Alfred “Al” Thomas Letle, 67, of Haverill, MA, passed away on December 17, 2021, 50 years to the day of his father’s passing, peacefully surrounded by family and love. Born November 18, 1954 in Hollywood, CA, he was the son of the late Raymond Doolittle and Joan Freeman.
Al grew up in Detroit, MI where he went on to serve honorably in the United States Army from 1974-1976. Upon his return, and for the next 40-plus years, Al was employed in the Thoroughbred Horse Racing Industry as a Jockey, Starting Gate Assistant, and of most recent into his retirement, a Jockey’s Valet. He served these positions proudly at Suffolk Downs in East Boston, MA, Rockingham Park in Salem, NH, and for the majority of his career, Laurel Racetrack in Laurel, MD.
Al was a proud Freemason, and was Worshipful Master of Prudence Lodge #190 in Mount Airy, MD for 3 years. He also belonged to the J. Demolay Commandry #4 as a Knight Templar. His work in Masonry was noted as excellent work & service. Al was also a proud member of the Maryland Grand Chapter of the Widows Sons, a Masonic Riding Association - a group of Maryland Freemasons who love and ride motorcycles, coupled with a common interest in Masonic fellowship and fraternal brotherhood.
Al was a very accomplished and highly ranked Martial Artist who achieved the rank of 8th Degree Black Belt in Shorin Ryu. He began his training in Beltsville, MD under Don Bitanga’s Martial Arts Center in the 1970s. He has trained under Sensei James Stargel for the last 12 years and also received the rank of First Degree Black Belt in Kobujitsu, an Okinawan Weapons art. Al was also inducted into the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
In addition to serving the organizations he was affiliated with, Al enjoyed traveling near and far to see family and friends, instructing Martial Arts, was an avid golfer, cared daily for his and Lynette’s horse Orlando “Oshie”, was a firearms enthusiast, loved ALL the Red White and Blue stood for, and couldn’t go a day without his Coffee - 7-eleven was the best!!
Al will forever be loved by those he left behind. He is survived by his wife of who he just re-kindled their love for each other and married less than a year, Lynette LaChapelle Bush Letle of Haverhill, MA; his daughters Caitlin Vallandingham (Richard) and Kristin Marsh (Nick) both of Hollywood, MD, Kayla Moore (Logan) of Kingston, NH, and Victoria Letle-Piro of Londonderry, MA; Step-sons, Vernon M. Bush (Kristin) of Salem, NH, Eric Weber of Laurel, MD, and Daniel Weber (Brianne) of Riverview, FL; his sisters Toni Matison (Karl) of Tucson, AZ, Linda Beaver (Bryan) of Lynnfield, MA, and Jennifer Doolittle Miller Smith of Colonial Heights, VA. His grandchildren will miss him dearly; he loved his Champs – Aaron Wood, Austin Weber, and Kevin Gagnon, and his Brookie-Boo – Brooke Wood. Al also leaves behind many nieces and nephews and was preceded in death by his parents. Along with Al’s family, many friends will feel this loss as we recount the joy and love he brought into our lives. We can proudly say that Al made a lasting impression on everyone he met with his charm, energy, mischief, kindness, and zest for life - what we wish he is remembered for most.
Al’s family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the nurses, doctors and staff at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, Massachusetts for taking such wonderful care of him. You are angels walking among us.
Family and friends are invited to visiting hours on Wednesday December 29, 2021 from 1 pm to 3 pm at the Goundrey & Dewhirst Funeral Home, 42 Main Street, Salem, NH. Funeral services will follow the visitation at 3:00 pm on Wednesday at the funeral home. To leave an online condolence, please visit Al’s tribute page at www.goundreydewhirstfuneral.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farms ( https://www.oldfriendsequine.org/ ) or the Bob Cage Scholarship Fund – Prudence Lodge #190, P.O. Box 21, Mount Airy, MD 21771.
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