How Tall He Walks
by Cate Murway
“I've paid my dues -
Time after time “
Collaboration between Law Enforcement Officers and Schools is an important step in increasing school safety, creating a setting that is safe and secure, with a focus on prevention and early intervention activities. Firstly, dispel the misconception that police officers assigned to schools are reactive and primarily focus on making arrests. These must be viewed as prevention programs, not as punitive or reactionary strategies. The Police officers are not the answer to school violence, but they are an important part of the overall solution. Selecting the right person to be a School Resource Officer is critical since the SRO's are also responsible to improve the image of the uniformed law enforcement officer in the eyes of the students and community. The School Resource Officer is a positive role model for many students who are not exposed to such role models in today’s society, and his presence in the school sends a strong message that violence and certain behaviors are not acceptable. They are not "campus police," but rather "police on campus".
Sergeant Robert A. Lebo, Woodrow Wilson ’66, has served the community and lived a patchwork of various experiences and careers, including as a soldier, as a police officer since 1974, and as the D.A.R.E. officer for almost 10 years. His family has been in the Borough for generations. Bob’s late parents were Monroe Street resident Marine Corps veteran of 28 years, chief warrant officer Allen William, BHS class of ‘37 and Jackson Street resident Ethel [Keers] Lebo, BHS class of ’39. His dad was one of the founders of the original Bucks County Rescue Squad stationed in Croydon on Washington Street. His grandparents also lived in the Borough, Monroe Street residents, Helen [Polk] and William Allen Lebo, and Jackson Street residents, Violet [Bell] & Stanley Keers.
Football offense lineman, cross country runner and track sprinter [to the ¼ mile], Bob was also a member of the drama club. He performed in “South Pacific” as a “Navy guy” and also stage crew, “I wasn’t a singer, so never had the lead role”. Bob started as a junior member of the Bucks County Rescue Squad while still in school.
“Carmel delight” coffee fragrance permeated the room as they shared their family story.
He is the youngest of three siblings, late brother, police officer Allen, Woodrow Wilson ’60, who started the “Shop with a Cop” charity event in 1993 and his late sister, Patricia, Delhaas H.S. ’59. His sister, Judith A. Petro, Woodrow Wilson ’64 resides in the Township. LuzEneida [Serrano], BHS ‘71 was born in Philadelphia but grew up in the Borough. They met as members of the Bracken Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps that celebrated its 80th anniversary in October 2004. Luz participated in the color guard and Bob was a drum major and the bus driver.
One of his best friends, the late Samuel J. Embiscuso, a director of the Bracken Cavaliers [1970-71] was their daughter, Yvonne’s Godfather. Luz’s parents, crane operator Samuel Serrano, Sr. and her late mother, Evangelista, born in Larres, Puerto Rico, had three other children: Bristol Borough residents, Avon rep, Aida [husband, Victor Hoffman], Samuel, Jr. [wife, Gail] and Eva, who resides in N.J.
After graduation, Bob managed the produce department for Acme Markets and then was drafted into the Army 3 years after H.S, serving in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970. As supply Sergeant E-5 (Buck sergeant), he kept the troops supplied with C-rations, ammunition, water and mail, among other things. He earned the Good Conduct medal for his 2 ½ years of service and achievements during his “expedition” into Southeast Asia in the 199th Infantry Brigade (Light), [crest "Light, Swift, Accurate"], a major combat unit of the U.S. Army serving in the Vietnam War. His shoulder sleeve insignia was a blue shield that featured a white spear in flames. The red ball in the middle of the patch represented the splitting of the atom and was meant to be indicative of how Infantry fought alongside the sophisticated weaponry of the Nuclear age.
War in defense of our Nation is honorable and necessary, for any other reason it is a travesty and the price of Vietnam in human lives [58,000 Americans died or disappeared] and suffering was too staggering to have been in vain. No person deserves to be treated the way war treats human beings.
“from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion” excerpt from speech by Abraham Lincoln
No amount of preparation could have readied Bob Lebo for what he was to face. Some images may be as fresh in his mind as yesterday and will probably remain with him always … some locked away forever, the hours of boredom in the sun, mud and rain, punctuated with moments of sheer terror, physical and mental stress. He got out of the Army after his service obligation and proceeded to get on with his life.
"I Am the Infantry, the Queen of Battle, Follow Me!"
from the U.S. Army Infantry Homepage
Bob keeps a positive outlook on things today, a very realistic view but always emphasizing the positive, (since January 22, 1972 with the original-issue wife), “Happy Anniversary!”; family (did I mention their three children?) and job related challenges.
He and Luz, a secretary for sales, service and installation at the J.W. Scott Service Station Equipment Company, Inc. in N.J., are truly proud of their family. Yvonne, BHS ‘90 [& husband Michael Nush have two children, Macey and Nicholas]; Allen, BHS ‘91 [& wife Natalie have two children, Samuel and Jacob] and Brian, BHS ’92 who lives in the Borough and is employed by Whitaker Brothers on Wood Street, a Bose® Premier Certified Dealer. They create the ultimate unique quality Audio/Visual Environments for your home, house of worship, or place of business.
Honor and integrity have always been essential to his life; short on show and long on substance. After his service tenure, he returned to Acme markets and after attending the PA State Police Eastern Regional Police Academy in Collegeville, he was hired in April ‘74 as police patrolmen and was promoted to Corporal in 1997, still maintaining his beat from Mill Street to Mulberry Street. He was honored with the “VFW Policeman of the Year” in 1977 for saving 6 people from the Hayes street house fire, the Elks “Distinguished Citizen Award” and a letter of commendation from PA Governor Milton J. Schapp, among other recognitions. Bob was also the “Town Watch Liaison” to the police department. In 1998, he began an additional career as D.A.R. E. officer for St. Mark, St. Ann and Warren P. Snyder- John Girotti Elementary Schools and in 1999, he earned his certification as a middle school officer. A staunch advocate of police officer-led classroom lessons, he took a prominent part and underwent hours of special training in areas such as child development, classroom management, teaching techniques, and communication skills and the additional training to be prepared to teach the high school curriculum.
“I always wanted to teach the youth the consequences of doing drugs and alcohol. There wasn’t a day that I went, that I didn’t love it.” Bob was the longest running D.A.R.E. officer in the Borough [9 years].
He has always been a person people count on for support and advice.
Another specific, significant contribution to our town includes his service as School Resource Officer, going into the classrooms and educating our youth in Law Related Topics. He made a difference in the lives of the Borough school children, teaching social competence, problem-solving skills, a sense of autonomy, and reinforcing high expectations for youth and positive peer norms. He promoted the TRIAD concept (Law Enforcement Officer - Teacher - Counselor) of school based law enforcement. Bob leads by example and promotes a positive image of law enforcement to our youth. Honest and straightforward Sergeant Lebo of the Bristol Borough Police Department recently retired on 2-11-07 from the agency after 33 years of service.
“I've taken my bows
And my curtain calls”
Bob is a member of the Masonic Lodge #25 on Cedar Street and Luz is a member of the Order of the Easter Star, Morning Star Chapter #395, raising monies for charity works for diabetes and cancer research and for organizations such as the LuLu Temple, Shriners, and the Tall Cedars, which deals directly with their national charitable objective, endeavoring through medical research to find a cure for muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular diseases. Luz participates in functions for the Amy F. Schmidt Memorial Court #104, Order of the Amaranth [the leaves of the Amaranth plant is indicative of distinction and honor]. The extent of its charitable work and overall benevolence is limited only by the opportunities that exist, and the ability to secure adequate funding. Self-proclaimed “Fundraiser Queen” Luz recently hosted a fundraising event at “Mill Street Primitives” with “Country Home Creations”, a line of "gourmet simplified" dry mixes for everything from dips and spreads to salsas and soups. Per Luz, “If you need a quick great gift, Donna McVey makes ‘made to order’ gift baskets!”
Bob enjoys classic rock and Meat Loaf [the music and the food!] and his favorite is “Luzzie’s crazy meatloaf” with a pinwheel of spinach and cream cheese. “Eagles” midnight green is his color of choice and he shared that he has a room dedicated to just Eagle paraphernalia. They have season tickets to the Eagles and the Phillies games.
Besides his family, he cherishes his black Electric Glide classic touring Harley Davidson, “It’s my baby!” and owns a 2003 roadster.
