Photography

Clarence Wayne Leingang

March 30, 1934 ~ March 18, 2022 (age 87)

Obituary

Clarence W. Leingang (aka Luger) died peacefully in his home on March 18, 2022, just twelve days shy of his 88th birthday. He was preceded in death by his wife and lifelong partner, Barbara; his parents Jake and Eva Leingang; his brother Kenneth; and his sister Delilah Sirianni. 

Clarence was born in Mandan, ND, on March 30, 1934, in humble beginnings.  He was the oldest of four children. At a young age his family moved to South Tacoma and settled at 50th and Oakes Street. He attended Visitation Grade School where he first met his future bride, Barbara LaVeille.  They had no idea they would meet again in college and marry 15 years later.  After Visitation, he attended Gray Middle School and Lincoln High School graduating in 1952.

As a boy Clarence showed an aptitude and gift for sports.  He played baseball, basketball, and football.  He also delivered newspapers for the Tacoma News Tribune where he learned the importance of customer service, something that would further his career with Puget Sound National Bank.

Clarence attended Seattle University where he earned a degree in Business.  During his junior year, he became reacquainted with the freshman Barbara LaVeille and the rest was history.  On December 31, 1956, Clarence enlisted in the Marine Corps and was posted to Camp Pendleton, CA.  In August 1958, Mom and Dad married at St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Tacoma and the young couple moved to Vista, CA where Barbara worked as a medical technologist until Dad’s enlistment ended in December of 1958.  Dad was extremely proud of his time in the Marine Corps.  He never forgot his rifle number, regularly spit shined his dress shoes on Saturday afternoon, and ensured he and his boys (when young) had inspection ready haircuts. 

After the Marine Corps, he and Barbara relocated to Tacoma.  Following two years with The National Bank of Washington, Clarence began his career with Puget Sound National Bank that lasted for 32 years until the acquisition by Key Bank in 1992.  While with PSNB, he opened and managed several branches most notably 72nd & Portland, Lincoln, K St, and the Main Branch on Pacific Avenue.  Clarence was a just boss and leader and mentored numerous future bankers.  He was known for his fairness and personal interest in all his customers.  This was back in the day when branch managers had more authority to approve loans that today would most likely be denied by strict and impersonal underwriting rules set at the corporate level.  He considered it vital to know all his customers, both individuals and small businesses, and was known to waive fees when he knew his customers were experiencing tough financial times.  To his last days, Dad would always frequent his customers’ businesses, knowing it was important to them as well as the societal welfare of the local neighborhood.  He also graduated from the prestigious Pacific Coast Banking School at University of Washington.  His forward-thinking masters level thesis was on ATMs and how the banking industry needed to prepare for this coming technology.

To say sports was a hobby of his would be a huge understatement.   Dad coached little league for decades.  Baseball teams from East Side Boys Club as well as football, baseball and basketball at Sacred Heart School, and many other All-Star teams as well.  It would be difficult to estimate how many Tacoma youth learned not only the fundamentals of football, baseball, and basketball, but also the of value of teamwork, respect for authority, love of country and importance of being a good citizen. 

Besides coaching, Clarence was a member and leader within the Western Washington Officials Association for over 50 years.  He was a well-known and well-respected football and basketball official across all ages from little league, high school, collegiate and PAC-12.  He received many accolades including the “Golden Whistle Award” in 2018 recognizing his 50 years as an official. He ran the clock at Husky Stadium for nearly 10 years and helped form an independent evaluation group that observed and rated younger officials.  Numerous officials owe their careers and techniques to him.  He was very proud of being selected as the first official to “blow the whistle” at the first ever Class A Boys Basketball State Championship Game (Cashmere vs Woodland) at the Tacoma Dome in 1977.

At every family get together, Dad would reminisce stories he shared with other officials about his favorite memories of those 50 years on the gridiron or basketball courts. 

Dad enjoyed volunteering.  He loved meeting the troops at the USO Northwest Shali Center on Joint Base Lewis McChord and the USO’s Heroes Suite at Cheney Stadium.  He happily worked the ticket window at Heidelberg Park.

Clarence was also devoted to God, the Catholic Church, and his family. One could safely say he never missed a Sunday Mass, even when traveling. He and Barbara donated countless hours serving the parishes of Sacred Heart, Visitation and St Ann’s. They were also members of the Summit Lake Community Association and spent many years “at the Lake” with their children and grandchildren.  Dad zipping on his jet ski with his baseball hat on backwards was a common sight on Summit Lake. 

Clarence is survived by his sister Luella Conway and five children, David (wife Mary Trevithick), Sharyl, Donald (wife Misty Duncan), Dennis (wife Pam Thayer), and Janet (husband Thomas Cook), and his nine grandchildren Cal, Kirk, Emily Vetter, Audrey, Jared, Emily, Aaron, Katy, and Victoria.

Gaffney Funeral Home is handling funeral arrangements.  Funeral services will at St Ann’s Catholic Church on April 22nd: Rosary at 10:15am followed by Mass at 11am. He will be buried at Calvary Cemetery next to Barbara, his parents, and in-laws. The family asks for donations in Dad’s name at USO Northwest - northwest.uso.org, Visitation School Scholarship Fund or St Ann’s Catholic Church.

Rest in peace Dad.  May the Angels lead you into paradise; may the Martyrs come to welcome you and take you to the holy city, the new and eternal Jerusalem.

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