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Lillian A. Leonard, 96, of Belmond, formerly of Storm Lake

July 28, 2020 3:01pm

Lillian A. Leonard, age 96, passed away on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 at the Rehabilitation Center of Belmond.

Lillian Leonard formerly of Storm Lake, IA, age 96, passed away on July 22 at the Rehabilitation Center of Belmond, Belmond, IA.   A private family graveside and burial service was held at the Holstein Cemetery, Holstein, IA on Friday, July 24, 2020.  A public celebration of life to occur at a future date.

Lillian was born on October 27, 1923 on a farm near Deweese, Nebraska.  She was the daughter of Leo and Marie (Hamersky) Cecava.  She graduated from Lawrence High School in Nebraska in 1941.  After graduation and meeting education requirements, Lillian taught school in rural Nebraska from 1941-1945.  Following her teaching career, she worked at Mutual of Omaha Insurance in Omaha.  While in Omaha, Lillian met the love of her life, Maurice Orville Leonard of Holstein, Iowa.  The couple were married on June 7, 1947, in Omaha. 

Lillian and Maurice moved to Guthrie Center, Iowa following their wedding where Lillian worked for the Guthrie Center Public Schools food service.  In 1955, Lillian and Maurice moved to Storm Lake where Lillian was employed by the Storm Lake Community Schools as Director of Food Services and cook for 24 years before retiring in 1986.  Lillian was an active volunteer for many church activities in the St. Mary’s Catholic parish as a Catholic Daughter, Guild, and parish funeral committee member.  In her retirement, she also volunteered at the Buena Vista Hospital hospitality services.  Due to failing health, Lillian moved to the Rehabilitation Center of Belmond in 2018 where she resided until the time of her death.

Lillian was noted for being an outstanding cook and baker.  In 1952, she won the national Pillsbury Bake Off competition for her “Hamwiches” in the bread category.  Her pies, rolls, and kolaches were noted by family members and friends as being some of the best!  She enjoyed her coffees and playing bridge and 500 with friends. Lillian was noted for her willingness to reach out to everyone and to include them in conversation. She was a dedicated wife, mother, aunt, and grandmother who enjoyed spending family time together.

Lillian is survived by her daughters, Dr. Cynthia Martinek (Jerold) of Belmond, IA and Dr. DiAnne Leonard (Dr. Neil Ellison) of Danville, PA; grandchildren, Christopher Martinek; Katherine (Christopher) Winand and their daughter, Addison; Dr. Ross (Dr. Halle) Ellison; and their daughters, Ava and Emma; Seth Ellison; and, Todd (Dr. Cassie) Ellison and their daughter, Nora. Left also to cherish her memory are sisters Rose (Frank) Wanek, Bellevue, NE and Frances Hubl (Charles), Lawrence, NE, and numerous nieces and nephews.  Lillian was preceded in death by her parents, Leo and Marie; her husband, Maurice; a grandson, Jeromy Martinek; brothers, Victor (Rose) Cecava; Frank (Janet) Cecava; Ernie (Laveta) Cecava; Louis (MaryAnn) Cecava; and, sisters Mary (John) Stech; Olga (Joseph) Thimesch;  and Martha Cecava.

Memorials may be sent in Lillian’s name to the Storm Lake Meals on Wheels % Susan Vaudt, PO BOX 1092 Storm Lake, IA  or a charity of choice.  Andrews Funeral Homes, Belmond, Iowa 641-444-4474