Leo Benjamin Lott
March 5, 1919 - November 3, 2012
MISSOULA – Leo Benjamin Lott, 93, of Missoula, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, at the Village Senior Residence of natural causes. Leo was born March 5, 1919, in Lehi, Utah, to Bernard Darrow and Della Jacobs Lott. He grew up in Chinook, in a loving family as one of nine children. He told many stories of his childhood there, especially of weeding the sugar beet fields in the summers, a task he was not fond of.
After high school, Leo earned degrees at both Northern Montana College in Havre and Gonzaga University. He served his country as a Navy radio man and control tower operator in North Africa during World War II and was honorably discharged in December 1945. He returned to Chinook to teach music for several years. In 1949, he entered graduate school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. In 1951, he pursued a Ph.D. in political science and a year later traveled to Caracas, Venezuela, to do research for his doctoral thesis. He met Katharine L'Engle there and they were married on July 4, 1953.
They returned to Madison and he received his doctoral degree in 1954. Later that same year, he joined the political science department at Ohio State University in Columbus. In January 1955, his only child, a son, Christopher, was born. In 1966, following a successful career at Ohio State, Leo and his family returned to Montana where he accepted the position of chairman of the political science department at the University of Montana in Missoula. Here he had a challenging and rewarding career as a professor and counselor.
After retiring in 1986 and the passing of his beloved Katharine in 1991, he spent his later years volunteering at the public library. He made many young friends late in life and they had a mutual and lasting impact on each other's lives. He was an accomplished musician, prolific amateur painter, avid gardener and published author. He was a man of quiet kindness, dry wit and great generosity. He touched many peoples' lives through the years and will always be remembered with great fondness, love and admiration.