Valley County, IDGenWeb Project
Leonard Constantine Gmirkin passed away peacefully in his sleep on Oct. 20, 2012.
A memorial service will be held for Leonard as well as for his wife, Roberta O. Gmirkin, who died on Nov. 3, 2012, at 1 p.m. Friday Nov. 16, 2012 at Boise Funeral Home , Aclesa Chapel, 8209 W. Fairview Ave., Boise.
He was born June 18, 1923, to Russian parents living in Urumqi, China and lived in China until he was 17.
His mother Irena brought him, his brother Vasia and sister Nina to the United States to escape the Communist revolution. His father never escaped and was believed to have died in a concentration camp.
Leonard went to Pomona Junior College and then went to General Motors Institute of Technology where he pursued a degree in automotive engineering.
When World War II broke out Leonard enlisted into the U.S Army. He attended officer candidate school in mechanized cavalry and armor and studied to become a platoon leader in the tank corp.
He also served as an Intelligence NCO in contact with the Russian Air Force. He translated all orders that controlled Russian Air traffic through Alaska.
On Nov. 26, 1945 he received an honorable discharge as a sergeant in the U.S. Army.
Leonard then completed his degree from GMIT and eventually became the division manager of GMAC for southern Michigan.
He married Mary Lou Burkett on June 24, 1949 and they had a daughter, Cathy, on July 8, 1952. He was divorced four years later.
In April 1955 Leonard was contacted by the Central Intelligence Agency and he left his position with General Motors to join the agency.
In 1956 Leonard met the love of his life, Roberta O. Klein, who was working with the government also. They got married on Sept. 7, 1956 and then took an assignment in Asia where they enjoyed big game hunting and fishing.
They started their family with the birth of their son, John, in 1959 and their second son, Keith, in 1961. Leonard was stationed in Indonesia until 1966 when he moved his family to Laos, where he was stationed until 1971.
The Gmirkins then moved to Singapore for their last posting in Asia before they were stationed domestically. Leonard retired a distinguished career with the CIA in 1978.
Leonard received three of the four awards presented by the CIA. He was a recipient of the Donovan Award, one of the highest awards presented to agents. He also received the Intelligence Medal of Merit and the Career Intelligence Medal.
He retired in McCall and lived there for 33 years, hunting, fishing with his sons and friends and contributing to Trout Unlimited until his health required him to move to Boise to be closer to his family.
He is survived by his sons John and Keith, daughter-in-law Cheryl, his daughter Cathy Mills and grandsons Todd, Robert and T.J. Mills.
He had two granddaughters, Zada Revae and Vesper Sage, whom he adored.
Leonard was a man of integrity, passion and had the ability to love unconditionally. His life was an example of excellence that few will ever attain.
Leonard will always be loved and will never be forgotten.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggest donations be made to www.nourishthechildren.com in the name of Leonard and Roberta Gmirkin.
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