Leo Francis “Topper” Prochelo was born December 5, 1941, and died peacefully in his home on January 26, 2023. He was born and raised in Sioux City, IA, to Leo C. and Josephine M. Prochelo.
He enlisted in the United States Navy in January of 1959 at the age of 17. Starting out as a Seaman, he completed his GED, attended Radioman School and graduated top of his class with a 97% grade average. Leo worked as a circuit control supervisor and earned several commendations. He was assigned to the Department of Defense Joint Commission Systems, working with three branches of the services to combine and coordinate communication systems in southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
While stationed at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, he completed college courses and ultimately obtained the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer and served supervising/managing recruitment stations all along the East Coast. After 23 years of service, Leo retired honorably on February 28, 1982. He loved his country, family, golfing and music. He was always singing and had a way about him that made everyone feel special.
Leo was preceded in death by his parents, Leo and Josephine Prochelo; his brother, Frank Prochelo and former wife, Rosemary “Molly” Prochelo.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara J. Prochelo of Florida; brother, Charles Prochelo of Sioux City, IA; sons, Nick and Vincent Prochelo; daughter, Rosemarie Prochelo; stepson, Douglas Zickefoose of Florida; stepdaughters, Debbie Mavity of West Virginia and Bonnie Zickefoose James of Alabama; three grandchildren, Cristina Woolley of Montana, Nicole Prochelo of Oregon and Nicolas Prochelo; seven step-grandchildren, Lucas Worsham, Douglas and Devin Zickefoose, Brittany Williams of Florida, Jennifer Wilson of Alabama, Rebekah Oh of Georgia, Jordyn Mullinex of Alabama and eight step great grandchildren.
The family will have a private gathering of remembrance and celebration of life.
Cremation and burial services are entrusted to Aaron and Burney Bivens Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 529 Kingsley Avenue, Orange Park, FL 32073, (904) 264-1233.
While Leo will be dearly missed by all who knew him, he lived his life on his terms and he would sing, “I did it my way.”
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Leo’s name to K9s for Warriors at http://k9sforwarriors.org
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