Leopold (Leo) F. Mazanec
October 08, 1922 - March 15, 2019
Leo was born October 8, 1922 in Lexington to Leopold J. and Louise A. (Coufal) Mazanec. Leo was united in marriage to Bernece F. Eby on September 25, 1946 in Norton, Kansas and they raised four children—Ronald, Cheryl, Carolyn and Steven. The couple moved to their farm north of Overton in the early 1950s where they lived until 2014 when they moved to Park Avenue Estates in Lexington. In 2016 they moved to Columbia, Missouri to be near their daughter Cheryl.
Leo attended rural schools in the Lexington area. In 2002 he received his official high school diploma from the Nebraska Department of Education and Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs program Operation Recognition.
Leo loved his farming career raising crops and livestock. He always had a farm dog for a pal and often trained them to help herd cattle. A black lab named Rusty was his last four-legged friend who joined Leo on his daily walks down the rural road no matter the weather conditions. After Leo retired from farming, he was employed by the Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS), Dawson County office, for ten years where he enjoyed travelling to various farms and talking with fellow farmers.
Leo served his country proudly from January 1, 1944 until February 28, 1946 earning the rank of Staff Sergeant in the United States Army Air Corps during WWII in the Pacific Theater-Hawaii as a B-24 Ball Gunner, 30th Bomb Group, 392nd Squadron, 441st Crew. Fellow crew members nicknamed Leo “Bear Paw” because of his unusually large hands. Their pilot always considered the crew as family and Leo continued to keep in touch with several of them for many years after the war.
Leo was a longtime member of the Fairhaven Baptist Church in rural Lexington. When Fairhaven closed and was moved to the Dawson County Historial Museum grounds, Leo and Bernece became members of Parkview Baptist Church in Lexington. He served his community as a member of the VFW, American Legion, Overton Public Schools Board of Education, Overton Rural Fire Department, and as Buffalo Creek 4-H Club leader, to name a few. He and Bernece loved attending community, sports, and family events.
Survivors include his wife, Bernece Mazanec of Columbia, MO; daughter Cheryl Wolfe (husband Alan) of Columbia, MO; son-in-law Phil Monnington of Bentonville, AR; daughters-in-law Lea (Ronald) Mazanec of Fayetteville, AR and Lori (Steven) Mazanec of Nashville, TN; grandchildren Bryan (Deanna) Wolfe, Keri (Mark) Luckritz, Scott Monnington, Ginnie (Nolan) Soloman, Allison (TJ) Weiss, Jason Mazanec, Kristen (Jasen) Shamlin, Seth (Jeff Barnard) Mazanec, Aaron (Angela) Mazanec; great-grandchildren Alexis, Bradie, and Brooklyn Soloman, Max Luckritz, Laken Shamlin, Wells Weiss, Charlotte and Cora Mazanec; brother-in-law Verle (Ellen) Eby; sisters-in-law Evelyn Weaver, Norma Eby, and Charlene Eby; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Leo was preceded in death by his parents; sons Ronald and Steven; daughter Carolyn Monnington; brothers Edwin, Ernest and George; sisters Marie Brunner, Erma Wyckoff, Adele White, Loretta Klein, Evelyn Abood and Betty Judy.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at the Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington with Pastor A.L. Cole, officiating. The casket will be open one hour prior to the service.
Memorials are suggested to the Mazanec Family for an Agriculture Scholarship to be given at a later date in the Overton Public School system.
Interment with military honors will be in the Overton Cemetery.
Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington is honored to be assisting the family with arrangements. Please share on line condolences with the family by visiting:reynoldslovefuneralhome.com