Monday, December 22, 2014



Craig Alan Leitnaker, 56, Olathe, Kan., passed away Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in his home after a three-year battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his wife, children, father, siblings, nieces and nephews. This man was very loved — most of most.

A service to celebrate Craig’s life is planned for 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, at Grace United Methodist Church, 11485 S. Ridgeview Road, Olathe. Private family burial is set for Highland Cemetery, Ottawa, Kan.

Craig grew up in Ottawa, Kan,, the youngest son of Harold and Marge Leitnaker.

Growing-up in a small Kansas town, Craig had an ideal childhood, running the neighborhood, playing sports and visiting his grandparent’s farm. He loved his older brothers and stayed close, talking and texting daily, and visiting as often as possible.

Craig graduated from Ottawa High School and attended Baker University, where he met the love of his life, Vicky Hayes, a red head like his mom. Craig graduated in May 1979, and married Vicky two weeks later. They moved to Wichita, Kan., where he worked for Gates Learjet and later Boeing. 

Craig and Vicky were so blessed to have three beautiful children. It was the joy of Craig’s life raising his kids. Craig and Vicky were especially grateful to provide their children with a loving church home at West Heights United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kan.

In 1999, the family moved to Olathe, Kan., where Craig began a career with TWA and, later, American Airlines.

Craig was passionate about sports, especially the KU Jayhawks and the Kansas City Chiefs. He played golf as often as he could.

Craig was a lifelong United Methodist who loved singing in the choir.

Kansas weather thrilled him — he loved watching a thunderstorm roll in. His favorite movie was “The Wizard of Oz,” and he knew every lyric. Craig loved grilling and was always striving for the perfect steak. On Saturdays, he regularly listened to The Toby Tobin Radio Show, and was a frequent caller into the program.

While at Baker, Craig was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He most recently served on the Delta Tau Delta Alumni Board.

He will be remembered for his kindness, never knowing a stranger and his willingness to help whenever asked. He had a gift for connecting with people.

The joy of his last year was the birth of his grandson, Henry — his family is so grateful he was able to experience being “Nana.” 

Survivors include his wife, Victoria; his daughter, Paige Badgett (John), Fairway, Kan.; his daughter, Allison Haynes (Paul), Lenexa, Kan.; his son, Evan Leitnaker, Olathe, Kan.; his grandson, Henry Haynes; his parents, Harold and Marjorie Leitnaker, Ottawa, Kan.; his two brothers, Gary Leitnaker (Nancy), Manhattan, Kan., and Tom Leitnaker (Pam), Ottawa, Kan.; and a long list of cousins, nieces and nephews. 

In lieu of flowers, Craig’s family suggests contributions to Gilda’s Club Kansas City,, through Lamb-Roberts Funeral Home, P.O. Box 14, Ottawa KS 66067.

Condolences may be sent to the family through

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