Wallace Samuel Leinwand

January 29, 1924December 6, 2012

Wallace Samuel Leinwand, 88, of Elizabethtown died peacefully on December 6, 2012, after a lengthy illness. He was born in Branchville, SC, on January 29, 1924, the only child of Isaac and Flora Pearlstein Leinwand. After moving from Branchville at the age of 13, he graduated from Elizabethtown High School in 1942.

Wallace entered the United State Air Force in 1943, during World War II, and was honorably discharged as a sergeant in 1946. Returning to Elizabethtown, he went into business with his father at Leinwand’s. Eventually Wallace took over the operation of the department store, which is now a landmark in Elizabethtown as the oldest continuous business in the county seat – 77 years and stronger and more viable than ever.

In 1947, Wallace married Shirley Gintel, a native of New York, whom he met while being stationed in Miami Beach. They were partners in the business for about 60 years. Mrs. Leinwand continues to be the bookkeeper in the store.

During his career, Mr. Leinwand was more than just a store owner. He was the heartbeat of the town and Bladen County for the last half of the 20th Century. All encompassing civic pride was woven into the fabric of his being. The following are some of his numerous accomplishments: He served as Mayor Pro-Tem, then later, Mayor of Elizabethtown during the 1990’s. In addition, Wallace served as a leader of several organizations, including President of Elizabethtown Rotary Club, where he was also a Paul Harris Fellow; President of Elizabethtown Jaycees; Vice-President of the North Carolina Jaycees; and the Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber of Commerce, where he was recently given an honorary lifetime membership.

Wallace has also been a member of several other civic organizations, among them: Bladen County Shrine Club for 60 years (a charter member); Bladen County Masonic Lodge for 50 years (a charter member), having achieved the 32nd degree; and the Elizabethtown Optimist Club (a charter member).

In addition, Mr. Leinwand has served as Chairman of the East Bladen High School Advisory Council; member of the Board of Directors of the former Wachovia Bank; and also, he was the Bladen County Chairman of the Battleship North Carolina fundraising effort that brought the ship home to Wilmington 50 years ago.

As if Wallace did not do enough in his lifetime, his biggest love, after his family and his town and county, was his love of athletics. He was a founding organizer of the Elizabethtown Little League Baseball program, and there is a baseball park in Elizabethtown named in his honor. But his love of athletics was even more widespread, as he was a chief booster and avid supporter of Elizabethtown High School, Bladen Central High School, East Bladen High School and middle school sports.

Being a dedicated follower of his faith, Wallace was a member of three area synagogues: Beth Israel Synagogue in Whiteville, where he served as President; B’nai Israel Synagogue in Wilmington; and Temple Emanuel in Myrtle Beach.

Mr. Leinwand is survived by Shirley, his wife of 65 years; his three children Dr. Jeffrey Leinwand, of Raleigh; Ricky Leinwand and wife Eileen, of Elizabethtown, now the owners of Leinwand’s; and Sharon Leinwand, of Raleigh; his four grandchildren, Brian and wife Amber; Justin and wife Blythe; Michael and wife Sharon; Erica and husband Morgan; and one great-grandson, Luke.

The family will receive friends at the Leinwand home on Clark Boulevard and 2nd Avenue, in Elizabethtown. The funeral service will be held at B’nai Israel Synagogue, located in Wilmington at 2601 Chestnut Street, on Sunday, December 9, 2012, at 2 p.m., with a burial at the Hebrew Cemetery in Wilmington to follow. Coble-Ward Funeral Home in Wilmington will handle all funeral arrangements. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in honor of Wallace Leinwand to Leinwand Park, C/O P.O. Box 756, Elizabethtown, NC 28337, or to the charity of your choice.

The staff of Coble Ward-Smith is honored to serve the family of Wallace Samuel Leinwand.


  • Funeral Service Sunday, December 9, 2012

Wallace Samuel Leinwand

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted


December 17, 2012

A Memorial Gift has been presented to Godwin Heights Baptist Church in memory of Mr. Wallace S. Leinwand by Mr. and Mrs. Tom Gibson, 315 Barker Ten Mile Road, Lumberton, NC 28358. This gift will be acknowledged in our weekly bulletin and in our Book of Memorials and Honor begun in 2011.


December 10, 2012


December 10, 2012

Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.We are so sorry for your loss,he will truly be missed.
Benny and Kathy Callihan, Clarkton,NC

Rick Hester

December 10, 2012

Our world is a better place because of Mr. Wallace Leinwand.

Allison Smith

December 9, 2012

My sister Melissa and I were going through our mothers things about 3 weeks ago. We found some of her most valued treasures. Among these was a letter from Aunt Shirley when our father Alfred Gene Smith passed away. It was the only sympathy letter she had saved. It had been in her special drawer for 30years. It was so touching and she was in the hospital as she wrote it. One of the nurses had come into her room to tell her of his death. Tears streamed down our faces as we read it. Uncle Wallace and Aunt Shirley, as we have always called them, meant and mean the world to our family.
With Deepest Sympathy,
Allison Smith and Melissa Smith McNeill

Allison Smith

December 9, 2012

A few weeks ago my sister and I were going though our mom Vera Smith's most valuable treasures that she held close to her heart and saved over the years. As we were looking through things we found a letter. It was from Aunt Shirley when our father Alfred Gene died. That was the only sympathy letter she had saved for the last 30 years. It touch our hearts with her kind words and remembering out father. She was actually in the hospital when she wrote it. Uncle Wallace and Aunt Shirley, as we always have called them, means the world to our whole family.
With our deepest Sympathy,
Allison Smith and Melissa McNeill

December 8, 2012

Wallace was the sweetest man he would always give me a kiss on the cheek when Jack and I came in the store. He will be missed and our sympathy goes to your entire family. Jack and Doris Moss, Clayton NC

Katherine Quinn

December 8, 2012

Always remember how Wallace welcome ever
time .I go in the store and always give
a good price .my heart go out to all
the family may God be with you

Gary Padgett

December 7, 2012

Always remember how Wallace made me feel welcome in being a new member of thee community, back in "83", always greeted ya with smile! Thankin about Ricky & thee rest of his family! God Bless!

December 7, 2012

ricky and family
our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief
brian anita and jayden willington