Advertisement

 Ivan Lebamoff

Advertisement

Ivan Lebamoff

Birth
Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, USA
Death
18 May 2006 (aged 73)
Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, USA
Burial
Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, USA
Memorial ID
14329493 View Source

Ex-Mayor Lebamoff dies; vocal downtown advocate.

Born July 20, 1932, he was the son of the late Argire and Helen Lebamoff, who had immigrated to Fort Wayne from Kostrusko, Aegean Macedonia. He graduated from Indiana University , in 1954 and it's school of law, in 1957 (receiving the Order of the Coif). He was a member of the Phi Alpha Theta History Honorary and was president of the Indiana University School of Law Phi Delta Phi society. In 1957, he was admitted to the Indiana Bar and then the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. District Court, in 1973. He was a visiting professor of Urban Affairs for Indiana University and also served with the Indiana Air National Guard during the Berlin crisis. He served as Mayor of Fort Wayne from 1972 to 1976, and as President of the Macedonian Patriotic Organization, an organization dedicated to preserving Macedonian heritage and culture, from 1983 to 1994. He had a lifelong commitment to both. In 2003, he was one of seven in the first group honored by the Fort Wayne Urban League for promoting racial and religious inclusion by appointing African-Americans, Hispanics, young people, women and people of all faiths to positions of influence and power in the City of Fort Wayne. He served as Allen County Democratic Party Chairman from 1968 to 1975; Chairman of the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department from 1983 to 1987; and had been an active member of the Allen County Bar Association, American Trial Lawyer's Association, and the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives. Following his tenure as Mayor, he founded Lebamoff Law Offices. The firm has been serving Fort Wayne and the surrounding community for nearly 50 years. He was most proud when his sons, Jordan and Justin joined him in his practice of law. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Kay (Stephanoff) Lebamoff; three sons, Dr. Damian (Holly) Lebamoff of Dayton, Ohio, Jordan (Nicole) Lebamoff and Justin (Jamie) Lebamoff, both of Fort Wayne; five grandsons, Jacob, Andrew, Sebastien, Julien and Nicholas Lebamoff; sister, Marie Spahiev of Fort Wayne; and brother, George A. Lebamoff of Fort Wayne. He was preceded in death by his younger brother, Klement Lebamoff. Funeral service is 11 a.m. Monday at St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church, 3535 Crescent Ave., wht calling one hour prior to service. Calling also from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday and from 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Mungovan & Sons Memorial Chapel, 2114 S. Calhoun St., Fort Wayne, with Trisagion service at 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Burial in Lindenwood Cemetery. Memorial donations to St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church, 3535 Crescent Ave., Fort Wayne, IN 46805 or Macedonian Patriotic Organization, 122 West Wayne St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.

Former Fort Wayne Mayor Ivan Lebamoff, lauded by politicos as a champion of downtown and city neighborhoods, died early Thursday,May 18, 2006, at Hospice Home of Northeast Indiana. He was 73.
Lebamoff's son, Jordan, said his father died at 2 a.m. Thursday after being weakened by cancer.

"He was a good son, a good husband, a good father and a good grandfather, and he served the people of Fort Wayne honorably," said his brother, George Lebamoff.

Ivan Lebamoff started to practice law in 1957 and worked at the family business, Lebamoff Law Offices, up until the last few months of his life, George Lebamoff said. Vision and other escalating health problems prevented him from going to the office starting about four months ago, George said.

"Ivan was a tremendous community leader," said Mayor Graham Richard, who was serving in the General Assembly when Lebamoff was mayor from 1972 to 1976. "I always appreciated his vision for downtown revitalization. Ivan also had a passion for improving Parks and Recreation opportunities. Ivan was committed to public service and cared deeply about the city of Fort Wayne."

During Lebamoff's time as mayor, his administration helped create the Fort Wayne Women's Bureau.

Ivan Lebamoff served as mayor from 1972 through 1975. In addition to being mayor, Lebamoff served on the city parks board, founded his own law firm – where his son still works – and was the president of the Macedonian Patriotic Organization, which runs the Macedonian Tribune newspaper. His parents had immigrated from Macedonia.

Lebamoff was active in the local Democratic Party, serving multiple terms as party chairman, including one while mayor.

