Leonhard P. Mickelsen, age 87, of Litchfield, MN died on Monday September 7, 2020 at the St. Cloud Hospital. A memorial service will be held at 3:00 PM on Saturday September 12, 2020 at the Litchfield Christian Church. Visitation will be held one hour before the service. Private burial will be at Ness Cemetery at Elbow Lake, MN at a later date.
Leonhard was born on May 16, 1933 to immigrant parents, Paul and Dorothy Mickelsen, at the family farm in Jackson County, MN. He was baptized and confirmed into the Lutheran faith as a young man. He began his education at Petersburg Elementary School, then attended rural school in Grant County, MN and was graduated from Elbow Lake High School in 1951 with honors. Following high school graduation, Leonhard enlisted in the United States Air Force, serving during the Korean War from 1951 to 1955 in Amarillo, TX and Kyushu, Japan. He earned the rank of Staff Sergeant.
Upon honorable discharge from the USAF, he completed his bachelors and masters degrees in business education at St. Cloud Teachers College and taught high school in Foley, MN for four years and one year at St. Cloud State College. As his career in teaching progressed, Leonhard moved to Mankato, MN where he taught at Mankato State University through the remainder of his career, officially retiring in 1996, having touched the lived of over 11,000 students along the way. He completed his doctorate in education from the University of North Dakota in 1970. Leonhard was professionally active in several organizations including Pi Omega Pi and Delta Pi Epsilon, business education honorary fraternities. He also belonged to church choirs through the years and was a member of the international barbershop singers organizations for a number of years. Leonhard enjoyed traveling, having traveled to much of the world, including China, Japan, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, most of Canada and the continental United States. He enjoyed reading, listening to music, attending theater, gardening and supporting collegiate athletics at local/regional colleges and universities.
He is survived by his sister Dorothy Mueller; sister-in-law Lois Mickelsen Windom; nieces and nephews Judy Spencer, David Mickelsen, Maureen Hebrink, Becky Romero, Paul Mickelsen, Karen Kautzman, Nancy Clark, Michael Mueller, Denise Koss, Steven Mueller and Susan Reinholtz; and numerous nieces, nephews and their families. He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Dorothy; two brothers, Maurice and Franz; a sister Peggy Bachmeier; two nieces Mary and Karen Bachmeier; and two nephews Leslie Bachmeier and Victor Mickelsen.