Elmer A Leitner, age 102, died in Denver, Colorado on January 9, 2022.
Elmer was born on October 13, 1919 in Herndon, Kansas to Michael and Theresa (Goltl) Leitner. He graduated from St. Mary’s Catholic High School in Herndon in 1938. In November of 1938, he volunteered for the Army Air Corps at Lowry Field in Denver and was subsequently sworn in on 11/18/1938. His initial duty was a telephone operator, but once it was discovered he was an accomplished typist, he became part of the signal company. His career in the US Air Force was distinguished by many commendations and awards.
In 1940, he met and married Elizabeth (Betty) J. Younger in Denver. They remained married until her death in 1997. As a member of the US Air Force, the Leitner family was stationed in Atlantic City, Lowry Field, Andrews Air Force Base, and two tours of duty in Germany: Wiesbaden and Bitburg. Elmer’s final duty station was Scott Air Force Base. He retired from the Air Force in 1962 and took a job in the suburbs of Philadelphia working at Philco-Ford. While at Philco-Ford, Elmer took a transfer to Tehran, Iran for a 5-year term, then soon retired after returning to the US. From Iran, Elmer and Betty returned to Denver and Elmer worked at CCH Computax for 14 years predominately in the shipping department.
Survivors include his five children: Dorothy Scott, Shirley Byers, James Leitner (Liz), Mary Thompson, and Nancy Clark (Robert). He is preceded in death by his wife, Betty as well as several sons-in-law: Jesse (Dorothy), Dave (Shirley), Tom (Mary), and a great-grandson, Benjamin Scott. His legacy includes 7 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and 14 great-great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Elmer had many hobbies. He loved working with his hands. He made wooden jewelry boxes, a toy box, numerous paint-by-number paintings, macrame, and bookcases. The other hobby that he loved was stamp collecting. He had an extensive collection of US commemoratives. He also collected cigar bands and would cover the backs of glass ashtrays and plates with stamps and cigar bands. He would finish these off with a cloth backing and his famous speckled paint. The back of each of these beauties also contained the words “Do Not Immerse in Water”. His most ambitious undertaking was a matchstick desk complete with a matching bookcase and lamp. This project was started in 1951 and completed in 1952, when he was stationed at Andrews. Approximately 12,000 matchsticks were involved, and each had to be lit and cooled prior to assembly. He also had a considerable collection of non-fiction books mostly about WWII. He was an avid follower of both the Rockies and the Broncos.
His graveside service with full military honors will be January 27th at 10am at Fort Logan National Cemetery. His service will be live streamed:
Due to Covid concerns, services will be private. At a later time the family will plan a Celebration of Life to occur in 2022.
Memorial contributions can be made to the charity of your choice.