Obituary: Leo Prochazka
- Houston Chronicle Online, Feb. 27, 2002:Feb. 26, 2002, 9:53PM
Leo Prochazka, 80, longtime owner of Lynchburg Crossing restaurant
Leo Prochazka, who owned the Lynchburg Crossing restaurant on the Houston Ship Channel for almost two decades, died Saturday after a long fight with cancer. He was 80.
Prochazka was born Aug. 19, 1921, in El Campo, the oldest of six children of Czech immigrants Leo and Rosie Prochazka. The family settled in Crosby, in northeast Harris County, and ran a produce farm.
Although he was underage, Prochazka managed to enlist in the Army and fight in Europe in World War II.
"He had to lie about his age so that he could get in, because he was only 17," said his son, Joe, of El Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
He learned the restaurant business by working as the head waiter at the popular San Jacinto Inn for about 20 years, the son said.
He eventually opened a one-room business near the Lynchburg Ferry landing, where he sold snow cones, chips and sodas to passing motorists until he had enough cash to build his own seafood restaurant, Lynchburg Crossing, in 1971. He operated that establishment until his retirement in 1989, his family said.
"Even when the restaurant was damaged (in 1983) by Hurricane Alicia, he kept all his employees on the payroll for six months while waiting for the insurance to pay off and fix the place," his son said. "But business was never as good after Alicia."
Prochazka was one of the founding members of American Legion Post 658, where he was on the board of trustees.
His wife, Eleanora, died of cancer in 1991. A daughter, Linda Prochazka, died of a respiratory ailment in 2000 and a son, Ronald, died of cancer last year.
One of Prochazka's brothers, Willie, was killed in 1995 in a robbery at his Crosby seafood restaurant, Port Royale.
Prochazka is survived by a son, Joe; a daughter, Diane Bommarito of Deer Park; sisters Mary Sutherland and Rosie Luchenbach, both of Houston; and brothers Jerry of Crosby, and Henry of New Braunfels.
Services were Tuesday in Crosby. Burial was in White Cemetery