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CRAIG ALAN LEITNAKER

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CRAIG ALAN LEITNAKER Obituary
Craig Alan Leitnaker, 56, of Olathe, KS, passed-away in his home on February 5, 2014, after a three-year battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his wife, children, father, siblings, nieces, and nephews. This man was very loved - most of most. Craig grew up in Ottawa, KS, the youngest son of Harold and Marge Leitnaker. Growing-up in a small Kansas town, Craig had an ideal childhood running the neighborhood, playing sports, visiting his grandparent's farm. He loved his older brothers and stayed close, talking and texting daily, and visiting as often as possible. Craig graduated from Ottawa High School and attended Baker University, where he met the love of his life, Vicky Hayes, a red head like his mom. Craig graduated in May 1979, and married Vicky two weeks later. They moved to Wichita, KS, where he worked for Gates Learjet and later Boeing. Craig and Vicky were so blessed to have three beautiful children. It was the joy of Craig's life raising his kids. Craig and Vicky were especially grateful to provide their children with a loving church home at West Heights United Methodist Church in Wichita, KS. In 1999, the family moved to Olathe, KS, where Craig began a career with TWA and, later, American Airlines. Craig was passionate about sports, especially the KU Jayhawks and the Kansas City Chiefs. He played golf as often as he could. Craig was a lifelong United Methodist who loved singing in the choir, and was a member of Grace United Methodist Church. Kansas weather thrilled him - he loved watching a thunderstorm roll in. His favorite movie was The Wizard of Oz, and he knew every lyric. Craig loved grilling and was always striving for the perfect steak. On Saturdays, he regularly listened to The Toby Tobin Radio Show, and was a frequent caller into the show. While at Baker, Craig was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He was currently serving on the Delta Tau Delta Alumni Board. He will be remembered for his kindness, never knowing a stranger, his willingness to help whenever asked. He had a gift for connecting with people. The joy of his last year was the birth of his grandson, Henry - his family is so grateful that he was able to experience being "Nana." Craig is survived by his wife, Victoria; his daughter, Paige Badgett (John) of Fairway, KS; his daughter, Allison Haynes (Paul) of Lenexa, KS; his son, Evan Leitnaker of Olathe, KS; his grandson, Henry Haynes; his parents, Harold and Marjorie Leitnaker of Ottawa, KS; his two brothers, Gary Leitnaker (Nancy) of Manhattan, KS, and Tom Leitnaker (Pam) of Ottawa, KS; and a long list of cousins, nieces, and nephews. A service to celebrate the life of Craig will be held at Grace United Methodist Church, 11485 S. Ridgeview Road, Olathe, KS 66061 on Saturday, February 8 at 1:30. Private family burial will be at Highland Cemetery Ottawa, Ks. In lieu of flowers, Craig's family suggests contributions to Gilda's Club Kansas City, a cancer support community c/o Lamb-Roberts Funeral Home, P.O. Box 14 Ottawa KS, 66067. Condolences may be sent to the family thru Lamb-Roberts.com
Published in Kansas City Star on Feb. 7, 2014
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