Richard Leibovitz, a beloved teacher and principal, dedicated his life to the betterment of students in Torrance. Born on September 18, 1935, in Omaha, Nebraska, Richard's journey through life was one defined by passion, discipline, and love. On September 28, 2023, Richard departed this world, leaving behind a legacy that will be cherished for generations to come.
Richard's career spanned several decades within the Torrance School District. From 1963 to 1996, he selflessly served as a teacher and principal at multiple middle schools in Torrance. His unwavering commitment to education led him to culminate his career as a principal at Bert M. Lynn Middle School. Richard's tenure as an educator was marked by his investment in the character development of the children under his guidance. Known for his inspirational playground chats, he played a significant role in shaping young minds and instilling values that went beyond the classroom.
Outside of his professional life, Richard found immense joy in the company of his loved ones. He held family above all else and treasured moments spent together during holidays and special occasions. The festive spirit brought out the best in Richard, who reveled in creating lasting memories with those he held dear.
In addition to his dedication to family and education, Richard had an adventurous side which manifested itself through various hobbies and interests. His love for cars started early and continued throughout his life. A skilled tennis player, he excelled in the sport and even triumphed when he and his team secured second place in the southland senior Olympics doubles competition. Richard's love for travel led him to explore Northern Italy—a place that captured his heart—and indulge in breathtaking riverboat journeys.
Richard's sense of humor was quirky yet endearing, leaving a trail of running gags with both family and friends. His disciplined nature was balanced by a big heart that touched countless lives over the years. He will forever be remembered as a good man who prioritized the well-being of those around him.
Before embarking on his career in education, Richard served in the army during the Korean Conflict from 1955 to 1957. It was during this time that he earned a medal for good conduct, demonstrating his commitment to duty and honor.
Richard's thirst for knowledge led him to achieve academic success. He graduated from Dorsey High School in Los Angeles before obtaining a Bachelor's degree from CSLA. Motivated by his passion for education, he went on to earn a Master's degree in educational administration from USC.
Richard was preceded in death by his father, Sam Leibovitz, and his mother, Esther Goodman, his sister, Greta Kronfeld, Les DeLong, daughter in law, Kelli Leibo, and grandson Andrew Balika. He is survived by his loving wife Ann Leibovitz, Gail DeLong, and their children Lori Rodebush (husband Tim), Ken Leibo (wife Amalia), Lisa Trevino (husband Fred), Deb Reed Balika (husband Brent), and Dan Reed (wife Donna). Additionally, Richard leaves behind 14 adored grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and the beautiful legacy of love that he has left behind.
The funeral service to honor Richard's life will take place on October 7, 2023. The service will be held at Forest Lawn - Long Beach - Memorial Chapel in Long Beach, California. Commencing at 9:30 AM, loved ones will gather to pay their respects and share memories of a remarkable soul who enriched countless lives through his selfless dedication.
Richard Leibovitz may have departed this world, but his spirit of kindness, discipline, and love will forever inspire those who had the privilege of knowing him. Though we mourn his loss, let us also celebrate the impactful life he led—a life distinguished by devotion to family and education. As we bid farewell to Richard, we carry with us the lessons he imparted and the memories he created, ensuring that his legacy lives on in the hearts of all who were touched by his remarkable presence.
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