William B. Leininger

Funeral Service

1:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 15, 2023

Simple Alternatives

William B. Leininger

November 20, 1932 - June 10, 2023

William B. Leininger, a former teacher, coach and Korean War Veteran, passed away on June 10, 2023, at home following a lengthy illness, his wife and eldest daughter by his side. William Leininger, 90, of Johnstown, PA was the husband of Diane S. (Fine) Leininger. He was a son of the late William F. and Dorothy M. Leininger. Along with his wife, he is survived by a sister, Sylvia Wilson of Palm City, FL; 4 children, Marci Riggs (Tim) of Meadville, PA, Kirsten Bryan (Mike) of Windber, PA, Gretchen Gorman of Douglassville, PA, Eric Leininger (Nicole) of Pottstown, PA; and step-son, Jeremy Davids of Charlotte, NC. He is also survived by eleven grandchildren, four step-grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Born in Shillington, PA on November 20, 1932, he attended Muhlenberg Twp. High School where he started his love for music and singing in the high school chorus. He graduated in 1950 and soon after, enlisted in the US Navy, just prior to the outbreak of the Korean War.  He was stationed on the USS Bushnell, a submarine repair ship and during that time was also a member of the Great Lakes Navy Glee Club. He served until 1953 when he was honorably discharged. In 1954 he enrolled at East Stroudsburg Teachers College where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography in 1958.  He began his teaching career that same year at Phoenixville School District where he taught Social Studies for the 7th through 12th grades for 37 years, retiring in 1993. His knowledge and passion were in world history, World War II and the US Constitution. During his teaching career, he received his Master’s Degree in Education from West Chester Teachers College in 1964. He also taught Sociology through Columbia University at the Valley Forge Army Hospital to Army Vietnam patients and their spouses. Bill coached both basketball and baseball while at Phoenixville. He was the assistant baseball coach to Paul Tomko for 8 years. But the majority of his coaching tenure (29 years) was with the Phoenixville Junior High Boys Basketball Team where he was presented with the game ball signed by his players at his final game before retiring.  He also coached basketball at both Delaware County Community College and the Valley Forge Military Academy.  He was asked to be a volunteer coach for the Poconos All American Basketball camp, working with legendary coaches Harry Litwack, former coach of Temple and Bill Foster, former coach for both Duke and NW Universities, coaching some of the best high school basketball players in the country. Upon retirement, Bill found his way back to music.  He joined the Mainliners Bryn Mar Barber Shop Chorus and was a member from 1993 to 2010.  He was also a member of the Mainliners Autumn Gold Barber Shop Quartet for five years.  One of the highlights was singing the National Anthem at a Philadelphia Phillies Game. In 2010 he and his wife moved to Johnstown, PA to be closer to family. Bill joined the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra singing from 2010 to 2019.  He was also a member of the barber shop quartet Billy’s Boys. The running joke was that he would stay with the quartet until the other three members combined ages surpassed his. Bill was an avid golfer and was a member of several golf clubs.  He also did countless summer golf trips to North Carolina. He was a beloved Philadelphia Eagles fan and for years enjoyed playing fantasy football with his daughter, granddaughter and grandson-in-law. He enjoyed smoking a fine cigar and discussing American History with his son-in-law every Sunday. The Ancient Greeks did not believe in obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died. “Did he have passion?”  Bill lived his life with passion, whether in the classroom teaching world history or on the court coaching basketball.  And in the last 19 months of his life, his final objective was to finish this life by having passion in light of his illness. With Diane by his side, his courage and daily conversations to his daughters and in his final days his son, showed he was not afraid. His soul had become unconquerable. The Leininger and Riggs Family would like to thank the incredible staff of Interim Hospice including Katie, Stephanie and Amy. A memorial service and military honors will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday June 15th at Simple Alternatives, Inc., 717 Main St., Windber. Arrangements in care of Simple Alternatives, Inc. Affordable Cremation & Sensible Funeral Care. Condolences may be made at SimpleAlternativeCares.com




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