Kenneth E. Leister

April 28, 2018

Kenneth E. Leister, long-time resident of Lancaster, PA passed away, Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Masonic Village Transitional Care Unit with his wife by his side. He was born in Pottstown, PA to the late Louis Kenneth and Mary Elizabeth (Thompson) Leister. He was the devoted husband of Wilmajean Work Leister. They would have celebrated 36 years of marriage this summer.

Ken moved to Reading, PA at the age of 2 and graduated from Reading High School. He was a member of the state champion cross-country and track teams. He also played on two top independent basketball teams. After high school Ken earned a PA State License in Carpenter Construction after completing a four-year apprenticeship program. He served two years in the US Army during the Korean War. During his military time he was in the 101st Airborne and then served in the 924th Medical Ambulance Company in Germany.

Ken graduated from Millersville State Teachers College (now Millersville University) with a degree in Industrial Arts Education in 1958. He received a Masters Degree in Educational Administration from Penn State University, State College, PA. He was employed by the Manheim Township School District where he student taught, was a teacher, basketball coach and Dean of Boys/Program Coordinator for 33 years. He retired in 1990.

After retirement he worked at Antrim Bureau as a district sales rep for school assembly programs. Ken was a staple at Dean’s Christmas Trees at Brooklawn Farmers Market for fifty plus years, serving as a daytime manager. Ken also volunteered many hours as a docent at the Hershey PA National Antique Automobile Car Museum (AACA), an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute where he was recognized for his time of service. In addition, he volunteered at Calvary Church where he was blessed with praise and worship.

Ken and his wife enjoyed traveling, especially in the United States and Canada. They explored all 50 states and all the Canadian Provinces, except 2. Three of his favorite areas include the “Tetons”, Santa Fe area and the Rocky Mountains- both US and Canada. Ken also traveled throughout Europe. In addition to his travels, Ken enjoyed home remodeling projects, bike riding, skiing, walking, running and Penn State sports. He and his wife are avid PSU fans, attending all home football games, a National Championship game as well as the Rose Bowl.

He belonged to the following organizations: Penn State University College of Education, PA Association of Secondary School Principals, Penn State University Alumni Association, Penn State Nittany Lion Club, Capital Area Chapter of the PA Sports Hall of Fame and Masonic Lodge-Charles Howe, Millersville.

In addition to his wife, Wilmajean, Ken is survived by his two children: John Kenneth Leister of Malvern, PA and Susan Anne Leister Hurley (John Hurley) of Lancaster, PA. His love for his wife and children never diminished. He was preceded in death by a sister, Jacqueline Louise Leister Focht of Muhlenberg Park, Reading, PA.
A Celebration of Ken’s life will be held at 12PM on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at Calvary Church, 1051 Landis Valley Road, Lancaster, PA 17601. Private family interment will be held at Clearfield United Methodist Church Cemetery, New Providence, PA. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Children’s Miracle Network at Penn State Hershey Office of University Development P.O. Box 855, Hershey, PA 17033-0855, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,, 262 Danny Thomas Pl, Memphis, TN 38105 or Shriners Hospital for Children, 3551 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19140.

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Condolences to the Family

May 17, 2018

To the Leister Family, 
I was saddened to learn of Ken’s passing.  Besides being my 7th grade Woodshop teacher, he was a dear friend to my father Art May, and my brother Jeff May.  I feel blessed that I was able to briefly visit with him at Dean’s Tree stand during the 2016 Christmas season as I have always had great respect for him – he was “the salt of the earth”.  May God grant your family an added measure of His infinite grace, may His Holy Spirit  bring you comfort in your sorrow, consolation in your grief, peace to your hearts, and hope in the Resurrection to new and eternal life, and may God bless you and grant Ken eternal rest and peace with Him.  Gary May Yorktown, VA

May 08, 2018

To the Leister family – my codolences on Ken’s passing.  I wanted to extend my sympathies as I will be unable to attend the celebration service today.  May fond memories and happy times fill your heart with smiles in the days and years ahead.
Eric May

May 07, 2018

I was so sorry to hear about this the other day,  most of my life Ken was in it one way or another, from taking my gum in school till all those years at Deans, going to miss hearing “ got something to Bounce off you” or see Jeff or Todd they will take care of you, some great memories from those cold days in November and December, you will be missed here buddy !
Todd Hoar 

May 07, 2018

Dear Wilmajean,
I was so sad to see Ken passed away… my goodness, what a wonderful man, husband, father and friend!  Please know that I am thinking of you…
I miss you…kate young cox

May 07, 2018

I am so sorry to read of Ken’s death, Wilmajean.  First you lost your mother last year, and now Ken.  You are in my prayers and thoughts.  I won’t be able to come to the memorial service due to work.  But I would love to visit you and see Joyce if time allows Tuesday evening.  I do not have your contact info. but if you ask Mark Burkholder at Snyder’s, he can give you my phone number.  Know that I am with you in spirit.
Giny (Reed) Mackey

May 06, 2018

Wilmajean, I am sorry to read of your husband’s death.  Dore Groff from Change of Pace

May 06, 2018

Wilmajean Bob was sad when I told him about Ken.   He had a lot of respect for him.    Always talked about good times and college life they shared.  We cannot attend the service but we will be thinking of you and the family.   Bless you and(Keep the Faith) the Shuler’s. Bob and Frances.  Keep in touch.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018
12:00 PM
Calvary Church
1051 Landis Valley Road
Lancaster, PA
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