Karl Leinfelder

Obituary of Karl Leinfelder

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Dr. Karl Francis Leinfelder passed away on December 6, 2022 surrounded by his wife and loving family.  Karl was 90 when he lost his battle to Leukemia.  Karl was born on October 4, 1932 and was the first of seven children born to Ruth Rosemary and Marcus John Leinfelder in Lacrosse, Wisconsin.

In 1950, Karl started pre-medical school at Notre Dame.  In 1951, he transferred to Wisconsin State University. In 1953, Karl was drafted into the military during the Korean conflict.  After an honorable discharge, he finished his pre-dental classes at Wisconsin University at La Crosse.  Karl then started Dental School at Marquette University in Milwaukee where he received a Doctor of Dental Science and Master’s in Dental Materials.

Karl started his professional career in Port Washington, Wisconsin working with his father, Marcus John Leinfelder, who was an established dentist.  Then he accepted a position at Marquette in the Dental School and remained there for seven years. In 1970, Karl and LaVonne relocated their 6 children to the small neighborhood of Heritage Hills located on the outskirts of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He taught and did research at UNC’s Dental School in the Clinical Research department for 13 years. In 1984, Karl accepted a position as department head at UAB’s Dental Research Department, where he remained for 12 years. Karl retired from UAB and, with LaVonne at his side handling logistics, traveled the world as a highly desired expert consultant and lecturer in the field of dental materials.  

Karl was a devout Christian and taught Sunday School classes for many years at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Chapel Hill.  He was an avid gardener and especially loved cacti.  Karl was an NFL fan and pulled for the Washington Redskins.  Karl enjoyed family vacations, especially the long summer road trips and the extended family visits to Wisconsin.

Karl is survived by his wife, of 66 years, LaVonne (Strupp) and his children; Barb (Jorge) Newton, Susan (Steve) Lemire, Mark (Gail) Leinfelder, Kathi (Dan) Newton, Karl (Amy) Leinfelder and six grandchildren; Tera, Nik (Sarah), Chance, Andrew, Abigail, and Emily. He was preceded in death by son Thomas.

The funeral services will be held on January 6th at St Thomas More Catholic Church in Chapel Hill at 2:30. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations are made to St Thomas More Church or Catholic Charities.


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