The Heart of Kernersville: Al Livelsberger

By NJ Clausen

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and a special gratitude to those men and women who served our country in one of the military branches. This month I have the pleasure of introducing you to a man of honor and integrity, Allen (Al) Livelsberger.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and a special gratitude to those men and women who served our country in one of the military branches. This month I have the pleasure of introducing you to a man of honor and integrity, Allen (Al) Livelsberger.

Born in Pennsylvania, Al is the oldest of six brothers. His childhood was spent in a small town in the country, with both sets of his grandparents living near enough to ride his bicycle to their homes. Al would mow the lawn for the grandparents called ‘Pop and Mom’, while his brothers would pick potatoes and do odd jobs for them. At his other grandparents’ house, he would hunt and fish all over the area with ‘Pappy’.

When he was old enough, Al learned how to play baseball and was coached by World War 2 veterans and the Knights of Columbus. Beside his home there was a little sandlot, and they made a baseball diamond out of it. Al smiled as he remembered how he and his brothers would play ball with the boys and girls from town. 

Al was educated in Catholic schools from grade school through high school, and he enjoyed history and geography classes the most. Al also played football his freshman year on the junior varsity team, but during his sophomore year the new coach told Al he was “too small” to play. Fortunately, a new coach, Alex Bell, came his junior year. Al referred to Alex Bell as a unique individual because he believed that if you played hard, no matter your size, and you tried hard enough you would make the team. Al lettered both his junior and senior years. He added that Alex Bell left his school to coach at Villanova and led the team to be one of the top 10 in the nation, then became a scout for professional teams.

After graduation, Al went straight into the Navy. After boot camp he had thought to go into naval air, however, when he was sent to the Pax River Naval Air Test Center, he found that a spot in that program was not available. Al became a Seaman and an E-4 Draughtsman in the electronics test unit. Everything was tested, then tested again. After over a year, Al was sent to the USS Forrestal and worked in the AI office. Al was able to travel to many foreign ports before the ship– CVA59– which carried a crew of 5,500 men (there were no women at this time), was put into dry dock. One memory that stands out for Al was when he was in Rome and was a part of a general audience with Pope Pious XII, just a couple of days before the Pope passed away. 

Al was next stationed at Little Creek, Virginia, and placed in a Tactical Air Control Squadron. After additional training with the Marines, Al was assigned to the USS Boxer. When Al returned to the base in Little Creek, he remained there until his discharge just before his 21st birthday, then he went back home to Pennsylvania and stayed with his parents until he married.

Through letters she wrote to Al while he was in the service, Jeannette entered his life. When he returned, they would meet at the Young Adult Club at church. Along with Priests and Deacons, the group would go bowling. Al laughed when he said that in the beginning he and Jeannette would “fight like cats and dogs”, but he loved her dearly and they married a few years later. Al also met Jim at the Young Adult Club, and they went to night school together for 5 years at Penn State for Machine and Tool Design, forging a lifelong friendship. 

Al and Jeannette lived in Pennsylvania for 10 years, but in 1973 he was working with AMP, Inc. in Greensboro while Jeannette stayed behind with their two children until school ended. The family moved to Kernersville after 3 years, a more centralized location for Al as he was traveling all over the area, for this job and the ones that followed. Al is a Machine Development Engineer Level 3, and when he designed a machine, it had to be conditioned, go through quality control and all the different required disciplines.

Over the years Al has been active in the church with the Knights of Columbus, teaching Faith Formation & RCIA. He was a Cub Scout when young and a Scout Master here for many years, receiving awards for his dedication and commitment to helping scouts attain religious medals. In his free time, Al works with wood and has created beautiful pieces of furniture and works of art. Al has great love for the community and feels grateful and blessed for all his family, and the many friendships he has made over the years. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *