The long and colorful life of Wilhelm Leibig came to an end on October 22, 2014, in Wilmington, North Carolina, about 6 months after he sailed on the Cape Fear River on his 90th birthday.
“Opa” was born in Züttlingen, Germany, served in the German Army in a tank crew, and was wounded in battle on the Russian front. After World War II, he traveled with his family to Peru where he was the chief engineer on a sugar plantation in Casa Grande, Peru. After more than a decade of work there, he developed a method for harvesting sugar cane in rural regions, founded the company Leibig Engineering, and designed factories based on his process in Brazil, Mexico, and India.
He and his wife, Irene Leibig, lived in Germany, Peru, Colorado, Maryland, and North Carolina. He learned how to sail on the waters of the Pacific, and his favorite pastime was to pilot his sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay.
Wilhelm is survived by his wife of over 60 years, Irene, his daughters Angelika Ruiz de la Peña of Dallas, Texas, and Barbara Loehr of Wilmington, NC, and by four grandchildren and one great grandchild. He is predeceased by his daughter, Carolin.
Services will be private. Donations may be made to the University of North Carolina Hospice or to a charity of your choice.