Leo Francis Himmelsbach

August 4, 1926October 1, 2013

Leo Francis Himmelsbach Resident of San Jose Aged 87, died on October 1, 2013 of natural causes. He is survived by his wife, Cornelia and his children Mary King, Eileen, William, Laura and Sharon Himmelsbach, and Jane Lomas. He is also survived by his brother, Harold Himmelsbach. Leo was born in 1926 on a farm in Yakima, Washington. In 1944 he was accepted into the United States pilot training program, although his hopes in flying came to a close with the end of World War II. He joined the US Navy and later enjoyed working in army intelligence in Baltimore during the Korean War. He earned his bachelor's degree in Literature from Gonzaga University in 1949. Leo met Cornelia O'Neill in 1954 in San Francisco and they married in 1956. Leo graduated from Golden Gate University Law School and established himself as a successful trial lawyer with Santa Clara County. Leo was elected DA in 1982 and served two terms, making dramatic improvements there during his tenure. He once remarked, with a twinkle in his eye, "The best decision I ever made, next to marrying Connie, was to become a lawyer." Leo was a great lover of literature and, above all, poetry. He had a passion for the sea, and he and Connie enjoyed many years sailing on the San Francisco Bay. His children hold many cherished memories of summers spent exploring the wonders of California's forests, beaches and lakes with their dear dad. Leo spent countless hours sharing life's simple pleasures with his grand and great-grandchildren, such as the beauty of a rose in the garden or a hummingbird passing by. Leo's greatest pleasure was in caring for others' happiness and wellbeing. He possessed a generosity of spirit that knew no limits. His absence in this world creates a space that cannot be filled. A funeral mass will be held on Monday, October 7, 2013 at St. Christopher's Catholic Church in Willow Glen, San Jose. Vigil at 2:00PM to be followed by mass at 2:30. Reception immediately following at Campbell Community Center, 1 W Campbell Ave.



  • Rosary Service Monday, October 7, 2013
  • Funeral Service Monday, October 7, 2013


  • Burial

Leo Francis Himmelsbach

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Pamela Abell

June 28, 2015

I am Leo's first cousin, daughter of Robert. I have a picture of him and his brothers during the war. He must have been a wonderful person.

Gabriel Prince

November 27, 2013

I hadn't seen him in years. There are few truly good men. He was one.I truly looked up to him. I feel sorrow for his families loss, and joy for the time they spent with him.

Susan Alexander

October 13, 2013

Connie and family...I just heard of Leo's passing and send my sincere condolences to you all.

Anna Cohen

October 11, 2013

Grandpa, I will miss you everyday. You meant the world to me. I am so grateful for everything you did for us kids growing up and even as adults. I will see you in heaven.

George Kennedy

October 10, 2013

It was my great good fortune to work for Leo in the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, where he was a model for public service: fair, decent, hard-working, totally honest, humble, and compassionate. He modernized that office with technology, specialization, and consistency. He put a new priority on children's and family issues and on victims of crime. He hired and promoted female attorneys to a degree not previously seen in prosecutors' offices. He professionalized his Bureau of Investigation. He maintained his office's traditions of being vigorous and apolitical. A rare and truly fine man.

Jon Dee Wright

October 10, 2013

To my wonderful Godfather; Thank You for being a strong influence in my life. To my Wonderful Godmother; My prayer and thoughts are with you. Much love, Jon Dee Wright

Steve Leiker

October 10, 2013

Connie and family... Back in the 60's/70's I remember being the 'senior' kid on Lorenzen Drive...the 'block' as we knew it. We were all growing up and being challenged daily by all the craziness that was going on around us. Growing up during those years was not easy... But, all of us were guided by our wonderful parents as best they could during ever changing and tumultuous times. Leo was one of those parents...always steady, firm, kind, and a great example for all of us...thank you, Leo! I send you my best and wish you peace during this sad time... God bless you.

Bridget Oates

October 8, 2013

Leo always welcomed me to their home with kindness, exuberance and an avid interest in what I had been up to. He was a great conversationalist and a wonderful man & father. I feel honored to have known him for over 40 years. He will be greatly missed.

Linda and Joe Pugliese

October 8, 2013

RIP, Leo. I knew him way back when he was a Deputy DA and then in his later years as a fellow Lion. We are saddened to hear of his passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to your family.

October 7, 2013

Mr. Himmelsbach, you were a great leader in the DA's Office, and a very kind man. After you hired me you learned that your daughter Sharon and I together worked at the Perfect Blend and you kindly spoke to me about it. Your gentle spirit lives on. Thank you and R.I.P.
Cherie Bourlard, DDA.