Alfred Michael ‘Al’ Leitner, 88, coached several community athletic teams

Alfred Michael 'Al' Leitner
Alfred Michael ‘Al’ Leitner

Alfred Michael “Al” Leitner (Coach), 88, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather went to be with the Lord and join his wife, Connie, Monday, May 27, 2019.

Al enjoyed a life full of love, family, friends and sports. A man of great faith, he was a dedicated member of St. Gregory the Great Catholic church, where he served as Eucharist minister.

Al was an engineer assistant for the C&P Telephone Company, where he retired after 38 years of loyal service. He was always the first to contribute or organize a fundraiser for a coworker or friend in need. Al was born July 23, 1930, in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. He was the only child of Helena and Michael Leitner.

After high school, he joined the Navy and was stationed in Norfolk. There, he met and married the love of his life, Connie Mae Headley. They were married for 58 years before she passed in July 2010. Al was a Perth Amboy high school standout on the gridiron, basketball court and diamond.

After graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy, where he continued his athletic career as a three-sport athlete for the Little Creek Amphibious Base Gators. In 1951, he was voted the Outstanding Athlete in all three sports. In later years, Al (aka “Coach”) coached several community athletic teams and enjoyed recruiting local basketball talent for his lifelong friend Coach Lefty Driesell. He was an active member of the Norfolk Sports Club for over 35 years. Coach was also a mentor and avid supporter to many local athletic teams.

Left to cherish his memory are his beloved daughters, Valerie Leitner Wheeler (Terry) and Veronica Leitner Hill (Jeff); six grandchildren, Keith Wheeler (Wendy), Jason Wheeler (Jennifer), Stacie Wheeler Allen (Bryon), Alfie Wheeler (Tara), Chase Hill (Ashley) and Chelsea Hill Augst (Reid); and seven great-grandchildren.

Al adored his family, but was particularly proud of his grandchildren. He continued his love of sports through their athletic accomplishments. He was their most proud and loyal fan. Coach always had scrapbooks and pictures in his car truck to share of this favorite sports memories. Coach was a true “people” person and cherished his many friends of all ages and walks of life.

He never met a stranger and had the ability to make everyone feel special. Al was also known for his quick wit and good humor and loved to play practical jokes. Coach enjoyed spending hours daily socializing with his friends at Mangia Qui, Margaret’s, Uncle Al’s and Krispy Kreme.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Monday, June 3, at Saint Gregory the Great Catholic Church with visitation one hour prior to services at the church. Burial will follow services in Rosewood Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, 5345 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach.

Share online condolences with the family at Rosewood-Kellum Funeral Home.

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