In Memory

Jon Leitner (Leitner) - Class Of 1968

Jon W. Leitner

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

McCook Daily Gazette

(Photo)

Jon W. Leitner

Jan. 18, 1950 - Oct. 18, 2013

SEDONA, Arizona -- Jon W. Leitner, 63, died Oct. 18, 2013 in Sedona.

He was born Jan. 18, 1950, in McCook, Nebraska to Elmer and Betty Leitner and graduated from McCook High School in 1968.

He attended Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska as a scholarship recipient in the areas of painting, athletics and academics. He attended Arizona State?University for one semester and returned to Hastings College as the recipient of a scholarship in the area of sculpture, with emphasis in the area of bronze casting. He graduated Cum Laude and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hastings in 1972. Upon graduation, he was awarded a post-graduate?fellowship to study sculpture at Kansas State University at Emporia. From Emporia, Jon returned to Hastings, being employed as a commercial artist. He returned to the educational scene in 1973 as an assistant in the sculpture department at Hastings College.?In 1973, Jon received a graduate teaching assistantship at the University of Illinois (M.F.A. work), and an opportunity to study with the internationally known sculptor, Frank Gallo. Jon left Illinois in 1974 as an?independent sculptor and set up a private studio in Nebraska. In 1975, Jon received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and another such grant in 1976.

Jon was a highly honored and talented sculptor. The family will forever cherish his bronze sculptures.?Some of Leitner's most noted sculptural achievements are his collaborative efforts on the Sylvester Stallone "Rocky" sculpture in Philadelphia by A. Thomas Schomberg and his commissions for noted singers Lee Golden of the Oak Ridge Boys and Roy Orbison. The sculpture of "Samson," the Madden family's pet, is prominently featured in the Museum of Outdoor Arts Park.??He spent his final days with family and friends. He will be remembered through his many sculptures that are placed around the country.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Betty Leitner.

Survivors include his father, Elmer Leitner and brother, Roger Leitner.

A memorial service is Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, in Colorado.

 

 

 

Sculptor, former city councilman dies

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

McCook Daily Gazette

(Photo)

Jon Leitner, with a bronze of Sen. George Norris in McCook.
(Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Gazette)

 

DENVER -- McCook sculptor and former City of McCook council member Jon Leitner, 63 years old, died Friday (Oct. 18, 2013) in Denver, Colorado, after battling lung cancer. Leitner was a 1968 graduate of McCook Senior High, and he earned a bachelor of arts degree from Hastings College in 1972.

Leitner was an accomplished sculptor, creating bronzes of mountain men, plainsmen, wildlife and Native Americans. He and fellow MHS graduate Gary Ginther of Cambridge worked together on a life-size sculpture (above) of Nebraska Sen. George W. Norris (1861--1944) in 2007. Leitner and fellow sculptor A. Thomas Schomberg cooperated on the 11-foot bronze of actor Sylvester Stallone from the film "Rocky III," which is on display in front of the Spectrum Sports Arena in Philadelphia. Leitner's work won awards and is included in museums and corporate collections around the country. It is also found in private collections, including those of celebrity entertainers Brooks and Dunn, the Oak Ridge Boys, Duane Edy and Wesley Orbison. Leitner was elected to the McCook city council, serving from December 1992 through May 1994.

A memorial service is planned Sunday, Oct. 27, in Colorado.



 
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10/27/13 09:27 PM #1    

Mary Russell Myers

Jon was a special young man with a great, ear-to-ear smile and a wonderful sense of humor.  My memories of him as a very charming, smart, and sweet teenager with so much potential in life to do good things, and before his artistic fame, is the Jon he will always be to me. 

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