Remembering Halbert Leftridge
“A time to be born” Halbert Leftridge was born to the late William and Florence Johnson Leftridge in Clearbrook, Frederick County, Virginia on December 9, 1917. He was the third child of four of this union.
“A time to grow” At the age of 3 years, Halbert’s family moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He attended Paxtang School, an elementary school. He graduated from William Penn High School.
“A time for knowledge” After graduating from William Penn, Halbert attended Tuskegee Institute for two years. His major was Hotel Management. His education was interrupted by the draft.
“A time for labor” Halbert was a Corporal in the U.S. Army and served as a military policeman. After being Honorably Discharged, he obtain employment as an aircraft mechanic at Olmstead Air Force Base; now Harrisburg International Airport. At the same time, Leftridge’s Floor Cleaning was started in 1947. Halbert provided services to many State Office buildings. This venture eventually evolved to become Leftridge’s Janitorial Services. This type of business was the first of its kind in Harrisburg at that time. Both businesses were sold in the early 1960’s in order to concentrate on Leftridge’s Cut Rate, which was purchased in June of 1958. Halbert asked Olmstead for time off to get the store going and they refused. He therefore resigned to concentrate on getting Leftridge’s Cur Rate off the ground. The neighborhood store was in operation for 58 years.
“A time for service” Halbert was a long time member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. He was also a member of the Men’s Group and an active volunteer whenever the church needed him.
“A time for community service” Halbert supported many civic endeavors. In the late fifties, he sponsored a little league baseball team. He was awarded the Urban League of Metropolitan Harrisburg President’s Award. This award was in appreciation for his community involvement. HACC Kwanza Festival & Life Esteem presented the Harambee Recognition Award to Halbert and Wyonella Leftridge. He believed in helping those who needed without a lot of fanfare.
“A time for fun” Halbert enjoyed his quiet time and music. In gatherings, he enjoyed good conversation and discussing current events. He was a participant in the “March on Washington” in 1963 which was organized by Dr. Martin Luther King. Leftridge’s Cut Rate was not only his vocation but also his enjoyment. Halbert loved serving the neighborhood and his community.
“A time to mourn” Halbert’s home going has and will continue to have a tremendous impact on the many lives he touched. His wisdom and joyful spirit of 100 years will be remembered by the many lives he touched. Halbert leaves to continue his legacy his daughter Lois Leftridge Washington and his grandson, Nicholas Halbert Leftridge. Halbert is finally at peace because he is reunited with this beloved wife Wyonella, his daughter Janis, and his siblings, Alphonso, Clifton and Marie. He leaves behind nieces, nephews, close friends, and acquaintances who were touched by his presence and who will dearly miss him. His favorite greeting when asked “Halbert, how are you?” his response would be “Fine as wine!”