August Leo, the fifth of the six children of Alphonse Dontenville and Mary Magdalene Schurra, was born in Saint Maurice, Alsace in 1895. As a young man he worked in the vineyards. At the beginning of World War I, at age 19, he was conscripted into the German army. In 1916, seeing that the Central Powers were not winning the war, Romania signed a treaty with the Allies. German troops swept over Romania. August was killed during that campaign.