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A father's love lives again in Christmas village

9:33 PM, Dec 23, 2012   |    comments
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The Christmas village and the memories it created was built over time by Bob Leiker.

"He loved doing that. He loved working with his hands," Marge Leiker, Bob's wife of 48 years said. "It was always growing."

For the Leiker family the Christmas village became synonymous with the season.

"The kids enjoyed it. Our grandkids all grew up with this," Marge said.

Each Christmas, Bob and Marge would put the village together. It became so large that it took about a week to assemble. It was worth it because of the enjoyment it brought to the family.

Three years ago, the Christmas village stayed packed in boxes.

"It was after he passed away," Marge said. "It wasn't too much work. It was just difficult. It still is."

The Christmas village was a constant reminder of the family's loss. Without Bob and the village he made for them, Christmas just wasn't the same for his family.

"It was as big a hole in Christmas as it was not having him," Denise Simmons, Bob's daughter said.

This year, rather than seeing the village a reminder of their loss, they came to see it as a gift and reminder of all the wonderful memories.

"Very good memories, very good memories," Marge said.

The family worked together this year to set up the Christmas village. They put it together the same way Bob did.

It is again welcoming the imaginations of Bob's children and grandchildren. It is symbolic of a most important gift - a family's love.

"That's what my dad would have wanted," Denise said.

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