Al DeLeon 1938-2020

Hall of Famer Al DeLeon passed away on December 16th. He was 82 years old. A three-time state champion for Blue Earth High School and a two-time All-American for Mankato State, DeLeon was inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Dave Bartelma Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2006. He went on to coach wrestling at Britt High School in Iowa. DeLeon is a member of the Iowa High School Wrestling Hall of Fame, the Mankato State University Hall of Fame, and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame with a Lifetime Service Award.

Al DeLeon Obituary:

Alfred (Al) Perez DeLeon, 82, of Britt passed away peacefully on December 16, 2020 at the Kanawha Community Home.

A private family funeral service for Al DeLeon will be held at First Lutheran Church in Britt.

There will be a Celebration of Life Memorial Service for Al held at a later date.

Al DeLeon was born in San Antonio, TX, on April 28, 1938, to Joseph and Margarita (Perez) DeLeon. Al’s mother died when he was very young leaving his father with the responsibility of caring for him and his nine siblings. In the late 1940’s Al’s father moved his family to southern Minnesota where Al attended country school and then Blue Earth High School, graduating in 1958. During his high school years, Al participated in several sports but he excelled in wrestling and became a three-time MN state champion. After high school, he attended Minnesota State University (Mankato State College) and become a 2-time All-American by placing fourth (1961) and second (1962) at the NCAA National Wrestling Tournament (Division 1). In the fall of 1962, Al was hired to coach wrestling and teach Spanish at the high school in Britt, Iowa.

On July 3, 1966, he was united in marriage to Lois Shriver at the Danebod Lutheran Church in Tyler, MN. They made their home in Britt where Al continued his coaching/teaching career. He served as an assistant wrestling coach for one year and then as head coach for the next 31 years. Over the span of his years as a wrestling coach, Al had 29 state individual champions, 3 state team championships and 7 state runner-up teams. Later he continued his coaching career at Waldorf University. He has authored a wrestling book, received Hall of Fame recognition and was chosen as the 1971 Coach of the Year in Iowa.

Al was a member of the First Lutheran Church in Britt where he served on the Church Council and participated in Bible Study. During their years together, Al and Lois traveled to Mexico and took many trips to places in the USA. One of Al’s favorite pastimes was sharing his homemade salsa and nacho dip with friends and family members. He loved working with young people and spent many summers working as an instructor at various wrestling camps. Al had a deep religious faith which carried him through the difficult times and sustained him during the good times. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather who found many ways to express his love for his family.

Al is survived by his wife of fifty-four years, Lois of Britt, children, Marlene (Jon) Leerar of Britt, John DeLeon of Farmington, NY, Justin DeLeon of Minneapolis, MN; grandchildren Emily (Nate) Paulus, Kelly Leerar, Rachel Leerar, Mallory Leerar, Allie DeLeon, Olivia DeLeon; brothers Hector DeLeon of Whittier, CA, Andrew DeLeon of Los Angeles, CA; sister Martha (Gene) Denn of St Paul, MN; along with many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, five brothers and two sisters.