Leonard John Kapanke, 84, of Chaseburg passed away Wednesday, August 25, 2021, at Bethany St. Joseph Care Center in La Crosse, surrounded by his family.
Leonard was born November 10, 1936, on the family farm to Carl W. and Melinda (Dengel) Kapanke. Leonard was proud and pleased to be able to live his life on the farm worked by 3 generations of Kapanke’s. He often wondered how his grandparents, father and 6 siblings were able to all fit in the homestead log cabin.
Leonard attended Chipmunk Coulee School and went on to graduate from Westby High School. Learning was important to Leonard. He was the first person in his family to graduate from High School. After High School, Leonard attended Coleman for mechanics. He worked for a short time at Ray Hudson Chevrolet before returning to farming.
Leonard loved farming. He enjoyed plowing the fields, planting and harvesting the crops, and listening to the radio in the barn at night while he tended the cows. He farmed two family farms with his sister Karleen and his brother Robert before they split the farms. They planted corn, tobacco, and grains and raised cows, chickens and pigs.
Leonard had an active imagination and a love of learning. He spent many nights of his youth designing mouse traps and other inventions. He liked to journal every day, writing down the events of his life and the world around him.
Leonard enjoyed spending his time playing his accordion, watching westerns, listening to sermons on the radio and caring for his beloved farm and cats. Leonard had an active interest in the world and current affairs. He loved to tell his visitors about what was happening locally, nationally and worldwide. Many visitors stood with their hand on the door knob, ready to leave, but riveted to the stories he told so freely and well. He also liked to grace his visitors with a song or two on the accordion before letting them out the door.
Leonard’s faith was the cornerstone of his life and he was a lifetime member of the Hamburg Lutheran Church, rural Chaseburg. Leonard lived his life in the grace of God and as a reflection of God’s Love. His humility, curiosity, and desire to do good will be sorely missed.
Leonard is survived by his sister Karleen. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Robert.
Funeral services will be at 11 am on Tuesday August 31, 2021 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Chaseburg. A visitation will be held at the church from 10 am until the time of service. Burial will follow in the Hamburg Lutheran Church Cemetery. The Seland Funeral Home of Coon Valley is assisting the family. Condolences may be given at selandsfuneralhome.com.
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