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LEO J. McKENNA

December 15, 1940 - February 8, 2009

He was born in Winneshiek County, Iowa to William and Ann McKenna on December 15, 1940.  He was given the name John Leo, but when everyone called him Johnny, his mother changed the name and he was baptized Leo John.  He attended Bluffton #6 country school thru 8th grade and then attended Decorah High School.  In 1955, he quit school to run the family farm as his Dad had been hurt in a tractor accident.  He later returned to school and graduated in 1960.  While going to high school, he worked for Dick McKernan at a gas station earning 50 cents an hour. 
            In 1963, he began work at John Deere Tractor Works in Waterloo, IA.  He married Mary Lou Wiebke on June 5, 1964 in Preston, MN.  They lived in Waterloo until 1969, when they moved to the Wiebke family farm in Prosper.  He enjoyed farming and continued to do the work he loved until his death.  After building tractors, the equipment of choice was usually John Deere. 
            He was a member of St. Olaf Catholic Church in Mabel where he was an usher and served on the building committee and parish council.  He had served as a 4-H leader for many years as his children grew up.  He enjoyed dancing, playing cards, going to his grandchildren’s activities, especially wrestling, and playing and reading with his grandchildren.  He was an avid bird feeder and always made sure the bird feeders were full.  In later years, he enjoyed occasional trips to the casinos.  He liked visiting with people and enjoyed having a good time. 
Leo passed away Sunday, February 8, 2009 at his home after a long battle with cancer at the age of 68.
Leo is survived by his wife, Mary of Prosper; a son and farming partner, Daniel McKenna of Mabel, MN, two daughters, Jody (Steve) Highum of Rochester, MN, and Becky (Brent) Newgaard of Spring Grove, MN; eight grandchildren, Tessa, Garret and Ross McKenna, Amber Miller, Timothy and Hannah Highum, Joshua and Cashton Newgaard.  His mother, Ann McKenna of Decorah, IA; 6 brothers, Vincent (Julie) McKenna of Paris, TX, Donald (Jo) McKenna of Cedar Falls, IA, Terry (Diane) McKenna of Mission, TX, Tom McKenna of Waterloo, IA, David McKenna of New Hampton, IA, William Jr. (Suzie) McKenna of Williamsburg, IA; 9 sisters, Margaret (Bob) McCrea of Waterloo, IA, Mabel (Del) Heth of Cedar Falls, IA, Donna (Kevin) Ward of San Antonio, TX, Mercedes (Roman) Gossman of Rose Creek, MN, Karen (LeAllen) Buerger of Monona, IA, Kathy McKenna of Waterloo, IA, Ann Marie (Lucian) Skretta of Jefferson, WI, Laurie Selberg of Cedar Rapids, IA, Mary Ellen (Louie) Geronomie of LeSeuer, MN, and sister-in-law, Bethany McKenna of Ridgeway, IA; many nieces and nephews; sister-in-laws, Lois (Ken) Erickson of New Hope, MN, and Margaret Russet of Granger, MN. 
            He was preceded in death by his dad, William McKenna and 3 brothers, Gary, Patrick, and Gerald. 

           
Funeral services will be held Thursday, February 12, at 11:00 a.m., at St. Olaf Catholic Church, Mabel, MN with Father Donald P. Schmitz officiating.  Visitation will be Wednesday at the church from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.  Burial will be at the Mabel Public Cemetery.

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