Memorial mass for Roger Leitzen, age 77, of Milaca, will be held Friday, December 30, 2022 at 11 AM at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Milaca. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service at the church. Private burial will take place at a later date.
Roger was the loving son of Bernadine and William “Bill” Leitzen, the eldest of four. He helped on the family farm in Stockton, IL and Gratiot, WI and remained a country boy ever since, especially when operating farm machinery.
He graduated from Gratiot HS in 1963, played football and basketball, and from UW-Platteville in 1973 in Industrial Technology. He met Kay in October 1972 at the Capitol Cafe (thank you, Dorothy Brown, RIP, 2022), had their first date in December (50 years ago this week, which they enjoyed reminiscing all month), married her in May 1973, and started at Gehl Co., West Bend, WI a week later. Their honeymoon was planting corn on the Leitzen farm and every vacation for 5 years was spent there, until their two daughters, Tonya and Tenille, realized there were other types of vacations. Downhill skiing, snowmobiling, motorcycling, and camping in all seasons were some favorite family activities. He played softball for the Gehl team and also in the St. Rose Church League, Brodhead, when he played 2nd base and Kay played 1st: their team won the championship the two years they played. He was very patriotic, proudly displaying the US flag when possible. He signed up to serve in the Armed Forces but even at 20, did not pass his physical due to a genetic deep vein disorder which challenged him all his adult life.
After 14 years at Gehl Co., mainly as a liaison specialist with manufacturers, including overseas, he later worked as a project engineer at Knight Manufacturing, Hinicker Company, Winco, Coleman Powermate, and Willmer Company (AGCO). Many of his improvements are still in the field today, in grain buggies, spreaders and skid steer loaders.
He kept Skyview Acres Boarding Kennels, 7+ acres in rural Mankato/St. Peter, in picture perfect condition, even while raising and caring for horses, goats, sheep, turkeys, German Shepherd pups, and baling hay with his family. He worked in security in his semi-retirement for BENCO, Twin City Security and Rochester Armored Car Company.
Retiring in Milaca, MN in 2009, he was a member of St. Mary’s Church, where he enjoyed greeting parishioners and ushering, helping with the Father Hennepin Club, delivering Meals on Wheels with his grandchildren, and praying for all intentions at several Adoration hours per week.
He attended and helped with a few retreats through Central MN Koinonia in Little Falls. He experienced a stunning flash of inspiration he was “told to share” but could not speak of it without becoming emotional. The message is: 1) Be modern day disciples 2) Be creative 3) Keep it simple 4) Time is short. Roger has always appreciated Tom Erickson mentoring him with this and our family appreciates his help as well.
Roger kept Meadow’s Edge beautiful: 2 1/2 acres with a brook (thank you, Dave Ziemke) but he always wanted to do more than his body did! Two golf greens, a soccer / volleyball court, walking trails, horseshoes, and landscaping were features he added, but hardly ever took time to play. He maintained family vehicles and wanted to fix “everything” to “save them from the landfill”. During the winter, he practiced quiet love songs on his electric guitar. Playing Santa, he liked to put smiles on the hard workers of our communities. On Friday, December 16, he was planning another Santa trip to Princeton as a tiny clot shut down his heart, weakened from a previous attack in March 2021. He felt no pain, and simply did not wake up from a little nap. He has no desire to return to his body, just as a butterfly would not want to return to being a caterpillar.
He is paving the Way for his loved ones: wife, Kay (Krepfle), daughters, Tonya (Tony Ray) Leitzen-Ray, Brainerd, MN, Tenille and grandson, Leon Leitzen, Winthrop, MN, granddaughter, Lily Leitzen and bonus grandchildren, Kayla and Michael Ray; brother, Alan (Kathy) Leitzen, sister, Debra (Ted) Kieffer, and in-laws, John McDaniel, Lorraine Krepfle, Keith (Michelle Darcy) Krepfle, Ann (Terry) Boyle, Michael Krepfle, Bob (Stacy) Krepfle, Pam (Tim) Burling, Pat (Brad) Reuter, and his nieces and nephews and their families.
He was greeted in Heaven by his parents, his parents-in-law, Ralph and Alma Krepfle, sister, Carol McDaniel, brother-in-law, Ray Krepfle, nephew, Michael Leitzen, close cousin, Ken Leitzen, many aunts and uncles by blood and marriage, many varied friends he made during his time on Earth and his loyal, brilliant German Shepherd, Rebel.
We want to thank the North Memorial Ambulance Service, Fairview Emergency professionals, Dr. Mutushin, (who spoke Roger’s mechanical language), Lee Hanson (another farm linguist) Law Office, Fr. Derek and St. Mary’s Church, Milaca, staff members, Reese and the Peterson-Johnson Funeral Home staff, and all of our friends and family who are helping to fill the huge hole in our lives that Roger (Husband, Dad, Grandpa, brother, uncle, great-uncle, friend) has left.