Luz listens to “Queens” when she cleans and “We are the Champions” is a song of choice. They both enjoy Apollo’s Pizza and Charlie Karps Pub- “great filet mignon, chicken or veal parm!” She admits, “I know my way around the sewing machine”, a Singer pedal treasure, since she started sewing in H.S. and made her sister’s prom dress. She also made her mom’s “eggplant” deep purple dress for their daughter’s wedding, is learning how to quilt [a beautiful sample of her handmade work in burgundy, mauve and green graces their living room chair] and enjoys watching the cooking shows. Bob raved, “She’s a great cook!” Luz loves to cook anything Italian “fresh and from scratch”. They mutually enjoy the H.S. Truman plays. Their niece, Kris Lebo [husband, Detective Robert] is an English teacher there and they recently watched the “very professional” performance of “Rent”.
Retired Bob continues to drive the bus, now full time, for the Borough school district that he has been doing since 1988, for the special need students to locations such as the Community Service Foundation in Feasterville and for the various sports runs.
The Lebos love their home here in “the little town on the River”.
The true measure of a man is how tall he walks!
“We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end”
[lyrics of “We are the Champions” by Queen]
To recommend a Bristol Borough Character to be spotlighted: email firstname.lastname@example.org
American Heritage Dictionary
1.Moral or ethical strength. 2.A description of a person's attributes, traits, or abilities.
Lebo tops Saxton in primary
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
By Tim Chicirda
In what some are deeming a surprise upset in an otherwise uneventful May primary election, long-time Borough Police Officer Bob Lebo defeated incumbent Mayor Joe Saxton, who was battling for another four-year term.
Lebo edged Saxton 1150-1084, though they each carried five of the 10 borough voting districts.
These results do not mean that Lebo is necessarily the next Mayor of Bristol Borough, but with his name now on the Democratic ticket in a highly-Democratic town, it is very probable.
The possibility of a Mayor Saxton switching tickets for a bipartisan rematch would be Lebo's biggest obstacle, but this situation is not even been discussed or rumored at this time.
Lebo had unsuccessfully run for Bristol Borough Council since his recent retirement from the police force.
In other Borough election news, Council President Ralph DiGuiseppe and Councilman Patrick Sabatini won their races for Council unopposed while Councilwoman Betty Rodriguez defeated Gail Aufschlag in her primary race 260-182.
David Marucci won his Council primary, defeating both Jim Lake and Lorainne Cullen in a tight race for the seat currently occupied by Mike Harris.
These four democrats still face a general election later this year.
Anna Bono Larrisey easily defeated Lawrence Tamanini and Mark Bartuska in the race for tax collector. Larrisey carried over 72 percent of the vote in the three-person race.
Posted: Sunday, April 12, 2015 11:51 am
Samuel Serrano of Bristol Borough, passed away Wednesday, April 8, 2015. He was 87.
Born and raised in Utuado, Puerto Rico, he had been a resident of Bristol since 1949. He was a retired employee of the United Steel Workers Union, and a parishioner of St. Ann Church, where he was involved in the Miraculous Medal Society. He was also a member of the former Spanish American Association.
Mr. Serrano enjoyed dancing; especially at the Saturday night dance parties he hosted at his house.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife of more than 50 years, Evangelista Serrano; and his daughter-in-law, Gail. He will be greatly missed by his children, Aida Hoffman (Victor), Luz Lebo (Robert), Samuel Serrano, and Eva Serrano; and his grandchildren, Yvonne Nush (Michael), Allen Lebo (Natalie), Brian Lebo (Megan), Anthony Sallustio (Tracey), Thomas Sallustio, and Martin and Victor Jr. Hoffman. He will also be greatly missed by his great grandchildren, Samuel, Macey, Jacob, Nicholas, Katrina, Emily, Gianna, Ethan, Zachary, Shane, Collin, Gwenyth, and Tatum.
Relatives and friends are invited to call from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, at St. Ann Church, 357 Dorrance St., Bristol, PA 19007. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Burial will follow at St. Mark Cemetery.
The family requests memorial contributions in his name be made to: St. Ann Church, 1025 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, PA 19007.Galzerano Funeral Home, Bristol