Funeral Service Honors Homeless Veteran in St. Joseph

Published 09/24 2012 02:10PM

Updated 09/25 2012 12:44PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A funeral for a fallen veteran brought a special service to St. Joseph Monday.
Even though he didn't have a permanent home or any known relatives, Leonard Radek's military "family" sent him off with a salute deserving of a veteran.

Lippy - as he was known on the streets of St. Joseph - passed away on Sept. 16.

After serving in the US Army during Vietnam, Lippy spent time at the shelters in St. Joseph. He was known for his opinionated, but caring personality.

Many of those he met while he was homeless attended the service.

"This room was filled with people from this community for a man that many might think would be one of the forgotten in our community," said Roger Lenander, who presided over the service. "He wasn't forgotten and he knew he wasn't. And, it's one we will remember for a long time."

Lippy's service was made possible by the Homeless Veterans Burial Program at Meierhoffer Funeral Home.

"He would be so excited over that. He really would because he served two duties in Vietnam. He had injuries from that. He would have been excited to see the turnout," said Sandee Chesser, who provides ministry for those living on the streets.

The Homeless Veterans Burial Program provides services at no cost to homeless veterans.

Lippy will be buried at Leavenworth National Cemetery, Leavenworth, Kan. on Tuesday. He was 63 years old.

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