George J. Lechleitner
George John Lechleitner, 87, of Millbrook, New York passed away at his home on Friday, Dec. 21, 2018 after a courageous battle with a long illness.
George was born in Manhattan, New York, on March 3, 1931. He was the beloved son of his proud parents, Emil Lechleitner and Amalie Gunther Lechleitner.
On Aug. 2, 1947 George married Dolores “Dolly” E. Flood. He remained by her side in marriage for 70 years, very much in love, until her passing in 2017. Before moving to Millbrook, George and Dolly lived in Yorktown Heights, New York.
George was truly a self-made man, being the sole founder and owner of Air Mac Distributing Corporation, an HVAC supply company in Bedford Hills, New York. He was well known by contractors and homeowners for his superior knowledge of the business and for his generosity in helping them design their heating and air conditioning systems, as well as making the materials they needed more affordable for them. It was not uncommon for customers to bring layouts of their homes to George, and he would graciously help them design their units, and then go to their home and show them how to install the system themselves, saving them the cost of labor.
George began his career at the Machine and Metal Trades High School in New York. By age 24 he was already married with four children and had served in the U.S. Army, where he graduated from the U.S. Army Engineering School as a supervisor in topographical and architectural drafting. Following his honorable discharge, George traveled around the country as a consulting engineer for aircraft heating and ventilation systems, which included supervising air conditioning designs for the forward section of the C-105 Delta Wing Aircraft; leading the design team for equipment installations for the Sikorsky Aircraft Division; and working as Senior Designer for the Goodyear Aircraft Corporation, as well as serving as a consultant for Glenn L. Martin and Convair, among others.
George was a loving father and husband who always wanted the best for his family and in 1957, when he decided it was time to settle in one place and buy a house, he and Dolly moved to Yorktown Heights where they raised their four children. George continued working in the HVAC field, eventually starting his successful business, Air Mac. But in between the hard work George knew how to have fun. He loved taking his kids on picnics and camping trips, enjoying nothing more than pitching a tent and cooking breakfast for his family on a campfire. He built a cabin with his own hands on the shore of the Hudson River in the Adirondacks, introducing his children to the wonders of nature and the pride of creating something from nothing.
After he retired George and Dolly enjoyed taking long road trips around the country they had traveled together so many years before. Back home in Millbrook he loved working around his property where he took great satisfaction in mowing the acres of land on his tractor, growing vegetables in his garden, building a barn, and creating beautiful stone walls. George was also an active member of his local VFW, proudly participating every year in the Millbrook Memorial Day Parade, and many other events. Always a morning person, early morning coffee at the diner with friends was another pleasure. Reading was another—several daily newspapers a day and a book. And George’s acumen for numbers turned into a profitable hobby after his retirement, when he began in earnest to build and manage his own stock portfolio, forgoing computers and entering every transaction by hand in ledger books. Always eager to learn something new, George took classes at the King Arthur Baking School and learned to bake bread that was out of this world, especially his salt sticks. Although he never did go on an archaeological dig, he kept a book about rocks and gems in his car, reading it, no doubt, when he parked in a quiet, scenic spot, as he liked to do on a beautiful day.
George was a very special man, loved and admired by many. His family feels a tremendous loss and will miss him always. Predeceased by many dear friends and relatives, he leaves his children, George, Jr., Diane Maass (Douglas), Lois Gair (Brian), and Scott (Regina), sisters Linda Cauley and Eleanor Maher, nieces, nephews, friends, and his cats Sandy and Buffy.
A Memorial Service for George will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 18 at Grace Episcopal Church, 3328 Franklin Avenue, Millbrook, New York. Interment will follow in Nine Partners Cemetery, Millbrook, New York. Following the interment, there will be a gathering of family and friends at the Parish Hall at Grace Church. All are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations in George’s memory may be made to Millbrook VFW Post 9008, P.O. Box 905, Millbrook, NY 12545.