Cover photo for Leona Jane Stapel's Obituary
Leona Jane Stapel Profile Photo
1933 Leona 2016

Leona Jane Stapel

June 5, 1933 — June 18, 2016

Leona Lindow Stapel, age 83, passed away peacefully on June 18, 2016. She was born at home on June 5, 1933 in the Township of Commonwealth, Wisconsin, to Arthur and Grace Lindow. Leona was the fourth of five children. Leona grew up on her family's dairy farm in Florence county where she was trained to have a good work ethicboth by loving parents and of necessity since her oldest siblings were soon away from home (one to train as a nurse, another to serve in WWII) and her father was then injured so that he couldn't do much of the farm work and it fell to her mother, the three young children at home and wonderful neighbors to keep things afloat. She started out her educational life as the only student in her grade at a one-room school and she completed her grammar school education in a two-room school house. While growing up she attended the Homestead Baptist Church and Sunday School. Leona went to the county-wide Florence High School and graduated as Valedictorian in 1951. She was awarded a full scholarship to attend the University of Wisconsin in Madison where she studied nursing. While in training as a nurse she worked in the polio ward at Childrens Orthopedic Hospital in Madison. She graduated in January 1956 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and received her license as a Registered Nurse May, 1956.While in school at Madison she met Carl Stapel whose roommate, Del Desens, had married Leona's sister Mary a few years earlier (Carl and Leona were best man and maid of honor, respectively). Leona took a job as a visiting nurse in Neenah, Wisconsin to be closer to Carl. She was baptized at Our Savior's Lutheran in Neenah on March 27, 1957 and married Carl at Our Savior's Lutheran in Iron Mountain, Michigan, on July 12, 1958. Leona continued to work as a visiting nurse until shortly before their first child, Jim, was born in Sept. 1959. Their second son, Bill, followed in Nov. 1962. Leona would often tell people that when she married Carl, she also married the family hardware business. She worked at Kitz & Pfeil Hardware taking care of the accounts receivable and purchasing (as well as pretty much anything else that needed doing). In 2015 she received the Estwing Golden Hammer award for 50 years of service in the hardware industry becoming the 3rd member of the family (the others being her husband, Carl, and father-in-law, Art) to be so honored. Carl wrote the computer programs that made Kitz & Pfeil the first hardware store in the state to be computerized and Leona was his tester to see if they worked properly. They even had a punch card machine in their bedroom in the early 60s so they could do some of the work at home. For the first eight years of their marriage they lived in Appleton, Wisconsin with a daily commute to Kitz & Pfeil in Oshkosh. As Leona started working more hours at the hardware store they moved to Oshkosh where they lived for almost 35 years, before they moved to the Town of Menasha from 2000 2015. Leona moved back to Oshkosh in 2015. Leona was also secretary/treasurer of Kitz & Pfeil.In the early 1990s as their son Jim took over the day-to-day operations of the hardware stores, Leona and Carl started leading tours that were to take them to all seven continents and well over 100 countries. Their love of travel started in the 1967 when they accompanied the Oshkosh High School Concert Band and A Cappella Choir (Leona as nurse, Carl as sound recordist and photographer). Over the years Leona's travels allowed her to meet many wonderful and diverse people and have friends all over the USA and world. While in Oshkosh, Leona was an active member of First English Lutheran Church. She served on the boards of the Visiting Nurses Association, the Oshkosh Commercial Development Corporation and OAEDC which was its successor, worked as an Ambassador for the Chamber of Commerce, volunteered with the American Red Cross and with Carl served on the fun-raising committee for Gabriel's Villa. She was one of the first four women in Oshkosh to join Rotary (once they started to allow women to join) and in May of this year received her 9th Paul Harris recognition. Her Christian faith and the values of Rotary (service above self) were the guiding forces in Leona's life. Leona is survived by her sons Jim and Bill (Jackie) and grand-daughter Zo. She is also survived by her sister Mary Desens and brother Tom (Helen) Lindow, many nieces, nephews, grand and great-grand nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Carl, parents Art and Grace Lindow, in-laws Art and Marie and siblings and their spouses Robert (Marge) Lindow and Carolyn (Denzil) McCain as well as brother-in-law Del Desens. The family wishes to thank the people at Gabriel's Villa and Dr. Stephen Fuller for the excellent and loving care Mom received. Special thanks to the pastors at First English-Oshkosh and Leona's many friends, co-workers and relatives for your cards, emails, calls, letters, visits and especially your prayers. God has answered them with the place he has prepared for Leona in heaven.Funeral services will be at First English Lutheran Church 1013 Minnesota, Oshkosh WI at 11AM on Friday June 24th with visitation at the church from 9AM until the time of the service. Memorials to First English Lutheran, UW-Madison School of Nursing or the charity of your choice would be gratefully accepted.

First English Lutheran Church



1013 Minnesota Street
Oshkosh
WI
54902

00:00.0
9:00 AM



First English Lutheran Church



1013 Minnesota Street
Oshkosh
WI
54902

00:00.0
11:00 AM



Riverside Cemetery



714 North Owaissa
Appleton
WI
54911




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