Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

George Mackleit


January 30, 2020

George Leinweber

George Leinweber

George Kenneth Mackleit, longtime Colfax resident, passed away January 23, 2020, at the Whitman Hospital in Colfax. He was 81. A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, February 1st, at 11:00 a.m. at Peace Lutheran Church in Colfax. A family graveside service with military honors will be held later in the Colfax Cemetery.

George was born April 13, 1938, in Colfax to Carl and Leona Martin Mackleit; the third of four boys to bless their home. He grew up in LaCrosse and played football and ran track in school. George set the high school record in the 100-yard dash. He also helped his father around the farm and raised champion hogs that consistently brought top honors in the Spokane Livestock arenas. George graduated from LaCrosse High School in 1957 and shortly thereafter enlisted in the United States Air Force. He served from 1957 until 1962 as a "super-sonic grease monkey" stationed primarily in Great Falls, Mont., working on the re-fuelers and other aircraft. After his honorable discharge from the Air Force George returned home.

He married Harriet Wigen in LaCrosse on September 30, 1960. They made their home in Colfax where George worked as a mechanic for the Brown & Holter Chevrolet Oldsmobile dealership. He kept busy as a father too and was active in the community in many ways. He served as President of the little league association, was Past-President of the Jay-Cee's and found time to teach his boys how to waterski on the Snake River or at Priest Lake in the summers. He also liked photography and dabbled with his own dark room in their house.

In 1986, he began his career with Chipman-Brown (now Chipman-Taylor), in Pullman, and was one of the last remaining service techs to have his own "pit" where he was a specialist with front end alignments. When George retired in 2001, he had given over 39 years of service to General Motors as a master service technician and missed only 5 days due to sickness or injury.

Early retirement years found George wandering the deserts of Nevada and Arizona in search of gold. He loved to prospect and pan for gold or just enjoyed spending time outdoors. He always found his way back home and never one to sit idle he worked at the Colfax Golf course contributing to the restoration of the course grounds. The Colfax Golf Course Board recognized George's contributions with a lifetime golf membership. George drove for the COAST van from 2010 to 2018. Just last year he returned to the golf course helping to maintain the greens at the Colfax Golf Course. He loved to play a round of golf with friends or family whenever he could too. George maintained an active lifestyle, until just recently when pancreatic cancer slowed him down.

He will be missed by many in the community, but especially by his wife Harriet; his three sons, Mark (Bobbi) Mackleit, Colfax, Kent (Jeanette) Mackleit, Detroit, Michigan, and Rick (Wendy) Mackleit, Colfax; by his brother, Dennis (Alice) Mackleit of LaCrosse; a sister-in-law, Margaret Mackleit of Spokane; eight grandchildren of whom he was so proud, Bryan (April) Mackleit, Errin (Richard) Couck, Lauren (Chris) Sothen, Alex Mackleit, Paige (Nick) Thurman, Bailey, Averi and Keagan Mackleit; and by six great-grandchildren, Zachary Cooper, Abigail Mackleit, William and Charlie Couck, Tyacke Mackleit and Bud Weitze. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Raymond and Robert, and by a sister-in-law, Connie.

The family suggests memorial gifts in his memory be to the Colfax Golf Course or to the Colfax High School Track and Field. On-line guest book is at http://www.bruningfuneralhome.com Bruning Funeral Home of Colfax is in charge of the arrangements.


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