Leon Koziolek, 79, Freeborn/Hartland

Published 10:38am Monday, December 31, 2012

Leon John Koziolek, age 79, of Freeborn/Hartland, died Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, at his home surrounded by his family. He had given an anatomical gift to Rochester Mayo. A memorial Mass will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at St. Casimir Catholic Church in Wells. Visitation will be held on Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. with a 7 p.m.

Leon Koziolek

Rosary service at Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home in Wells and will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday. The Rev. Thomas Niehaus will officiate and interment will be in Freeborn Cemetery at a later date. Please see www.brussheitner.com to leave online condolences. Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home in Wells is in charge of arrangements.

Leon was born June 28, 1933, in Carlston Township, Freeborn County, the son of Alexander T. and Emily (Hassing) Koziolek. He was united in marriage to Kathleen Halloran on Nov. 28, 1964, in Santa Ana, Calif. Leon was born in Freeborn County and lived in the Freeborn area most of his life. He attended District 98 School near the family farm in Freeborn Township. He graduated from Freeborn High School in 1951 and as his yearbook said he wanted to farm. He was active in FFA. As a young farmer he was active in MN Pork Producers Association and was state vice president when it was called Swine Growers Council. He was the first county president of Freeborn County Pork Producers. His family was named Freeborn County Farm Family of the Year in 1992. They were honored as 4-H Adult Leader of the County in 1993. Leon was an adult leader for more than 15 years. They were named MN Pork Producers of the year in 1999. Leon was one of the charter founders of MN Pork Producers in 1966. He was a director for Farm Credit Services (now AgStar). He and his father started a purebred Duroc herd during high school and was active in the Duroc Association. He later continued with a SPF herd and was Minnesota state president of that association. In 1976 they moved to the present farm one mile east of Freeborn where he raised hogs until his last illness. He was a 50-year plus member of Knights of Columbus, taught religious education classes and was Eucharistic minister at All Saints Church in New Richland. He was a supporter and promoter of many church and community activities. Leon coached summer softball and baseball teams. He was very proud of his children and grandchildren and their accomplishments. Leon loved spending time with his friends and family. In 2002 he was a recipient of a new kidney from his son Paul.

Leon is survived by his wife of 48 years, Kathleen (Katie) of Freeborn; daughter Martha Flanick of Federal Way, Wash.; sons Stefan (Maureen) of Riva, Md., Toby (Donna) of Iroquois, S.D., Paul (Lynn) of Hartland, Terrence (Tracey) of Renton, Wash.; grandchildren, Amanda Wright, Kristine Wright and Tiffany Flanick (Wash.), Nicholas, Craig and Cassandra Koziolek (Md.), Gage Flatness, Ryley and Sydney Koziolek (Minn.), Megan, Ben, Samantha and Anthony J. Koziolek (Wash.); brother Francis (Margaret) Koziolek; sisters, Evelyn (Verle) Nickerson, Anita (Tom) Wilharm and Rosemary (Dan) Heins; brothers-in-law, Terrence (Elizabeth) Halloran, Donald (Ildi) Halloran and Dennis (Leslie) Halloran; sisters-in-law, Letty (Rob) Flatt, Mary Thoen, Jane Halloran, Theresa Halloran and Jennifer Koziolek; and numerous Koziolek, Hassing and Langer cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Jane (Don) Czerwonka, brother Alex Jr., and brother-in-law Michael Halloran.

Family prefers memorials to Diabetes Association or the Kidney Foundation.