William (Bill) H. Leninger, Jr, son of William H. Leninger and Lucille Leninger Crowe, passed away September 7, 2018 at his home in Rio Rancho just two weeks after celebrating his 80th birthday. Bill was a gentle “old soul” loved by all who knew him. He had a special way with his kids and grandkids and could make any adult or kid look up at the imaginary elephant. He was a true dog whisperer and never met a good “friend” (pooch) he didn’t like.
Bill was born in Chicago, IL on August 23, 1938, where he was raised down the street from Wrigley field. He was a life-long Chicago Bears fan and could often be heard swearing (Dumb Bears!) at the tv while watching a game.
Upon graduating high school, he became a member of the second graduating class of the US Air Force Academy, graduating in 1960. In the Air Force, Bill was part of a mission that mapped the exact equator for the purpose of stationing geosynchronous satellites.
Immediately after graduating he married the love of his life, Ellen F. Hanrahan. They soon began their family with three sons and two daughters. Bill had so much love in his heart for kids that after having three boys of his own, he and Ellen adopted two girls, Dumpling and Honeybear. He raised his kids with love and silliness and took pride in who they have become.
After leaving the Air Force, Bill landed a job with IBM as a Systems Engineer and worked in Colorado Springs, CO, White Plains, NY, and Albuquerque, NM, moving here in 1973. He truly loved New Mexico and especially the Brazos mountains. At IBM, Bill was one of seven National Advisors and his Q clearance allowed IBM to install their Super-Computers at Los Alamos National Labs, Sandia National Labs, and Kirtland Air Force Base, which he engineered. His last projects were for DoE and DoD.
Upon his retirement, Bill & Ellen settled into a home in Rio Rancho. Ellen passed away in 2004. It was then that Bill and the family realized that life moves too fast, and even though most of us live in the city, getting together as a family outside of holidays didn’t happen. So family dinner became a weekly tradition that gave Dad so much joy, he never missed it in 14 years!
Bill is survived by his children, Bill Leninger III and his wife, Lynn; Tony Leninger and his wife Yvette; Todd Leninger; Rene Leninger and Hank Walker, Dorene and Marco DiNaro; and his 5 grandchildren along with their significant others: Sam and Michelle; Grace, JoEllen, Kajan, Angelo, Lisa and Tony; sisters June Hanson; Hazel and her husband Jerry Dubar; and sister-in-law Lenore Crowe. Services will be held on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 2 p.m. at Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church, 4101 Paseo del Norte NW, 87114. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Brazos Canyon Volunteer Fire Department.