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
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,