Leo John Armatys of Merrick County, Nebraska

Leo and Dorothy Armatys
Leo and Dorothy Armatys

Leo John Armatys was born June 22, 1915 to Charles Armatys and Josephine Staniec Armatys. He graduated from high school at age 16. After graduation he joined the Civilian Conservation Corp and worked in the Valentine and Niobrara area.

In 1935, he came to Central City and worked for Donald F. Sampson as an office secretary. He took a correspondence course from the McKinley Roosevelt School of Law in Chicago. He was admitted to the Nebraska Bar in November of 1939, and practiced law with Mr. Sampson.

In 1937, Leo met Dorothy Power and they began dating. Dorothy was born August 18, 1918 to John Alfred (Allie) Power and Rose Nellie Trainor Power. She grew up on a farm east of Chapman, Nebraska and received her early education at District #39, a one room school house.

She worked as an office assistant to Dr. A. A. Enos from 1940 to 1942.

Leo entered the army in January of 1941 for a years conscription, and was to be discharged December 8, 1941, but after the bombing of Pearl Harbor all military personnel discharges were cancelled for the duration of World War II. Leo and Dorothy had planned to be married when he came home. Leo was assigned to the Judge Advocates office of the 35th Infantry Division. The 35th Infantry was transferred to San Luis Obispo, California. Dorothy went to be with him in March of 1942 and worked for Sears Roebuck Company. They were married on April 9, 1942. The 35th Division was then transferred to Los Angeles and then to Pasadena. Likewise, Scars transferred Dorothy to their stores in these cities.

Orrin Joseph was born February 18, 1943 in Pasadena. The family was fortunate to be together, except while Leo was on maneuvers in Louisiana. The succeeding posts were in Alabama and North Carolina. The 35th Division shipped overseas from North Carolina. Orrin and Dorothy drove home and rented a cabin from R.O. McNurlin. In 1945, they moved to a house owned by Dorothy’s father.

Leo returned home in September of 1946, and resumed law practice with Mr. Sampson. Cynthia Louise was born August 15, 1947. Anthony John and Anthoncttc Joan were born December 1 8, 1 948.

Leo and Dorothy then purchased the Merton Ludlow home where Bryan Lee was born October 2, 1951, and Walter Gerard on August 30, 1959. All graduated from Central City High School and attended college. Two daughters died at birth; Jennifer Marie, 1954 and Margaret Mary, 1956.

Orrin entered the army in 1965. He served as a combat Medic in Vietnam from March 1966 to March 1967.

Orrin married Ruth Schaaf, and has two children, Gregory and Jill. Cynthia married Bradford Rutledge; Anthony married Sally Biegert and has one child, Joseph. Anthonette, Bryan and Walter are unmarried.

Leo died April 27, 1975 after a lingering illness. Dorothy resides in the same home where the children were raised. She enjoys her grandchildren, golf, travel and maintaining the beautiful garden Leo envisioned and turned into reality.

Our happiest years were when the children were growing up — each unique in his own way.

Submitted by Dorothy Armatys


Persinger, C. E., A History of Merrick County, Nebraska: From “the Beginning” to 1895, Dallas, Texas : Taylor Publishing Company, 1981.

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