A celebration of Al’s life will take place at 1pm on Saturday, March 28 at Cheshire Lutheran Church, 660 West Main Street, Cheshire, CT and is open to all friends and family. Memorial contributions may be made to the Ashlar Village Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 70, Wallingford, CT 06492 in memory of Al Mitlehner.
Alfred Wilhelm “Al” Mitlehner, 80, passed away in his sleep on March 21st, 2015 at the Masonicare Hospice in Wallingford, CT. Al was a longtime resident of Cheshire, CT, and an active member of Cheshire Lutheran Church and the Connecticut Dahlia Society. Recently he resided at Masonicare in the Ashlar Village community in Wallingford, CT and enjoyed wintering in Naples, FL.
Born in Clementon, NJ to the late Alfred and Elizabeth (Schmich) Mitlehner, he grew up in Mamaroneck, NY and was captain and MVP of the 1952 Mamaroneck High School football team. He went on to study agriculture and play football for Rutgers University, receiving his PhD in Horticulture. At Rutgers, he was also a brother in the Zeta Psi fraternity where he made many life long friends and served as president. Al loved the New Jersey shore where he met his beloved wife of 44 years, the late Geraldine “Gerry” Ann Marsh Mitlehner. Together they spent many happy summers there with their children, grandchildren and friends. They married in 1961 and settled in Cheshire, Connecticut in 1967. Al enjoyed a nearly 40 year long career working for Uniroyal, Inc. in the Agricultural Chemical division. His career took him to far-flung destinations around the world and allowed him to work closely in the field to improve the crops of farmers world-wide. His dedication was recognized with a lifetime scientific achievement award from Uniroyal. In 1985, he and Gerry moved into the historic Elisha Rice home in Cheshire where he enjoyed the vast gardening opportunities, raised fields of Dahlias, and hosted many Mitlehner family reunions. After retirement he enjoyed traveling with Gerry, gathering with friends and family, and growing award-winning flowers, especially Dahlias.
Al is survived by his two sons and their families: Bill and Shea (Wilson) Mitlehner and their children Derek and Jessica, of Glastonbury, CT; Mike and Angie (McMahan) Mitlehner and their daughters Jennifer and Riley, of Portland, OR; and his sister Elizabeth (Mitlehner) Pennella of Greenwich, CT. He was predeceased by his brother, Carl Mitlehner of Frederick, MD.
A celebration of Al’s life will take place at 1pm on Saturday, March 28 at Cheshire Lutheran Church, 660 West Main Street, Cheshire, CT and is open to all friends and family. Memorial contributions may be made to the Ashlar Village Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 70, Wallingford, CT 06492 in Al’s memory. Please share a message or photo on this site if you wish.
Here is the poem that was shared at Al's memorial service:
He Is Gone
by David Harkins
You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
Or you can be full of the love that you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday
You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.