May 11, 1922 - November 09, 2020
Leon Wendt, 98, of Glenwood, IA passed away on Monday, November 9, 2020 at the Glen Haven Village in Glenwood. Due to COVID-19 the family will be having a private funeral on Friday, November 13, 2020 with military honors. Burial will be in the Ashland Cemetery in Ashland, NE. Loess Hills Funeral Home in Glenwood is caring for Leon and his family.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Trinity Lutheran Church or Harvey T. Rimel American Legion Post 141
Leon was born in Ashland, Nebraska to Anna and Frank Wendt. He grew up and worked on the family farm until entering the Navy on October 27, 1942. His first assignment was aboard the USS Alabama Battleship. During this time he was in the Atlantic Theater earning 2 battle stars, then passed through the Panama Canal and joined the Pacific Theater earning 2 more battle stars. His 2nd assignment was at the Naval Base in Guam on the USS ABSD 3 dry dock where ships were repaired. He was in charge of engine room #3 and remained there until the end of the war. He was Honorably Discharged on December 5, 1945.
Leon returned to farming for a few years after the war, but later went to work for Peoples Natural Gas Company. He worked his way up from Store Keeper to District Manager of Glenwood, Tabor, Sidney and Hamburg, Iowa, retiring in 1984 after 28 years with the company.
Leon was married to Violet Wendt from 1944 - 1977. From this marriage 4 children were born, Lana, Gregory, Debra and Brenda. He was married to Doris Reisner on October 1, 1988 adding to his family 5 stepchildren, Kate, Sherri, Greg, Karen, Ron and all their families.
Leon was also very devoted to serving his community belonging to many organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, VFW, Eagles, Elks, Lions, The American Legion for 72 consecutive years, was a lifetime member and charter member of the Optimist Club, and a life long member of the Lutheran Church. He also was a volunteer fireman for over 5 years while living in Yutan, Nebraska and donated over 5 gallons of blood to the American Red Cross during his lifetime.
In 2008 Leon was on the 1st Heartland Honor Flight to Washington, DC along with 100 other WWII Veterans to visit all the memorials, but especially the newly opened WWII Memorial. He considered the day the trip of a lifetime. He was 86 at the time.
The USS Alabama is now a museum in Mobile, Alabama and Leon and Doris visited the ship on the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Peace Treaty ending WWII.
Leon had many hobbies over the years. When younger he loved playing baseball and was on his high school team and many other town teams even after returning from the war. He also loved bowling, dancing, playing cards, hunting, fishing, golfing, making
homemade wine and was an avid Nebraska football Fan. Go Big Red!
Leon and Doris had a second home in Camdenton, Missouri for many years enjoying the wonderful lake life. Doris said that Leon was always busy working on something. The only time he would stop and relax for several days is when friends or family came to visit. There were many cherished memories made there, swimming, fishing, and long boat rides. He also loved cooking fish for breakfast when family came to visit.
Doris had once mentioned that she had always wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride. Leon also thought that sounded like something he would like to do. So it finally happened in 2014, and it just happened to be Father's Day. Beautiful day, no wind, sunny, perfect! The family followed the balloon with an entourage of cars stopping to take pictures while Leon and Doris had cameras taking photos from above. There was a simple celebration after the landing with champagne cheers and lots of laughter.
Leon lived his last year and 1/2 at Glen Haven Home in Glenwood, Iowa. He adapted well to his new environment and loved visits from his family and friends. The staff were very good to Leon and all his fellow residents. This last 9 months with the pandemic was a challenge for everyone, so visits were less, but the staff did a great job of keeping up the resident's morale. Leon passed away peacefully in his sleep on November 9th. He was loved by all his family and will be greatly missed.
Leon was preceded in death by his parents, son Gregory Wendt, brother and sister-in-law Kenneth and Betty Wendt, sister and brother-in-law Ardis and Jack Nash, son-in-law Michael Novak, and stepson Gregory Reisner.
Leon is survived by his loving wife, Doris; daughters Lana Novak, Debra (Bill) Kistler, Brenda (Alfred) Beier, grandchildren Bailey Novak, Zach Willett, Chase (Brittany) Beier, Blake (Liz) Beier, great-grandchildren Blaine Willett and Jackson Beier, stepchildren Kate Scopac, Sherri (Dale) Bomer-Brown, daughter-in-law Kim Reisner, Karen Reeves, Ron (Kathy) Reisner, brother Keith (Joan) Wendt, sister Beverly (Dale) Santman, and many nieces, nephews, and step grandchildren.
Private Family Serivce
Due to COVID-19the family is having a private funeral service.