He graduated from South Side High School in 1950 and from Indiana University in 1954.

Lebamoff was remembered by his contemporaries as someone with passion for downtown redevelopment, a politician ahead of his time and a man who didn't mince words.

State Rep. Win Moses, D-Fort Wayne, served his first term on the City Council when Lebamoff became mayor. He said they grew up on the same street and that Lebamoff encouraged him to enter politics. Moses was elected mayor in 1979, defeating Republican Robert Armstrong, who had defeated Lebamoff in 1975.

When Lebamoff took over as mayor, Grand Wayne Center was "a run-down piece of abandoned ground" and Calhoun Street was "worn out," Moses said.

"He really laid the groundwork for the rejuvenation of downtown Fort Wayne," Moses said.

While many people were leaving the central city, Lebamoff stayed at his home near South Side High School, where his son, Jordan, lives today.

Moses said Lebamoff's greatest accomplishment as mayor – even though Moses voted against it – was to lease City Light.

In 1974, Lebamoff advocated and signed a 35-year, $55.6 million lease of the City Light utility to Indiana & Michigan Electric Co. City Councilman Don Schmidt, R-2nd, served his first term with Lebamoff, and said the lease still brings the city $1.5 million each year in revenue.

Moses said Lebamoff also was the first mayor to take city government out of downtown by conducting meetings around the city and helping organize neighborhood associations.

He wanted to examine city-county government consolidation in the 1970s, a study that is being done this year.

Lebamoff's fans cross party lines. Steve Shine, Allen County Republican chairman, worked as an intern for Lebamoff in the mayor's office.

"He was a great mentor and very politically savvy," Shine said. "I will mourn his loss, but be forever grateful of the political knowledge he imparted on me."

Shine said Lebamoff was quite progressive and ran the first modern mayoral campaign locally. He said Lebamoff ran high-quality TV commercials and used a national political consultant to help his campaign.

The former mayor was not one to hold back his thoughts. Several people said Lebamoff was clear to let them know where he stood, even if his criticism was stinging. After leaving office, Lebamoff wrote a four-page condemnation of then-Mayor Robert Armstrong.

He wrote, "Instead of surrounding himself with competent people, he has gathered about him only political hacks and relatives."

Armstrong, who defeated Lebamoff by a few hundred votes, said the late mayor was a good competitor who campaigned hard.

After losing a re-election bid to Republican Robert E. Armstrong, Lebamoff returned to his law practice.

Lebamoff returned to public service in 1984 as chairman of the city's parks board and sparked some of the first conversations that led to the creation of Headwaters Park.

He was also a public advocate of plans to renovate and expand South Side High School, the school he attended and which was near his home. He also served as chairman of the Allen County Democratic Party. In the early 1970s, he chaired Fort Wayne Future and was against the Unigov idea.

Lebamoff and his family were active in the Macedonian community. He served as president of the Macedonian Patriotic Organization.


Charlie Belch, former county Democratic Party chairman and personnel director under Lebamoff, said he loved Lebamoff but admitted his personality was strong. He said Lebamoff lived by the saying, "To make an omelet, you've got to break a few eggs."

"He made a lot of omelets, and he pissed off a lot of people," Belch said.

Belch said Lebamoff would go from tearing down a group of businessmen with a string of obscenities to quoting Shakespeare and the ancient Greeks.

The outspoken Lebamoff generated his fair share of negative publicity.

A state audit of Lebamoff's administration requested the former mayor to repay about $7,700 spent on liquor for parties between 1972 and 1974. The most expensive of the parties was a 1974 City Utilities Christmas party, which cost the city $7,320.

The Indiana Supreme Court suspended Lebamoff's law license in 1994 for telling the Indiana Alcoholic Beverage Commission that he did not hold an interest in a beer distributorship, when he did.

Jordan Lebamoff, 40, said it was interesting to see his father as mayor when he was a child, but it wasn't until he became an adult that he saw the good his father did.

He was grateful for his father's work in helping to establish Headwaters Park and the Rivergreenway and to save Embassy Theatre.

"As a child, the biggest memory I have is the number of people who would come up and give him a hug and say thank you," Jordan Lebamoff said. "As an adult, I now realize what he did."


