Adolph "Al" "Coach" Delano Leibert, of Battle Creek, long-time educator and coach of over 65 years, passed away January 28, 2019. Al was born August 13, 1925, in Niles, Ohio to Faust and Mary Liberatore. Preceding him in death along with his parents are brothers, Arthur, Henry, Roland, and his sister, Loretta Miele. Al graduated from McKinley High School, Niles, Ohio, in 1943. He entered the U.S. Coast Guard in July, 1943, at the height of World War II, and received an honorable discharge as Seaman 1st Class in March, 1946. He was especially proud that all able-bodied male family descendants of his parents served in the U.S. Military from World War II through Iraq.
On April 28, 1945, he married Anna Leone "Lee" Korab in Hastings, Nebraska. She preceded him in death after 49 years of marriage on January 20, 1994. He was united in marriage to Candace Crocker on April 23, 1999 at St. Philip's Roman Catholic Church in Battle Creek, Michigan.
In 1949, Al received his Bachelor of Science degree from Nebraska University, Wayne, Nebraska and his Masters of Arts degree in School Administration from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, in 1954.
His teaching career began in 1949 at Lyons High School, Lyons, Nebraska where he taught math and science, and coached football, basketball, and track.
Al moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1953 and began teaching physical education and science, and coaching at Ann J. Kellogg Junior High School. He also was employed by the City of Battle Creek as the Director of Playgrounds and he officiated football and basketball games for the schools.
In 1959, Al became a physical education teacher and coach at Northwestern Junior High School. From 1967-1971, he held many positions at Battle Creek Central High School, including physical education teacher, coach, 12th Grade Principal, and Director of "Rumor Control". From 1971-1980, Al was employed by Lakeview High School as the Assistant Principal and then served as the Principal at Westlake Elementary School until his retirement in 1986.
Coach Leibert was known for his love for and positive influence on students and student athletes. He believed in treating every young person with friendliness, fairness, and firm discipline. Coach Leibert looked beneath the surface to the heart of students, saw their potential, and worked with them to reach that potential.
Al received many honors and awards during his lifetime. He was honored by the City of Battle Creek with a proclamation on September 18, 1993, for Coach/Educator "Al Leibert Day". He was named 1995 Region II Class A Regional Coach of the Year by the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association and in 1999 was inducted into the St. Philip Hall of Fame. In 2001, he was inducted into the Battle Creek Amateur Sports Association, Michigan Amateur Baseball Association Wall of Fame, and into the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2005. Al was honored at Northwestern Middle School in 2015 with the gym floor dedication being renamed "Al Leibert Court". The Battle Creek City Commission also proclaimed Friday, September 18, 2015 as "Coach Al Leibert Day" and he was a presented with a State of Michigan Special Tribute.
Al was a member of the "Saturday Morning Golf Club", Riverside Country Club, American Legion Post #54, and the Calhoun County Chapter of Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel, and the Italian Club. He was elected to the Kellogg Community College Board of Trustees and served from 1976-1982. Al was a parishioner of St. Joseph and St. Philip Roman Catholic Churches and past member of First Presbyterian Church.
Al was an avid sports fan and reader. He enjoyed traveling with friends and family, taking many house boating trips along the Mississippi River, cruises, and trips to Texas.
He was a charitable man, establishing scholarships for students from Battle Creek Central, Lakeview High School, and St. Philip Catholic Central. Al also sponsored many children in foreign countries through Unbound.
Along with his wife, Candace, survivors include sons, Richard (Donna) Leibert, of The Woodlands, TX; Bruce (Jan) Leibert, of Harlingen, TX; daughter Lee Ann Leibert of Carson, CA; step-daughters Lisa Elliotte (Dennis) Watts, Algonquin, IL; Theresa Stubbs, Portage, MI; and Amy (Chad) Maniscalco, Kalamazoo, MI; grandsons Tony (Kristen) Leibert, Joshua Leibert; and step-grandsons Alex Maniscalco , and Liam Watts; granddaughters Katie (Ignacio) Reparaz, Kelsey, and step-granddaughters Sarah Maniscalco, Natalie and Emily Stubbs; brother-in-laws Marvin (Ilene) Korab of Westminster, CO, and James Crocker of Georgetown, OH; great-grandchildren: Luke, Elizabeth, and Chloe Leibert, and many wonderful nieces and nephews.
Al dearly loved God, his family, friends, students and athletes. He will be greatly missed.
Visitation will be held at Richard A. Henry Funeral Home. Friends may call on Monday, February 4, 2019 from 1-3 pm and 5-8 pm. Prayer Service and share time will be begin at 6:30 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at St. Philip Roman Catholic Church at 11:00 am. with Father John Fleckenstein officiating. Private burial, with full military honors, will take place at Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, Michigan.
Memorials may be made in Al's honor to one of his three scholarship funds: Al Leibert Scholarship Fund through the Battle Creek Community Foundation, Al Leibert Family Scholarship through the Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools Foundation, or Al Leibert Scholarship through the Battle Creek Central Schools Foundation.
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