Leona Magdalena Schilling was born Sept. 29, 1924, to Christoph “CS” and Katharina “Katie” (Schanzenbach) Schilling in Akaska. She was third in line of five brothers, two sisters and one half brother. She lived on the family farm in Akaska until her mother’s death in 1941 when she moved into her aunt and uncles’ home to finish her schooling and graduated in 1942 from Selby High School.
On June 9, 1945 she married Alvin E. Schlecht in Jacksonville, Florida. They then moved to Mobridge where they set up housekeeping in what was lovingly known as “the basement house” because that is what it was, just the basement with no house on top of it, having three children; Richard, Peggy and Randy.
In 1952 Leona and Al moved to Seattle looking for more opportunities, bringing along Leona’s two younger brothers, Leroy and Roger, to help give them a good start. Al was hired at The Boeing Company immediately and then began to build their first house. She rode herd on five kids and in 1957 Rodney was born. By then Leroy and Roger were on their own. She was a homemaker and managed to keep the house clean even though it was always under construction because their dream was to build their own homes until one was fully paid for and in 1966 they accomplished their goal after the fourth house.
In 1972 she went to work for The Boeing Company as a masker and lead. She retired in 1985, and then devoted herself to her home and family. When Al retired, they enjoyed traveling in their fifth wheel and maintaining their home in Des Moines, Washington. After 48 years in Des Moines they moved to Water Gardens, a community in Maple Valley, Washington, to be close to family and make their later years easier.
She never stopped caring for her husband and her family. She loved cleaning house, gardening, playing cards and keeping very detailed records so she could win an argument as to when they purchased something for their home and how much it cost. We had the joy for about 15 years spending every Sunday afternoon playing cards with them and the family. Al became ill and departed in 2012. The next four years she struggled as she walked thru life with dementia, departing July 27, 2017 in Holmes Sweet Homes AFH, Auburn, Washington.
They were faithful members of Atonement, Resurrection and Peace Lutheran Churches.
Leona is survived by three sons; Richard & (Sharon) of Maple Valley, Wash., Randy of Des Moines, Wash., and Rodney & (Dinah) of Denver, Colo.; daughter Peggy & (Kenn) Beck of Federal Way, Wash.; five grandchildren, four step grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren and two step great-grandchildren; sister Shirley Gunther of Beaver Dam, Wis., and brother Roger Schilling of Everett, Wash.
She was preceded in death by her husband Alvin of 67 years; parents Christoph “CS” and Katharina “Katie”; daughter Nancy; four brothers, Harold, Max, Calvin & Leroy; half brother Dennis; sister Josephine Fritz; and two step brothers Shorty and Delbert Rueb.
A private burial will be held at Tahoma Nation Cemetery in Kent, Wash.
Memorial service will be held at Christ’s Church in Federal Way, Wash. on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers consider sending a contribution to the building fund of Peace Lutheran Church in Covington, Wash. or Christ’s Church in Federal Way, Wash.
To share memories visit: www.edline-yahn.com