LAKE PLACID - Joseph M. Leitsch, 98, died Friday, Aug. 24, at Uihlein Living Center, Lake Placid.
Joseph was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Oct. 21, 1913. Son of German immigrants Magnus and Anna Hahner Leitsch, his father from Wissels, Germany, owned a local grocery store in Pittsburgh when Joe was a child. He lived in Pittsburgh 86 years before relocating to Saranac Lake and later Plattsburgh. He was married to Bertha M. Bigelow for 60 years before her death on May 27, 1999. He was a past parishioner of St. Leo Catholic Church and St. Cyril of Alexandria Church in Pittsburgh, St. Winifred Church in Mt. Lebanon, Pa., and St. Bernard's Church in Saranac Lake.
A veteran, Joseph served two years in the U.S. Navy during WWII as a Special Artificer. He was stationed in the Admiralty Islands north of New Guinea, and he crossed the equator aboard the USS General Harry Taylor on July 4, 1944. He was honorably discharged from the Navy on Dec. 23, 1945.
Joseph worked for Smith Corona Marchant in Pittsburgh for over 30 years as a field service technician repairing office machines before he retired in 1978. He then worked for Olivetti Corporation for a few years before going into business for himself repairing the "Phone Mate," one of the first automatic telephone answering machines. He was a member of the Moose Club in East Liberty, Pa., and an avid Steelers fan.
He is survived by his two sons and their spouses: James and Hallie Leitsch of Fairhope, Ala., and Gary and Marilyn Leitsch of Morrisonville; seven grandchildren: Chris and Neya Leitsch of Newburgh, Ind., Beth Ann and Jonathan Hodge of Fairhope, Ala., Brian and Jennifer Leitsch of Denver, Colo., Brent and Dannielle Leitsch of Winder, Ga., Benjamin Leitsch of Jubail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Emily Leitsch of Evanston, Ill., and Rachel Leitsch of Morrisonville; and three great-grandchildren: Michael and Katherine Hodge of Fairhope, Ala., and Bryce Leitsch of Winder, Ga.
His brothers Oscar, William, and Edward Leitsch, and sisters Hilda Leitsch and Marion Leitsch Bock predeceased him.
A memorial service is planned in Pittsburgh, Pa., with burial at Christ Our Redeemer Catholic Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to: Adirondack Health Foundation, Uihlein Fund, P.O. Box 120, Saranac Lake, NY 12983 or www.amccares.org (click on Support tab).