I just learned that Steve Leroy, one of the best public relations purveyors and political organizers I ever knew died earlier this month of heart failure according to an obituary in the Lewiston Tribune.
He was on a cross-country motor home trip with his brother Jeff and sister-in-Law Kathy, when he died Oct. 1 at a Las Vegas hospital.
I first talked with Steve when he was a public information officer for the Department of Energy at its Hanford site in Richland, Wash in the 1980s. Steve’s specialty was crisis management and Hanford’s historic radioactive material releases across western Washington and North Idaho were a tough issue he handled better than the agency as a whole.
Born and raised in Lewiston, he is preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Fay Leroy; and leaves behind brothers and sisters-in-law, Jeff and Kathy Leroy of Palm Beach, Fla., and Dave and Nancy Leroy of Boise; numerous nieces and nephews of Florida, Texas and North Dakota and their children; his domestic and policy advocate partner, Pamela Dowd.
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He had been the lead for the White House Office of Presidential Advance on numerous international missions and domestic appearances and campaign stops for Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, one of which I saw him in Idaho Falls. He was active in every U.S. presidential election since 1972 and in most Idaho gubernatorial races since 1970.
He stepped out of his usual Democratic role in 2012, to organize Ada County's largest GOP presidential caucus held anywhere in the United States.
The last two years of his life he was the political consultant and public relations consultant for Brenna's Hope Foundation, which worked on brain injury awareness.
In recent years we shared rides on Boise's buses, talking about politics and Idaho life. Its too bad he won't be here to organize his service, it would be glorious and go off without a hitch.