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OBITUARIES - 1/28/21
Jan. 1, 2021
Raymond A. Hafertepe
Ray Hafertepe, 81, of Palatine, Ill., died on Dec. 21.
Hafertepe was a longtime member of the Chicago Geezers, playing on the 70s, 75s and 80s teams.
He most recently played during the 2020 season in the 2019 Winter National Championships.
Along with the Geezers, Hafertepe also played with ProHealth Care 75 and Chicago Seniors 65.
“A hard hitting slugger and versatile fielder, Ray was always ready to play,” said Bill Doell, manager of the Chicago Geezers 80. “Ray started playing with the Geezers in the mid-1990s, and was named many times as an all-star, with a competitive edge few had.”
Hafertepe was a graduate of DePaul University and worked as a CPA in his professional career.
Neil Selmer Kvern
Neil Kvern, 84, of Aurora, Colo., died on Dec. 25.
Kvern most recently played with the Scrap Iron Gray Berets 80s team, participating in the World Championships in 2017.
He also played with the Scrap Iron Scrappers 80s, Scrap Iron 75s, Scrap Iron Reds 70s and Scrap Iron 70s.
Neil served as a Lutheran pastor in various churches around the country, including a three-point parish in Nevada, Rich Hill, and Amoret, Mo. (1962–1966); at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Liberal, KS (1966–1973); at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Aurora, CO (1973–1988), and at St. John Lutheran Church in Riverton, WY (1988–1995).
Lloyd Edward Harper
Lloyd Harper, 87, of Gilbert, Ariz., died on Jan. 8.
Harper last played SSUSA during the 2014 season as member of the Arizona Prospectors 80s.
He also played with Tiodize D-99 80s, Arizona Prospectors 75s, Fairway Ford 75s, Arizona 75s, AZ Wranglers 70 and Mesa 65 Mustangs, among others.
Harper served in the Air Force and worked for Salt River Project for over 58 years.
Keith Maurice Briggs
Keith Briggs, 55, of Long Beach, Calif., died on Jan. 19.
Briggs began playing SSUSA in 2011 with California Classic/Easton 40s.
He most recently was a member of Twin Oaks Softball Club 50s, playing in the 2020 World Championships.
Briggs also played with Dirty Birds 50s, Team Rawlings 50s, SD VFW 40 and Old Guys Rule 40s.
Leon J. Kuhl
Leon Kuhl, 78, of Nashville, Ill., died on Jan. 25.
Kuhl last played SSUSA in 2014 with U.S. Pallet 65 in the ISA Senior World Series.
Kuhl served in the United States Army, and in 1971, started Kuhl Lumber. He later expanded his business and started US Pallet Company in 1985, which he owned and operated for many years.
Kuhl was inducted into the St. Louis Area Men’s Senior Softball (SLAMSS) Hall of Fame.
Bill R. Leitch
Bill Leitch, 74, of La Quinta, Calif., died on Jan. 25 of COVID-19.
“He went into the hospital with COVID on Sunday, Jan. 17 and fought the good fight, but pneumonia got into his lungs and that was too much to overcome,” said Greg Howser, a former member of Franklin Loan Center 65.
“We will miss him terribly,” continued Howser. “With that very distinctive voice, laugh and giant smile. May he rest in peace.”
Leitch was the long-time manager of Franklin Loan Center, managing the 60, 65, and current 70 teams. Leitch a was also a member of Palm Springs Diamonds 65, Git-R-Doe 60, Catch-22 60, and Palm Springs Heat 55, among others.
During this past 2020 season, Leitch led his Franklin Loan Center 70 team to the Western National Championship title, and a runner-up finish at the World Championships.
Leitch also played in various leagues, including Palm Desert, Palm Springs, and Sun City.