Leonard Joseph Curtner passed away at the age of 94 on September 11, 2023. Leonard was born on September 27, 1928, and raised in Lafayette County, Missouri. His life truly began when he met his forever love and sweetheart, Evelyn Maxine Rustman. Their wedding in 1950 began a love story for the ages. Evelyn passed away in 2014, but he never stopped loving her and honoring her everyday of his life. They raised 2 girls (Kim and Kathy) in Buckner, Missouri and made wonderful memories; many nights watching their children play (especially in our little cul-de-sac on Lyons Circle), hosting some crazy parties with friends, dancing and playing cards. Family meant everything to Leonard. He loved having all his children and grandchildren home. We could all be a little loud for him, so we would find him sitting outside or working in the yard while we were there, but he was happy knowing the people he loved most were under one roof. Leonard proudly served on active duty in the United States Army from 1948-1950 in Germany, continuing in the National Guard through 1953. When he came home and married, he worked at Goodyear Tire and started a little home building business on the side. Working nights and weekends building homes for 12 years, he was finally able to do it full-time and ended up building hundreds of homes in eastern Jackson and Lafayette counties. He took pride in his work, and it showed in the quality of his homes. He could list every house and person he built it for, along with countless other details. When he retired, they bought a place at the Lake of the Ozarks and had many years of wonderful new friends and time fishing and boating.
There is never a good way to sum up someone’s life or exemplify their character in a few paragraphs. Our husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, neighbor and friend was a good man. He was honest to his core and loved his family deeply. He was a private person, but if you got him talking, he would talk for hours. He loved telling stories about his high school friends, his tomato plants, how he met Evelyn, and his children and grandchildren. He was proud of each and every one of them and the life they built together. He supported, loved and cared for us and made everyone who knew him a better person because we knew him.
In his final years after Evelyn passed, he focused on his grandkids and loved watching the Royals and Kansas City Chiefs. We made fun of him for his love of red shirts (he owned so many) and sneaking cookies he wasn’t supposed to have. He almost made it to 95, but he was ready to go be with Evelyn. We are sure they are laughing, dancing in the kitchen and playing cards with Delbert and Juanita.
Leonard was preceded in death by his love, Eveyln. He is survived and cherished by his daughters, Kim and Kathy; grandchildren, Kelsey, Kolin and Michael; sisters Phyllis and Mildred; and many nieces and nephews.
Services will be held on Saturday, September 16, 2023, at Langsford Funeral Home, 115 S.W. 3rd Street, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063. There will be a short visitation at 2:00 p.m., followed by a celebration of life at 2:30 p.m.
Memorial contributions can be made to the American Cancer Association in Leonards name.