Leonard Joseph Okrie
July 16, 1923 – April 12, 2018
Leonard Joseph Okrie, 94 passed away Thursday, April 12, 2018. Len was born July 16, 1923 in Detroit, Michigan. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ileane Russell Okrie, his parents Frank and Marie Okrie, Brothers Frank R. Okrie Jr., Robert Okrie, and a sister, Dorothy Horn. He served in the United States Navy as a radioman first class during WWII. Len was a professional baseball catcher with the Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers. During off season, he was employed at Howard Whitaker Mens store in Eutaw Shopping Center. He was a minor league manager for Detroit Tigers and retired in 1973. After retirement from the Tigers in 1973, his life took another turn, this time toward a career in law enforcement. Len was employed by the Cumberland County Sheriffs Department. He retired as a desk Sgt from the Sheriff’s Department in 1986. Len and his family enjoyed traveling and lived several years at the coast and continued to work part time as security guard. Moving back to Fayetteville, he was employed by Walmart as a greeter and became known as “Lennie” to employees and customers. He thoroughly enjoyed working with the public. Mr. Okrie retired for the third time in his eighties. Looking back on his life he acknowledged he was truly blessed; his dream of playing in major league baseball, his admiration for law enforcement and interacting with customers at Walmart. He continued to receive letters and requests for autographs from baseball fans and was always amazed and humbled that people remembered him. He often reflected that he had accomplished everything he wanted to do with his life and thoroughly enjoyed it all. Mr. Okrie was a member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Hope Mills, NC. He is survived by his sons, Joey, Len Jr., Robert; daughters Judy, Peggy, Deborah, Lucinda. Numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Visitation will be held from 11am to 12pm on Tuesday April 17,2018 at Good Shepherd Catholic Church. Funeral Mass will be conducted at noon by Father Gaul. Entombment will take place at Lafayette Memorial Park on Ramsey Street.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Leonard Joseph Okrie
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April 16, 2018
My husband, Bill Culbreth worked with Lynn at the Sheriff's dept. and considered him the epitome of a gentleman and great person. He was truly a gentle giant and one that always contributed to our society!
April 15, 2018
Sincere wishes for peace and sharing condolences with Leonard Okrie's family. From the distance of time I share the loss of my father for the second time. I regret not having contact yet understand life sometimes takes personal turns, which on the surface, are not always as they seem. My continued belief that this man was a man of honor and deserves respect and dignity from this one of his sons prevails. He always was the mythical figure I honored as a legacy. And now this legacy becomes legendary as the great leveler brings us all to the common denomination of peace, forgiveness and love.
Robert John Okrie