Gary Leinweber, 56, passed away peacefully in his home in Fremont, Calif., on Dec. 22, 2012, after a long battle with cancer.

Gary Leinweber, 56, passed away peacefully in his home in Fremont, Calif., on Dec. 22, 2012, after a long battle with cancer.

First and foremost, Gary was a devoted and loving family man to son Johnny and wife Jerelyn, and to parents Jack and La Verne Leinweber.

Gary was the son-in-law of Violet Norland Lundquist and the late Jerry Cockriel of McPherson, stepson of Marvin Lundquist of McPherson, and brother-in-law to Kathy Cockriel Janzen and Jim Cockriel of Wichita, and David Cockriel of North Dakota, as well as nephews Michael, T.J., and Jeramy Janzen of McPherson. Gary was also survived by one brother, Ken, and two nieces, Chrystal and Britney Leinweber in California, as well as one sister, LeeAnn Plummer of Nevada.

Gary was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and moved to California with his family while in high school. He was a 1974 graduate and Valedictorian of Newark (Calif.) Memorial High School. Gary graduated in 1978 from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in Environmental Science.

After working in local industry, Gary accepted a position with the City of Mountain View Fire Department as a Hazardous Materials Specialist. He treasured his years working with the Mountain View Fire Department and the local community, working his way up to Environmental Safety Manager, and ultimately to Fire Marshal before his retirement in 2006. Gary also treasured the time he spent volunteering with his son’s Cub Scout dens and Mission San Jose Little League teams. He was an accomplished accordionist and singer who fondly remembered performing in bands with his brother in the seventies.

A natural-born teacher, Gary decided to pursue his passion teaching high school mathematics, receiving a teaching credential from California State University, East Bay in 2008. In Fall 2006 Gary began his teaching career with the Mathematics Department at Irvington High School, where he eventually taught Calculus, Pre-Calculus, Geometry, and Algebra. He relished his teaching experience, working alongside teachers, administrators, staff, and – most of all – his students. One of his favorite sayings was: “Math is a SKILL, not a gift, so practice-practice-practice!”

With wonderful support from Fremont Kaiser Oncology, Gary fought a long battle against cancer. Although he was a private man, he was thankful for the amazing support he received from family, friends, colleagues, and students.

A memorial service will be held in Fremont, Calif., on Dec. 29. After cremation, burial will take place at a later date at the New Gottland Cemetery in McPherson, Kan. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a local Hospice agency.