Former Elizabethtown Mayor dies at 88 - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Former Elizabethtown Mayor dies at 88

(Source: The Sampson Independent, (Source: The Sampson Independent,

ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WECT) – A former Mayor of Elizabethtown died Tuesday following a longtime illness, according to his obituary.

Wallace Samuel Leinwand, who was 88, was both mayor pro tem and mayor later on during the 1990s.

He led many organizations, serving as President of Elizabethtown Rotary Club, President of Elizabethtown Jaycees, Vice-President of the North Carolina Jaycees, and a member of the Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber of Commerce.

Additionally, he was a member of the Bladen County Shrine Club for 60 years, the Bladen County Masonic Lodge for 50 years, the Elizabethtown Optimist Club, Chairman of the East Bladen High School Advisory Council, a member of the Board of Directors of the former Wachovia Bank and the Bladen County Chairman of the Battleship North Carolina fundraising effort.

Leinwand is survived by his wife of 65 years, Shirley, his three children, four grandchildren, and great-grandson.

He was born in Branchville, SC in 1924 and moved to Bladen County at 13. He went on to graduate from Elizabethtown High School in 1942.

Leinwand joined the Air Force in 1943 during WWII. After he was honorably discharged, he joined his father in business at Leinwand's department store, which, at 77 years in operation, currently remains the oldest continuous business in the county seat.

He would go on to take over the department store, and he married Shirley Gintel in 1947. The two remained business partners for about 60 years, and Shirley remains the store's bookkeeper.

Leinwand loved sports, supporting local high school teams, and he was a founding organizer of the Elizabethtown Little League Baseball program. There is also a baseball park named in his honor.

He served as President of Beth Israel Synagogue in Whiteville, and was also a member of both B'nai Israel Synagogue in Wilmington and Temple Emanuel in Myrtle Beach.

A funeral service for Leinwand has been scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m. at B'nai Israel, located at 2601 Chestnut Street.

Instead of flowers, you can make contributions in honor of Leinwand to Leinwand Park, C/O P.O. Box 756, Elizabethtown, NC 28337, or to a charity of your choosing.

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