George John Leontsinis, Esq.
George passed away the morning of Monday, November 19, 2018 after a long-fought battle against illness, but never without the support of his family and friends at his side. Beloved husband of Patricia, his wife of 51 years, his care giver and soulmate; son of the late John and Lula Leontsinis; loving father of Anne and Michelle Reisner (Billy) of St. Louis; adoring “Papou” to grandkids Wells and Ellie; brother to Mary Ann Mastorakos; nephew to Elizabeth Krekorian-Riethmann; brother-in-law, uncle, cousin, friend and colleague to many.
George was born on February 23, 1937 in St. Louis, MO. He attended Southwest High School, graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1958 with a BS in Business Administration where he was a member and President of Sigma Phi Epsilon, Washington University School of Law in 1961 and New York University School of Law with a Masters of Law Degree in Taxation in 1964. From 1961 to 1963, George was a Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps. Stationed at Fort Meade, MD, he was sent to Miami during the Cuban Missile Crisis as a military lawyer handling military claims during troop movement. At some point, George was asked to attend a meeting of senior officers and was handed a document with protocol for the establishment of a post-invasion government in Cuba. It appeared that if the invasion had taken place he would have been flown to Havana and was to become the defacto head of government in occupied Cuba. Afterwards, his fellow officers would laugh and say for a brief historic moment, he could have been “King of Cuba.”
Upon his return to St. Louis in 1964, George joined Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C. as the 8thattorney at the Firm. He was a partner at the Firm for over 50 years and upon his retirement, the Firm was credited as one of the largest in St. Louis. George practiced business law as an exemplary lawyer, partner, leader, mentor and sagely advisor. While George zealously protected the interests of his clients, he did so in a collaborative manner, earning the respect of his colleagues, clients, and even opposing attorneys, for his practical and wise approach towards solving and resolving issues. George had a passion for helping his clients, and his enthusiastic attitude towards dealing with complex legal issues was greatly admired and emulated by his colleagues. In international transactions, George counseled foreign as well as domestic corporations and by leveraging his fluency in Greek, he developed significant experience in shipbuilding contracts and financing of foreign flag shipping operations.
George was instrumental in helping the St. Louis AHEPA Chapter 53 to explore and introduce affordable senior housing in St. Louis. His legal counsel and leadership helped to complete the first AHEPA Apartments for very low income senior citizens. The program, which began in St. Louis, has grown nationwide with over 5,500 apartments providing much needed housing for seniors. The Order of AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association) is a national organization and George will be forever remembered for helping it become nationally well known for its housing program.
Always an advocate and believer in public transportation, George was a board member, treasurer and president of Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT) and played a leadership role in acquiring rights-of-way for the now Cross Country Extension for MetroLink. George ensured that the St. Louis region had an organization with an articulate, active voice for public transit. After stepping down from the CMT Board, George remained an active member of the organization and spoke out regularly for transit and transit funding. In 1992, CMT honored George with the Service Award for his dedication and commitment to the organization and St. Louis public transit.
George was a devoted husband and father who indulged us with constant love. He cherished his law firm and colleagues and looked forward, every day, to going to “the Firm.” He enjoyed traveling, and his suitcase and briefcase were always ready for the next trip. There was never a meal he didn’t enjoy and savor, no matter when or where. He loved his Koi pond, his fine wines and his dogs. Most of all, he loved his family. And he never stopped dancing.
The family expresses gratitude to all the nurses and staff at 2 McKnight Place and BJC Hospice for their loving care of George during his illness.
Services: Visitation Monday, November 26, 2018, 9 – 11 a.m. at St. Nicholas Family Life Center, 12550 S Forty Dr., 63141, funeral at 11 a.m., followed by interment at Bellerive Gardens Cemetery, 740 N Mason Rd.
Those wishing to make a donation in George’s memory are encouraged to contribute to St. Nicholas Family Life Center, 12550 South Forty Drive, St. Louis, MO 63141, or Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, 1755 Des Peres Road, St. Louis, MO 63131.