Anthony Wayne “Tony” Leinneweber age 55 years a resident of Abilene, TX, passed away on Sunday December 4, 2022, in New Braunfels, TX after an arduous battle with cancer.
Tony was born in San Antonio, TX on a Monday, March 27, 1967. He attended grade school and graduated high school in San Antonio, TX. Shortly after graduating high school, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, and his 21-year adventure began.
Tony was known and loved for his outgoing personality, friendly, very energetic and a sort of “mischievous” character way of being. If you ever met Tony, you would always remember him. He was very athletic and extremely competitive; he would never turn down a challenge. He loved softball, bowling, golf and would never turn down an opportunity to play pool and two-step dancing. He retired from the United States Air Force after 21 years of service. He received many awards, commendations and recognition for outstanding service and the numerous missions, campaigns, expeditions, and Global War on Terror deployments. He was very proud to serve his country. He was especially proud of the many missions as a crew chief while stationed in Japan for the recovery and repatriation of American MIA’s remains in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. He had great respect for former veterans and spoke about his grandad’s service in WWII and Pat’s time in the Navy. He participated more than once in the annual Bataan Death March Memorial, which is a challenging 26-mile march through the high desert terrain of the White Sands Missile Range conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippines during World War II. Shortly after retiring from active-duty Tony went to work as a DoD contractor in Afghanistan repairing and modifying military land vehicles. They installed a re-enforced belly armoring system for protection against IED’s. He found this very rewarding and received many acknowledgements from the units directly affected, recognizing him for the lives it saved. While in Afghanistan doing this important work, he became ill and had to return home, starting his initial fight with cancer. He went through treatment and after regaining his health, he went to work for the Federal Aviation Administration as an Aviation Safety Inspector, which he found to be very rewarding until his fight with cancer returned. He was medically retired due to the cancer and continued his arduous battle. He has made many friendships in Abilene, San Antonio and around the world. He has always liked to keep in touch, and so many have been susceptible to 2 -3 AM calls in the morning to “just talk”! He will be sorely missed by many!
He is survived by his wife Michelle Watson Leinneweber, 12 grandchildren, Rachael, Robin, Chloe, and Benjamin Anthony Del Rio; Heaven, Gabriella, TJ, Grace, and Audrina Del Rio; and AyyDenn, Aaliyah, and Andrew Kersey, that he loved very much. He is also survived by his mother Carolyn Stebbins (Pat), his father Michael James Leinneweber (Cathy), sisters Dana Puente (Ernie) and Lana Rodriguez (Ronny), brother Pastor James Leinneweber (Kori) and several nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. He is also survived by former spouses Lisa Cogar and Martha Espinoza. He was preceded in death by his grandparents William “Buster” Herman Leinneweber, Ruby Laverne Ayers Leinneweber, Anslem William Stamnitz and Essie Alberta Fogle Stamnitz.
His funeral service will be held at the Schertz Funeral Home, 2217 FM3009, Schertz, TX 78154 at 12:00 on Friday January 6, 2023. Interment will follow with full military honors at 1:45 PM, Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, 1520 Harry Wurzbach Road, San Antonio, TX 78209. The family requests in lieu of flowers for donation to the American Cancer Society in Tony’s name. The family would like to extend our appreciation and heartfelt thanks to Schertz Funeral Home staff for all they have done.