The Obit For Len Monheimer

Leonard Earl Monheimer

Published in Houston Chronicle on September 18, 2011

Leonard Earl Monheimer, Len to all who knew him, passed away on Wednesday, the 14th of September 2011, in Houston.

Len was born in Chicago, Illinois, on the 3rd of July 1923, and moved to the Los Angeles area when he was a child. He graduated from Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, California, in 1940. He studied journalism at Los Angeles College where he wrote about baseball for the college newspaper. At 6'8", he was too tall to serve in the military at the start of World War II. Instead, he proudly served his country by assembling tail sections of P-38 Lightening airplanes for Lockheed Martin.

After the war, Len began a lifelong career pursuing one of his passions: baseball. He got his start when he was hired by the New York Yankees first basemen, Babe Dahlgren, to manage Dahlgren's Ontario, California, team. As his career progressed, Len became the General Manager and/or Owner of many minor league baseball teams nationwide: he was Manager of the Stockton, California, and Douglas, Arizona, teams to start. He then became the General Manager and/or owner of the Portland Beavers, Charleston Charlies, Arkansas Travelers, Bakersfield Bears, Las Vegas Wranglers, Salem Dodgers, Davenport Browns, Peoria White Sox, Amarillo Gold Sox and the Augusta Pirates. He also worked as the Promotional Manager for the ill-fated Seattle Pilots, now known as the Milwaukee Brewers.

Additionally, he had brief stints working in professional basketball with the San Diego Clippers and professional soccer with the Portland Timbers.

Len remained a bachelor until age 51, when he fell in love with the lady who would become his wife in 1975, Ann Foster Monheimer. Ann and Len worked side-by-side in the baseball business.

He retired in 1989 following a very successful year in which his team, the Augusta Pirates, won the South Atlantic League championship.

Upon retirement, Len and Ann moved to Houston, Texas, to be closer to their daughters, Jackie and Terri.

Anyone who met Len rarely forgot him. He was not only tall in stature, but had a superb mastery of baseball facts and stories. He loved discussing baseball with everyone.

As well as being passionate about baseball, Len was known for his extreme love of animals, especially dogs and cats. He tirelessly worked to save as many homeless dogs and cats as possible and was an active contributor to the Houston Humane Society.

Len was preceded in death by his parents and his beloved wife, Ann. He is survived by his two daughters, Jackie Ritchie and Terri Evans, both of Houston, Texas; cousins Maxine Best of Sarasota, Florida, and Eunice Held and her husband Bob, also of Sarasota.

Len's daughters wish to acknowledge and thank The Forum at Memorial Woods and Hospice Compassus for the excellent care provided to their father.

Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from six until eight o'clock in the evening on Monday, the 19th of September, in the Library and Grand Foyer of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.

On Tuesday, the family will gather for a private interment service at Glenwood Cemetery, where Rev. Charles Thompson, Executive Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Houston's Downtown Campus, is to officiate.

In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in Len's name may be directed to the Houston Humane Society, 14700 Almeda Rd, Houston, TX, 77053.