These remarks from Michael Morrow are adapted from a 12/31/16-1/3/17 L.A. Times obituary and a 5-minute memorial spoken at Wilshire Presbyterian Church on 1/14/17:
Born on 8/30/21 in Lancing, MI, Mr. Leutzinger passed away of heart failure on 12/20/16. His Savior said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called (Matthew 5:9) ‘children of God.’” Ted advocated much for peace within 95 years.
I’m 71, but I first met Ted in my 20s. I knew him as a good neighbor. He was like who Dr. Luke’s book (10:25-37) described the good Samaritan, one who went out of his way with time and resources and went out of his way to help another in need. As a good neighbor, Ted showed love, kindness, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. Ted endeavored earnestly to insure that things were clean and worked right. He invested care of his hillside home and the surrounding area. The Leutzingers built their home on a choice, Deronda Drive, ridge lot. They valued the view and purchased property across the street to preserve open-space which allowed them and others including Hollywood Sign tourists to see and enjoy a view to The Pacific Ocean with two islands on clear days.
Ted’s bachelor’s degree was from Michigan State U., mine from UCLA where he earned his master’s. We discussed UCLA changes such as an inscription over a Royce Hall entrance, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” That famous quote, from (John 8:32) Scripture, years later was replaced probably by those who thought our Constitutional First Amendment instead guaranteed “freedom from religion.” The context of that quoted verse actually did refer to the One who walked on (Matthew 14:25-6) water, said He was the (John 14:6) way, truth, and life, and did (John 10:38) much to prove His (John 8:58) authority.
Locally, Ted was active with the Great Books Foundation, Adult Educators of L.A., and at my urging after he joined The Hollywoodland Homeowners’ Association, he served on The Board of Directors ultimately as vice president. He didn’t enjoy every committee meeting, but his comments and dry wit often brought peaceful closure if not joyful consensus. He exhibited the (Galatians 5:22-23) Fruit of the Spirit.
He showed that love especially to his second bride, Miss Carolyn Crigler with whom was married 55 years. Together, they traveled to 120 countries to encourage global peace and personal friendship. He left behind one sister, one of two sons, three grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and many Leutzinger relatives who emanated from Switzerland.
Ted and I were both Army veterans, he of WWII. However, locally and globally he worked for peace through The World Federalist Association (WFA), The United Nations Association, Model U.N. Program, The Campaign for U.N. Reform, Citizens for Global Solutions, The International Criminal Court Alliance, and The Presbyterian Church Peacemaker’s. He advocated that World peace was possible through international federation with establishment of enforceable, World law.
Ted was employed 42 years with The Travelers Insurance Company for which he managed a large room full of attorneys at their Wilshire office. A mentor of mine, Ted arranged for me to interview at their Hartford, CT office for a specialized position. He also sponsored me for the position of WFA Executive Director, Southern California Region. We encouraged the development of several branch chapters and hosted an honorary dinner, attended by many celebrities, for international peace advocate,
Dr. Norman Cousins.
Although I hadn’t seen Ted ride, we shared a common love for bicycling. We also shared a common love for hiking, and I’m told that Ted & Carolyn were Sierra Club, Mountain- Peek Baggers. Locally, I walked some with Carolyn and encouraged Ted to walk some, especially in his later years. However, with age Ted walked less, more slowly, and less frequently, even though Carolyn daily did her best to get him up, out of his easy chair, and down their front steps to walk a block. Finally, when Ted couldn’t stand, Carolyn had to employ hospital and convalescent-home help. Then Ted even had a tough time comprehending why he couldn’t be home and occasionally was downright grumpy about not being there with Carolyn. That’s probably why it’s important to keep our eyes on the (Hebrews 13:5-6) One who has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Reminiscing, that for many years as I’d drive home late at night from LAUSD work, I’d always look up to their 2nd story bedroom window, see Ted sitting and reading in his easy chair, wave, sometimes tap my horn to get his attention if he didn’t look back, then and expect a returned wave from him as I passed by in my car. Now I can still offer a wave offering but instead to the One who has given us Ted to have enjoyed for a Global moment. I’m left with hope as I remember an inspired promise written by Saint John (1:12) about Jesus, The Word of God, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” Ultimately, we all have an inheritance from God to take or leave, and we have memories of Theodore whose name means “lover of God.” I too want to be known as a lover of God. When my retirement is over, I hope to see Ted again in a permanent, Heavenly (John 14:1-3) home with even a better view and have time to muse over what we really accomplished for the (Isaiah 9:6) Prince of Peace.
Ted received many honors for his service in many groups, but in lieu of flowers, the family asked that any contributions be made to either Wilshire Presbyterian Church
(213-387-5387) or Citizens for Global Solutions (GlobalSolutios.org).