Minerva Adeline Leonard, 97, of Sycamore Illinois, formerly of Farmersburg, Iowa died Sunday, August 25, 2019, at her home in the presence of family members. Minerva was born August 3, 1922, to Oscar and Nellie (Olson) Torkelson in Farmersburg, Iowa. She was baptized and confirmed at Norway Lutheran Church, rural St. Olaf, Iowa. Minerva graduated from Farmersburg High School and was valedictorian of her class.
Minerva was united in marriage with Lloyd Leonard on February 20, 1943, at the Army Air Force Base in Douglas, Arizona. They lived near the base until Lloyd was transferred to duty in the South Pacific and Minerva moved back to her family home until the war ended. After World War II, Lloyd pursued a career in education and they lived for periods in Des Moines, Iowa; Jefferson, Iowa; Davenport, Iowa; Greeley, Colorado; Mankato, Minnesota, and finally settling in Sycamore, Illinois, in 1963 where Lloyd was employed at Northern Illinois University where he was a professor in the departments of Elementary Education and Education Administration.
Four children were born to this union. Minerva and Lloyd were members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Sycamore and were active supporters of Sycamore Band Boosters for many years. Minerva enjoyed writing poetry, painting, doing crosswords, reading and traveling with her husband. Minerva was known as a sweet lady with a kind heart to all who knew her.
Minerva is survived by her two daughters, Camille (Doug) Scott of Sycamore, Illinois, and Maureen Sullivan of Divernon, Illinois; two sons, Mark (Paula) Leonard of Lockport, Illinois, and Kevin Leonard of Dekalb, Illinois; ten grandchildren, fifteen great-grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren, and brother-in-law, Lee Klinkenberg.
Minerva was preceded in death by her husband, Lloyd Leonard; her parents, Oscar and Nellie Torkelson; her sister and brother-in-law, Opal and Millard Houg; brother and sister-in-law, Quentin and Ruby Torkelson; sister, Iva Klinkenberg; and son-in-law, Don Sullivan.
Visitation will be Friday, September 6, 2019 from 1-3 pm at Leonard-Grau Funeral and Cremation Service, Elkader, Iowa.
Burial will follow at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Elkader, Iowa.
Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Elkader, Iowa is helping the family with the arrangements.