George Edmund Leinert

Published 6:35 am Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Feb. 22, 1918

June 24, 2013

Mr. George Leinert, late of Ft. Pierce, Fla., but recently having moved to the home of his cousin, Clare Leinert Herrick and husband, Scott Herrick, in Bainbridge, passed peacefully in his sleep on the morning of June 24, 2013.

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Mr. Leinert lived a storied life, spanning 95 years. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Feb. 22, 1918, to Otto Edmund Leinert and Henrietta L. Hennige Leinert, his only sibling, Gustav M. Leinert preceded him in death on Nov. 24, 1934.

During his early life in Brooklyn, he worked in the Rheingold Brewery, where he advanced from shipping worker to shift supervisor. Pursued by the Brooklyn Dodgers, he worked in the farm clubs as a pitcher, but the needs of his family soon brought him back to the brewery. World War II interrupted his life, as it did so many of his contemporaries, and he found himself a decorated tank commander on Okinawa during the invasion. Following the war, he returned to Brooklyn and the woman he had been in love with since he was 13 and had finally married while home on leave in 1943.

George and Florence Isabelle (née Toma) were never able to have children, so they became surrogate parents for every child in the family and many others to whom they became godparents, and den mother and fathers.

When George finally retired in 1972, he moved his bride to Fort Pierce, Fla., where they set up housekeeping. Shortly thereafter, Florence suffered severe medical problems that confined her to the home. She passed in 1986 in body, but not in George’s heart. He remained in their home for the next 27 years, keeping up his regime of mowing his own lawn, bowling and bicycle riding eight miles a day until last month when health problems began to plague him.

Recently, a very dear friend, Mr. Denny Passman, knowing of George’s exploits during the war, sponsored George on the WWII Veterans Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., to tour the memorials to the brave men of George’s generation. He spoke of the flight every day, considering it a high point of his life.

George passed in his sleep, found the next morning holding a picture of Florence that had been on his night stand.

He is survived by his niece, Clare Herrick, and her sister, Linda Alexander, and other extended cousins, godchildren and a circle of wonderful neighbors and friends, all of whom loved him very much.

Memorial services will be held in Fort Pierce, at a time yet to be announced.

Ivey Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.