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Thread: RIP Gerry Leeman

  1. #1

    Default RIP Gerry Leeman

    I just learned from a mutual friend in Waterloo that Gerald Leeman has passed away.

    Among his career highlights: 1946 NCAA champ at Iowa State Teachers College (now Univ of Northern Iowa) -- teammate of legends like Bill Koll and Bob Siddens... 1948 Olympic silver medalist... and long-time coach at Lehigh.

    I had the pleasure of meeting him in person and having dinner with him a couple years ago while in the Cedar Valley for the National Duals at the UNI-Dome. He didn't want to talk about his own career or accomplishments, but was more than willing to share his opinions on the state of amateur wrestling today, and the negative influence professional wrestling has on the real thing.

    As of now, funeral arrangements are pending.

    Mark

    PS For photos of Gerry Leeman:
    http://sports.ph.groups.yahoo.com/gr...os/browse/55b6

  2. #2
    Redshirt DoubleGrapevine's Avatar
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    Default Re: RIP Gerry Leeman

    RIP, Mr. Leeman.

  3. #3

    Default Re: RIP Gerry Leeman

    Co-incidentally, this is Cornell College's homecoming weekend and the post-war rivalry between the 2 schools was intense. He was one of the legends in this state. May God bless him and keep him.

  4. #4

    Default Re: RIP Gerry Leeman

    I found this article from 1967 in the SI Vault about Lehigh great, Mike Caruso. Gerry Leeman, his coach, is mentioned throughout the article.

    http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.c...9569/index.htm

  5. #5

    Default Re: RIP Gerry Leeman

    Thank you for the link to the SI Vault, Jim.

    During dinner, I asked Mr Leeman if there was one wrestler that was particularly outstanding during his coaching career. He answered "Mike Caruso" in an instant, no hesitation, no "well, then there's so-and-so, and we can't forget what's-his-name..."

    Gotta ask -- is there ANYTHING in the Iowa media about this? I've checked google news a couple times and am coming up empty. Has it made the papers or TV? I would think Gerry Leeman's passing would be at least a quick mention during the 10 pm sports...

    Mark

  6. #6

    Default Re: RIP Gerry Leeman

    Quote Originally Posted by ideamark View Post
    Thank you for the link to the SI Vault, Jim.

    During dinner, I asked Mr Leeman if there was one wrestler that was particularly outstanding during his coaching career. He answered "Mike Caruso" in an instant, no hesitation, no "well, then there's so-and-so, and we can't forget what's-his-name..."

    Gotta ask -- is there ANYTHING in the Iowa media about this? I've checked google news a couple times and am coming up empty. Has it made the papers or TV? I would think Gerry Leeman's passing would be at least a quick mention during the 10 pm sports...

    Mark
    Not yet.

  7. #7

    Default Re: RIP Gerry Leeman

    Here's the obituary from Sunday's Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier...

    http://www.wcfcourier.com/articles/2...2828662917.txt


    Sunday, October 12, 2008 6:16 AM CDT
    Gerald ?Germ? Leeman
    CEDAR FALLS ? Gerald ?Germ? Leeman, 86, died Friday, Oct. 10, 2008, of cancer at Thalman Square, Cedar Falls.

    He is survived by his wife, Darlene of Cedar Falls; two sons, Mark Leeman and Jay (Judy) Leeman of Bethlehem, Pa.; one daughter, Jerilou (John) Willmore of Hubbard; two brothers, Wayne (Susie) Leeman of Pinehurst, Ill., and Bill Leeman of Cassa Grande, Ariz.; two sisters, Beverly (Jim) Hoy of McHenry, Ill., and Barb (Larry) Campbell of Winterset; grandsons, Jayson Leeman, Cody Leeman and Travis Moseley; granddaughter, Heather (Justin) Dyar; stepgrandson, Ben Willmore; great-grandsons, Ayden Dyar and Prentice Dyar; sister-in-law, Betty Buckles; and special nieces, Becky (Darrel) Willhite and Bonnie Dunham. He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Albert, Dale, Keith, Donald, and Shirley; and brother-in-law, Gene Buckles.

    Germ was born on June 22, 1922, in Osage, the second of 10 children of William and Mae (Reams) Leeman. He lived there until his graduation from Osage High School. Upon graduation he attended State Teachers College (UNI) until his entrance into the U.S. Navy in 1943. He served his country as a carrier pilot until his discharge in 1945, at which time he returned to State Teachers College and received his bachelor?s degree in 1948.

    He married Darlene Fox of Jesup on Aug. 2, 1945. The couple lived for a short time in Fort Dodge, where he served as head wrestling coach before they moved to Bethlehem, where he began his longtime association with Lehigh University as their head wrestling coach.

    Germ had a distinguished career as a wrestler and a coach. He won three state high school championships (1939, 1940, 1941) at Osage High School, two national AAU championships, an NCAA championship (1946) where he was named outstanding wrestler, and a silver medal at the 1948 Olympic Games in London. He served as head wrestling coach for Lehigh for 18 seasons during which time his record was 161-38-4, never had a losing season, won six EIWA team championships, coached six men to nine NCAA titles, and made men of hundreds of boys. Lehigh?s wrestling arena is now known as Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall in his and Thad Turner?s honor.

    He is a member of several halls of fame, including the NCAA Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Glen Brand Iowa Hall of Fame at the Dan Gable Wrestling Institute and Museum and was named by Sports Illustrated as one of the top 50 Iowa athletes of the 20th century.

    Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 11 a.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1301 Kimball Ave., Waterloo, with burial in Cedar Crest Cemetery, Jesup. Military rites will be conducted by Pump-Scheer American Legion Post 342 of Jesup. Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13, at White Funeral Home, 1315 Main St., Jesup, and for an hour before services Tuesday at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to the Coach Leeman for Lehigh Wrestling fund. Online condolences may be left at www.white-mthope.com

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