Hal Denton Leathers, September 30th, 1951 - January 7th, 2021.
Hal was a loving father and friend who never met a stranger. Always quick for a conversation on just about anything, he was always one for a good laugh too. Hal loved catching the latest movie or listening to music, but his true passion was anything sports related. Whether it was the Cardinals, Cowboys, Penguins or Auburn, he always enjoyed following his favorite teams and the adopted ones he picked up during his travels. He loved dogs, books and especially enjoyed reading the daily newspaper. His military service took him many places, with several years spent in Germany. He appreciated the opportunity to serve his country. His easy-going nature and positivity led him to many great relationships in his life that he truly valued. He will be missed.
Hal was born on September 30th,1951 in Dallas, TX to Charles and Judy Leathers. He spent a short time there, Waco, TX and St Louis, MO until moving to Roanoke, VA in 1960. Growing up, Hal loved listening to his beloved St Louis Cardinals baseball team on KMOX, and hearing the great Jack Buck call games that could reach as far as Virginia! He talked about attending VPI games at Lane Stadium with his family and friends as a kid, laughing about the gobbler sounds after a touchdown. Hal enjoyed playing any sport and hanging with his friends. He was a standout athlete while attending Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke, VA. Affectionately referred to his close friends as, “Lefty”, he excelled at baseball during his years as a Patriot until his graduation in 1970. His father joked about Hal always having perfect attendance because he would never miss out on an opportunity to socialize and be with his friends.
Hal married his high school girlfriend, Charlotte Leathers, in 1971 and joined the U.S. Army. With a strong aptitude for language and his love of reading, it was natural that he became a journalist serving in public affairs throughout his years of military service. He had various tours in Germany, including Heidelberg where his first son, Roger, was born in 1974. Hal wrote and covered stories for the Stars and Stripes, a newspaper for military members serving overseas. In Germany, he enjoyed playing and refereeing all sports, including baseball, football and basketball. While stationed in Maryland in 1977, he had a second son, Carl. After another tour in Kaiserslautern, Germany the family moved to West Point, NY.
From 1982 to 1989, Hal treasured his times at the USMA. There he worked in the Public Affairs Department, and on the Pointer View newspaper serving as a print journalist, photographer and editor. During his time at West Point, his passion was covering anything Army sports related. Army football enjoyed multiple bowl games during those years, and he was truly happiest when covering those teams. He always appreciated the relationships and friendships made during that time, but most important he loved being a dad. Hal never missed any of his kids games and would spend hours in the family minivan driving all of over NY, NJ and CT to support his sons. Roger and Carl loved to act as bat boys for the division softball team and were always part of the friendships Hal made. While in NY, he also earned a BA in liberal arts from St. Thomas Aquinas College in 1985. Before retiring from the Army as a Master Sergeant in 1992, he spent his last years stationed in Wurzburg, Germany. There he enjoyed serving in the 3RD Infantry Division Public Affairs Department. While in Germany, he loved traveling and watching his boys play hockey, enjoying a local German beer with friends along the way. Once retired from the US Army, he had various corporate management and leadership roles. Those opportunities took him to Virginia, Indiana, North Carolina and Alabama. In 1999, Hal married his wife, Robin Leathers. There they enjoyed living in Chelsea, AL where he picked up his affinity for the Auburn “War Eagles”. Despite being retired, he continued to work but still enjoyed traveling to see sporting events and spending time with his family. In 2006, he was able to live out a childhood dream watching the St Louis Cardinals win the World Series in person. It was the first World Series win for the Cardinals since 1982, and a moment he truly cherished experiencing with his boys.
He is survived by his wife of 21 years, Robin Leathers, his sons Roger and Carl Leathers and their mother and friend, Charlotte Leathers, daughter in laws Lorie Leathers, Alison Leathers, and granddaughter, Madilyn Leathers.
To plant a tree in memory of Hal Denton Leathers, please click here.