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Charles Leisten
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Charles Leisten

Charles Leisten, 89, of Delray Beach, Fla., died Dec. 16, 2014. He lived in Newark, Cranford, and West Orange before moving to Florida 17 years ago.

Mr. Leisten worked for John Hancock Mutual Life insurance for 40 years until his retirement in 1989.

He graduated from South Side High School in Newark and Seton Hall University. 

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he was assigned to its little publicized underwater demolition team, also known as the “Frogmen” (the predecessors to the Navy Seals), during World War II. He was very involved in the battle of Iwo Jima, where he helped cleared the beaches of obstacles, natural or man-made, days before the famed Marine landing on the island. He received numerous commendations by the Navy prior to his discharge in 1946.

He was a member of Knights of Pythias. He was a member of Temple Beth-El Mekor Chayim in Cranford and B’nai Shalom in West Orange.

Predeceased by his wife of 52 years, Doris, he is survived by three sons, Robert (Denise) of Houston, Texas, Marshall (Lisa) of San Mateo, Calif., and Laurence (Barbara) of Los Angeles; and five grandchildren.

Services were held Dec. 18 with arrangements by Beth Israel Memorial Chapel, Delray Beach. A Navy honor guard saluted him during the graveside service. Memorial contributions may be made to MD Anderson Cancer Center, American Heart Association, or American Diabetes Association.

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