Ex-Mayor Lebamoff dies; vocal downtown advocate.

Born July 20, 1932, he was the son of the late Argire and Helen Lebamoff, who had immigrated to Fort Wayne from Kostrusko, Aegean Macedonia. He graduated from Indiana University , in 1954 and it's school of law, in 1957 (receiving the Order of the Coif). He was a member of the Phi Alpha Theta History Honorary and was president of the Indiana University School of Law Phi Delta Phi society. In 1957, he was admitted to the Indiana Bar and then the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. District Court, in 1973. He was a visiting professor of Urban Affairs for Indiana University and also served with the Indiana Air National Guard during the Berlin crisis. He served as Mayor of Fort Wayne from 1972 to 1976, and as President of the Macedonian Patriotic Organization, an organization dedicated to preserving Macedonian heritage and culture, from 1983 to 1994. He had a lifelong commitment to both. In 2003, he was one of seven in the first group honored by the Fort Wayne Urban League for promoting racial and religious inclusion by appointing African-Americans, Hispanics, young people, women and people of all faiths to positions of influence and power in the City of Fort Wayne. He served as Allen County Democratic Party Chairman from 1968 to 1975; Chairman of the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department from 1983 to 1987; and had been an active member of the Allen County Bar Association, American Trial Lawyer's Association, and the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives. Following his tenure as Mayor, he founded Lebamoff Law Offices. The firm has been serving Fort Wayne and the surrounding community for nearly 50 years. He was most proud when his sons, Jordan and Justin joined him in his practice of law. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Kay (Stephanoff) Lebamoff; three sons, Dr. Damian (Holly) Lebamoff of Dayton, Ohio, Jordan (Nicole) Lebamoff and Justin (Jamie) Lebamoff, both of Fort Wayne; five grandsons, Jacob, Andrew, Sebastien, Julien and Nicholas Lebamoff; sister, Marie Spahiev of Fort Wayne; and brother, George A. Lebamoff of Fort Wayne. He was preceded in death by his younger brother, Klement Lebamoff. Funeral service is 11 a.m. Monday at St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church, 3535 Crescent Ave., wht calling one hour prior to service. Calling also from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday and from 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Mungovan & Sons Memorial Chapel, 2114 S. Calhoun St., Fort Wayne, with Trisagion service at 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Burial in Lindenwood Cemetery. Memorial donations to St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church, 3535 Crescent Ave., Fort Wayne, IN 46805 or Macedonian Patriotic Organization, 122 West Wayne St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.

Former Fort Wayne Mayor Ivan Lebamoff, lauded by politicos as a champion of downtown and city neighborhoods, died early Thursday,May 18, 2006, at Hospice Home of Northeast Indiana. He was 73.
Lebamoff's son, Jordan, said his father died at 2 a.m. Thursday after being weakened by cancer.

"He was a good son, a good husband, a good father and a good grandfather, and he served the people of Fort Wayne honorably," said his brother, George Lebamoff.

Ivan Lebamoff started to practice law in 1957 and worked at the family business, Lebamoff Law Offices, up until the last few months of his life, George Lebamoff said. Vision and other escalating health problems prevented him from going to the office starting about four months ago, George said.

"Ivan was a tremendous community leader," said Mayor Graham Richard, who was serving in the General Assembly when Lebamoff was mayor from 1972 to 1976. "I always appreciated his vision for downtown revitalization. Ivan also had a passion for improving Parks and Recreation opportunities. Ivan was committed to public service and cared deeply about the city of Fort Wayne."

During Lebamoff's time as mayor, his administration helped create the Fort Wayne Women's Bureau.

Ivan Lebamoff served as mayor from 1972 through 1975. In addition to being mayor, Lebamoff served on the city parks board, founded his own law firm – where his son still works – and was the president of the Macedonian Patriotic Organization, which runs the Macedonian Tribune newspaper. His parents had immigrated from Macedonia.

Lebamoff was active in the local Democratic Party, serving multiple terms as party chairman, including one while mayor.

He graduated from South Side High School in 1950 and from Indiana University in 1954.

