
Surviving is a sister Stella (Sally) Leibelsperger of Kutztown; and nephews Dennis J. and Carl W. Bucks of Kutztown.
Donations in memory of Leroy Leibelsperger may be made the to NASCAR Foundation.
The viewing will took place at the Milkins Giles Funeral Home, Inc., in Temple, on Tuesday (May 24).