Leonard Beckel, 88

Published 8:46 am Saturday, April 28, 2018

Leonard Beckel, 88, formerly of Austin, Minnesota, passed away Feb. 1, 2018, in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Leonard was born Nov. 29, 1929, in Austin to Harvey and Marian (Phillips) Beckel. He graduated from Austin High School in 1948 and from Austin State Junior College in 1950. He attended the University of Minnesota prior to joining the U.S. Air Force in 1951.

While in the Air Force, he was a fighter jet pilot serving in the Korean War. After the war ended, he was stationed at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas, where he was a flight instructor and gunnery instructor. He left active duty in October 1955, but continued his service in the Air Force Reserve. He was the liaison officer for the U.S. Air Force Academy, retiring at the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was very fortunate to attend many reunions with members of his 52-G class.

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After his high school graduation, Leonard started working for Hormel Foods as a cost test clerk. He retired from Hormel Foods in January 1992 as the corporate director of purchasing.

On Jan. 16, 1954, he married his high school sweetheart, Anne Jones. To this marriage they added six children. After retirement, they moved to their lake home in northern Minnesota. They also spent their winters in Corpus Christi.

Leonard was the past president of the Austin Country Club, a member of the American Legion, the Austin Development Corporation, the Austin Jaycees, and the Big Mantrap Lake Association. He enjoyed hunting ducks and pheasants as well as trap shooting. He had a knack for being the “foreman” of any building project going on — his own, the neighbors’ or his children’s — making sure everything was done correctly.

Leonard is survived by his children, Jeni (Brad) Lindberg, Austin, Greg Beckel, New Hope, Minnesota, Laura Rasmussen (Tom Schmidt), Vacaville, California, Tony (Julie) Beckel, Woodbury, Minnesota, and Andy (Paula) Beckel, Lakeville, Minnesota; sister-in-law

Leonard Beckel

and significant other, Sally Wilson; sister, Dorothy McMichael; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, John and Jane Jones; daughter-in-law, Laurie Beckel; grandchildren, Scott (Nicole) Lindberg, Michael Lindberg, Nathan Beckel, Yaisa (Nathan) Banek, Jack Beckel, Kate Beckel, Allison Beckel and Kristin Beckel; great-grandchildren, Camille Lindberg, Avery Greene, Elliot and Jonas Cates, Mya, Lise and Luka Banek; nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Anne, in 2000; son, Jeff, in 2003; and brother-in-law, Lloyd “Mike” McMichael.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 4, 2018, at Queen of Angels Catholic Church with Father Steven McMichael and Father Raul Silva officiating. Friends may call from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, 2018, at Mayer Funeral Home. Interment will be in Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Honor Flight of Minnesota, Wounded Warrior Project or the charity of your choice. Condolences may be left online at www.mayerfh.com.