1923 - 2020

Alvin L. Leisey, Jr. passed away on March 28, 2020. Al was born on May 10, 1923 in Birdsboro PA. to Alvin L. Leisey Sr. and E. Marie Leidenberger Leisey. His father was a sergeant in an artillery company in WWI and served in France. In 1938 the Leiseys moved to Honey Brook in Chester County, PA., where he was a student in the Honey Brook High School. He chose the academic course of study and played on all the varsity sports teams and he also earned membership in the National Honor Society. Upon graduation from High School in 1941, Alvin Jr. was accepted and enrolled in the Pennsylvania State College to study Commerce and Finance in the School of Liberal Arts as a freshman student.

Al left college after the first semester when Pearl Harbor was bombed. He joined the Marine Corps and after training (and baseball pitching) at Marine Training at Perris Island, he was sent to the Pacific Islands to join in the war against Japan.

On February 20, 1944, he was setting up his radio gear with his buddy Ty Laiho, when he spied a Japanese in a coconut tree top. As he took aim with his rifle, the Japanese shot first, and shot Alvin, in the back of his right hand and trigger finger. Al was immediately treated by a Navy Corpsman and taken back to the beach medical station.

He was put back on the ship and taken to the Naval Hospital in Oakland, CA. He arrived in San Francisco Bay on his 21st birthday, May 10, 1944, one year to the day overseas! From Oakland he was sent to San Diego Naval Hospital for treatment. He was awarded the Purple Heart for his wounds and a back injury, and was told that upon discharge from the Naval Hospital that he would be sent to Officers Training and sent out to rejoin the 22nd Marine Regiment, 6th Marine Division in combat.

His high school sweetheart was in Cadet Nurse Corps training. Mary Helen Abbott and Alvin were secretly married in Philadelphia on February 24, 1945. She was sent off to Deshon Army Hospital for her last six months of Cadet Nurse Corps training in Butler, PA. Luckily, he was given a medical discharge on July 21, 1945. Immediately, he registered to return to Penn State University for the September fall semester. The war ended on August 14, 1945 and Mary Helen graduated from Coatesville General Hospital School of Nursing and the Cadet Nurse Corps; and passed the Pennsylvania State Boards and received her R.N. License to practice professionally. She and Alvin went off to State College, PA. together and he graduated from Penn State with a BA degree in January 1948. They had their first, child, LaLoni, in 1946.

Later in his business career he became employed by the Minolta Corporation USA, as Chief Financial and Administration officer, and later as President of several of their subsidiaries, working with them for 15 years before retiring. After retiring Al always stated "It was a good relationship. Going from fighting the Japanese to working with them, made me understand that war is caused by political idealists who cannot peacefully negotiate and solve the problems of their time in power."

Alvin Leisey, Jr. (B.S.1948) visiting his alma mater, Penn State University at State College, PA, with his son, Ronald Leisey of Frisco, Texas, Nov. 3, 2014.
Al celebrated his 95th birthday on May 13, 2018 with 87 guests and relatives gathered for the occasion in Elizabethtown, PA. Al declared it the "best day of my life" which is quite a testimony because Al Leisey has had a lifetime of great days and accomplishments!
At age 96, he received recognition from the Masonic Lodge in Elizabethtown, PA for being a Mason for 75 years.

Mary Helen and Al have lived, loved and had 69 years together! They have loved their God-given time together; and they raised six children. They produced 12 grandchildren, who produced 8 great grandchildren!

He will be deeply missed by his friends, family, and all who knew him.