Lebamoff was remembered by his contemporaries as someone with passion for downtown redevelopment, a politician ahead of his time and a man who didn't mince words.

State Rep. Win Moses, D-Fort Wayne, served his first term on the City Council when Lebamoff became mayor. He said they grew up on the same street and that Lebamoff encouraged him to enter politics. Moses was elected mayor in 1979, defeating Republican Robert Armstrong, who had defeated Lebamoff in 1975.

When Lebamoff took over as mayor, Grand Wayne Center was "a run-down piece of abandoned ground" and Calhoun Street was "worn out," Moses said.

"He really laid the groundwork for the rejuvenation of downtown Fort Wayne," Moses said.

While many people were leaving the central city, Lebamoff stayed at his home near South Side High School, where his son, Jordan, lives today.

Moses said Lebamoff's greatest accomplishment as mayor – even though Moses voted against it – was to lease City Light.

In 1974, Lebamoff advocated and signed a 35-year, $55.6 million lease of the City Light utility to Indiana & Michigan Electric Co. City Councilman Don Schmidt, R-2nd, served his first term with Lebamoff, and said the lease still brings the city $1.5 million each year in revenue.

Moses said Lebamoff also was the first mayor to take city government out of downtown by conducting meetings around the city and helping organize neighborhood associations.

He wanted to examine city-county government consolidation in the 1970s, a study that is being done this year.

Lebamoff's fans cross party lines. Steve Shine, Allen County Republican chairman, worked as an intern for Lebamoff in the mayor's office.

"He was a great mentor and very politically savvy," Shine said. "I will mourn his loss, but be forever grateful of the political knowledge he imparted on me."

Shine said Lebamoff was quite progressive and ran the first modern mayoral campaign locally. He said Lebamoff ran high-quality TV commercials and used a national political consultant to help his campaign.

The former mayor was not one to hold back his thoughts. Several people said Lebamoff was clear to let them know where he stood, even if his criticism was stinging. After leaving office, Lebamoff wrote a four-page condemnation of then-Mayor Robert Armstrong.

He wrote, "Instead of surrounding himself with competent people, he has gathered about him only political hacks and relatives."

Armstrong, who defeated Lebamoff by a few hundred votes, said the late mayor was a good competitor who campaigned hard.

After losing a re-election bid to Republican Robert E. Armstrong, Lebamoff returned to his law practice.

Lebamoff returned to public service in 1984 as chairman of the city's parks board and sparked some of the first conversations that led to the creation of Headwaters Park.

He was also a public advocate of plans to renovate and expand South Side High School, the school he attended and which was near his home. He also served as chairman of the Allen County Democratic Party. In the early 1970s, he chaired Fort Wayne Future and was against the Unigov idea.

Lebamoff and his family were active in the Macedonian community. He served as president of the Macedonian Patriotic Organization.


Charlie Belch, former county Democratic Party chairman and personnel director under Lebamoff, said he loved Lebamoff but admitted his personality was strong. He said Lebamoff lived by the saying, "To make an omelet, you've got to break a few eggs."

"He made a lot of omelets, and he pissed off a lot of people," Belch said.

Belch said Lebamoff would go from tearing down a group of businessmen with a string of obscenities to quoting Shakespeare and the ancient Greeks.

The outspoken Lebamoff generated his fair share of negative publicity.

A state audit of Lebamoff's administration requested the former mayor to repay about $7,700 spent on liquor for parties between 1972 and 1974. The most expensive of the parties was a 1974 City Utilities Christmas party, which cost the city $7,320.

The Indiana Supreme Court suspended Lebamoff's law license in 1994 for telling the Indiana Alcoholic Beverage Commission that he did not hold an interest in a beer distributorship, when he did.

Jordan Lebamoff, 40, said it was interesting to see his father as mayor when he was a child, but it wasn't until he became an adult that he saw the good his father did.

He was grateful for his father's work in helping to establish Headwaters Park and the Rivergreenway and to save Embassy Theatre.

"As a child, the biggest memory I have is the number of people who would come up and give him a hug and say thank you," Jordan Lebamoff said. "As an adult, I now realize what he did."



Family Members

Spouse
Siblings
Children

Flowers

In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees

Sponsored by Ancestry

Advertisement