Leonard Thomas Cameron, age 64 years of Niles, Michigan, husband, brother, uncle, printer, fisherman, and joker died peacefully at 11:46 p.m. on Thursday, June 3, 2021 at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana following a brief illness.
He was born on July 8, 1956 in South Bend to Thomas J. and Mila (Yeager) Cameron, and was graduated from Niles High School. He began his career as a printer at the former Arnold Corporation in Niles (now Photographic Backdrop), and then was employed for many years at the former The Relizon Corporation in Goshen, Indiana (now WorkflowOne). He was proficient in a wide variety of print technology from letterpress – arranging individual cast metal letters upside-down and backwards to be inked and pressed onto paper – to the most advanced four-color offset lithography including several years of producing a calendar of amazing animal photographs for an area zoo.
In addition to the printing arts, Lenny was quite capable to maintain and repair the complex and precise machinery of both sheet and web printing. Always willing to support the effort, he would load the delivery truck and drive that truck to the waiting customer. His career spanned more than thirty-five years, and he was still actively engaged when the pandemic of 2020 brought staff reductions his last shop.
Len attended the Apostolic Temple Church in South Bend. He enjoyed fishing on Stone Lake in Cassopolis and the Smith Lakes, and had hunted many years ago; but his outdoor interests also included trail-riding on 4x4s through the former railroad yards north of Terminal Road, tubing on Dowagiac Creek, and visiting the Lake Michigan beaches, especially the beach near Silver Beach Pizza. He was even known to ride the Silver Beach Carousel.
All of these activities were better when shared with others, and Len loved his family. He had a reputation – well deserved – as a “workaholic”, always ready to meet production schedules at the printshop, but every moment away from the shop was family time. Some of his vocational skills were used to repair appliances, machines, and vehicles for his own home and for relatives and friends. Maintaining things – instead of replacing them – served well his reputation for frugality. He also displayed a quick wit, offering humorous “zingers” and amusing sarcasm, and was known to play a practical joke on those closest to him.
Len always had a pet dog, usually of the Australian Shepherd breed. Those pets included Pandi, Honey, Ebony, Maude, Ben, Annie, Bella, and the survivor, Buddy. He also volunteered with his wife at animal resuces.
On May 1, 1982 he married the former Cynthia Jean Cichos, with whom he celebrated last month the thirty-ninth anniversary of their wedding. They were sadly preceded in death by an infant daughter, Victoria Rose Cameron on March 31, 1992. He was also preceded in death by his father, Thomas Cameron and siblings Shelley Polashak, Eddie Yeager, Kevin West, Crystal Jones and Kurt Lee Jones, Sr.
Surviving family includes his wife, Cindy Cameron; his mother, Mila Yeager of Hartford, Michigan, and Len’s siblings, Rose (& Roy) Smith of Galien, Michigan, Stacey (& Chris) Oxley of Lawton, Michigan, and brother-in-law, Terry Polashak of Benton Harbor, Michigan, Mary Curtis of Niles, Luke (& Cookie) Jones of Washington, Matt (& Alice) Jones of Buchanan, Michigan, and John Jones of Niles; and many nieces and nephews. Also surviving are Cindy’s siblings, James Cichos of Niles, Jeffrey Cichos of LaGrange, Indiana, Cheri Eberhart (widow of Fred) of Mishawaka, Indiana, and Lauri (& Richard) Olson of Jasper, Indiana; and two nieces, Charlotte and Priscilla Olson.
The funeral service for Leonard Cameron will be at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 in the chapel of the Silverbrook Abbey mausoleum in Silverbrook Cemetery, 1400 East Main Street in Niles, with Pastor Chris Rowe of the Apostolic Temple Church officiating. Burial will follow at the graveside near the Abbey. The most current health guidelines will be practiced. Others may witness the service via the livestreamed broadcast on the Halbritter-Wickens Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/halbritterwickensfuneralservices/.
The family will receive relatives and friends beginning at Noon on Tuesday at the Abbey. Arrangements were made at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles. Online condolences may be left at:
Len’s dedication to his craft was also an intent to serve his employer and customers well. Coming home from “work” to work on repairs at home was evidence of his desire to care for his family. And his enjoyment of nature and creation all showed a life of Loving People and Loving God.
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