October 5, 1941 - April 5, 2022
Leon Kleeman, age 80, of Miller, Missouri, passed away at 6:38 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. He was born October 5, 1941, in Lockwood, Missouri, the son of Bertus Otto and Maree Edith (Scott) Kleeman.
Leon was a 1959 graduate of Miller High School. He had hard-work instilled in him from a young age. Leon’s passion for Angus cattle ignited when he was eight years old, and his father gave him an Angus-crossed bottle calf. Later, Leon became a member of 4-H and FFA, where he exhibited steers at local shows. Leon saved the money earned from selling his steers and purchased his first Angus heifers during the 1950s. When Leon was twenty years of age, he earned success in the show ring when he showed the Grand Champion Female and Bull at the Ozark Empire Fair. As a young man, Leon traveled the country preparing cattle for the major shows and sales. Leon worked among many other outfits on the show circuit. He has exhibited cattle at the Chicago International Livestock Show, Eastern National Livestock Show in Baltimore, Maryland, San Antonio Stock Show, and the Houston Stock Show, where he fit multiple champion animals. While traveling the country among phenomenal Angus genetics, Leon took what he learned and started Gleonda Angus Farms on the right track. Leon has been awarded the 2020 Missouri Cattlemen’s Pioneer Award which is the highest achievement within the association, 2012 Missouri Angus Association Pioneer Award and the 2013 Historic Angus Herd Award. Leon will be missed by his family and friends as his legacy continues to live on.
On November 14, 1964, he married Glenda Burlene Hunter in Miller.
Leon is survived by his wife of 57 years, Glenda; two daughters, Gina Becker and her husband, Howard, of Carthage, Missouri and Lana Merrick of Miller; five grandchildren, Traves Merrick and his fiancée, Kenadee Barnitz, of Miller, Daphne Wilkins and her husband, Travis, of Walnut Grove, Missouri, Bailey Stout and her husband, Cody, of Kansas City, Missouri, and Shane Becker and Lili Merrick, of Springfield; five great-grandchildren, Harlee, Waylon, Grayson, Denver and Wren; three brothers, Louis Kleeman and his wife, Clea, of Miller, Stanley Kleeman and his wife, Bonnie, of Lockwood and Joe Kleeman of Braymer, Missouri; sister-in-law, Linda Kleeman, of Kissee Mills, Missouri and several nieces and nephews.
Leon was preceded in death by his parents, Bertus and Maree; infant son, Bob Leon Kleeman; brother, Bill Kleeman and sister-in-law, Margaret Kleeman.
A funeral service, under the direction of the Morris-Leiman-Mosher Funeral Home, in Miller, will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 9, 2022, at the Round Grove Baptist Church with burial to follow at the Red Oak Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 8, 2022, at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made payable to the Red Oak Cemetery, in care of the funeral home, PO Box 108, Miller, Missouri. 65707.
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