|Leroy Geving, 73|
|Written by TRF Times|
Petaluma, Calif - Leroy Geving, a champion race car driver, retired trucker and a resident of Petaluma for over 60 years, died May 23, 2004, at a Petaluma rehabilitation hospital. He was 73.
A memorial service was held on June 1 at Parent-Sorensen Mortuary and Crematorium in Petaluma.
Geving was born March 31, 1931, in Superior, Wis., to Bennie and Gudrun Geving, and grew up on a Highlanding, Minnesota, farm before moving at age 14 to Petaluma. He attended Petaluma high School but left school in his junior year to take a job driving trucks. Since the age of 16, his great passion was racing “hard tops,” including his half-brother’s 1937 Ford coupe, on the Bay Cities Racing Association circuit. During his racing career from the late 1950s through the early 1960s Geving won four Bay Cities Championships, according to his son, Gary Geving of Rohnert Park, himself an auto racer.
“It’s just the adrenaline rush of racing cars at high speed,” said the younger Geving, recalling what hooked his father on the sport. “He was kind of a wild and crazy guy of that era in Petaluma.”
At Petaluma Speedway and other area race tracks on Saturday, auto racing enthusiasts paid tribute. “That’s what his life was,” niece Shelly Chappell of Petluma remembered. “He just loved racing.”
Geving owned a service station during the early 1960s in Petaluma, and also worked tending bar and in the kitchen for his half-brother, Petaluman Milton Lund, at two local restaurants that Lund ran.
Geving was an Army veteran of the Korean War, in which he served as a tank driver. He belonged to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1929 in Petaluma.
In addition to his half-brother and son, Geving is survived by his daughters, Cindy Matelli of Santa Rosa and Lori Gutierrez of Murrieta; and his two sisters, Joanne Elwell of Petaluma and Georgjane Bernard of Battleground, Wash. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, infant son Leroy; and his half-sister, Joyce (Lund) Rice.