Leslie A. Lerner
Leslie A. Lerner, whose business acumen opened the doors for generations of Lehigh Valley residents to enjoy their leisure time, passed away Saturday, July 6, 2013, at his home in South Whitehall Township. He was 86. Lerner was co-founder and President of Dorneyville Golf Center, which from the mid-1950s until the early 1990s, featured a fully lighted pitch and putt, miniature golf and driving range. And with his wife of 57 years, Elaine, they created GTA Travel and later National Discount Cruise Company, now in its 45th year. His entrepreneurial spirit was forged at the foot of his father, the late George Lerner, a Russian immigrant who came through Ellis Island before settling in Northampton. There, he built Lerners Department Store and with his wife, Ida, raised Les and his brother, Mike, and sister, the late Pat Seinfeld. Les graduated from Allen High, and then served for three years in the United States Navy
during World War II
before graduating from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania, where he was a member of an Ivy League winning basketball team. Soon after, he joined his father in the family business and ultimately became president of Lerners Department Store. He was a past president of the Retail Merchants Association of Northampton as well as The Northampton Area Chamber of Commerce. In 1965, Les wife, Elaine, had begun to sell trips to local groups for an area travel agent. They saw an opportunity to begin their own business and Group Travel Associates was born, with Elaine as President and Les as Vice President. Travel was not only their business, but their passion. They journeyed far and wide, often times with golf clubs in tow. They played an estimated 350 courses around the globe. Closer to home, Les also served as President of The Berkleigh Country Club. Les supported numerous charities, and he and his wife were noted collectors of major works of glass art, most recently exhibited at the Allentown Art Museum. Survivors:
Les is survived by his wife, Elaine; and four sons, Robert, wife Carol, Dr. Guy, wife Nancyanne, Richard, wife Robin, and Theodore, wife Aurora. Les brother, Myron, survives him as well. Les was also a beloved Pop Pop to seven grandchildren, Dana, Jesse, Jordan, Shanti, Aaron, Jack, and Rachel. Les was predeceased by a sister, Pat Lerner Kauffman. Services:
11 a.m., today, July 9, at Temple Beth El, 1305 Springhouse Road, Allentown. Shiva will be at 7 p.m., both Tuesday and Wednesday, at the Lerner home. Arrangements by Bachman, Kulik & Reinsmith Funeral Home, Allentown. Contributions:
Memorial donations may be made to Temple Beth El, the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, Lehigh Valley Hospital, or to a charity of ones choice.