A funeral Mass for Leo Murray was celebrated on Friday, May 15, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Cecelia Catholic Church with Father Edward Girres officiating. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery.
Leo James Murray was born on the family farm, now a Century Farm, in Galva, Iowa, on July 4, 1939, to Francis “Frank” and Opama (Weiss) Murray. He was the youngest of four children and lived on the family farm until graduation from high school. Leo was active in the local 4-H Club during his teen years.
After graduation from Galva High School in 1956, Leo served four years in the U.S. Air Force as a mechanic stationed at Topeka, Kan., and Lincoln, Neb. After his service, he was employed by the Sac County Soil Conservation Agency and met and married Janice “Jan” Carstens from Holstein, Iowa.
After their marriage, Leo, Jan and their daughter Patricia moved to Wayne, Neb., where Leo attended Wayne State Teacher’s College, and under their trimester system, graduated in 1966. Over the years, Leo initially taught industrial arts at Manilla, Iowa, (1966-1968) and Marcus, Iowa, (1968-1970). While teaching in Marcus, Leo enrolled in college courses to teach special education.
Leo and his family then moved to Lake City, Iowa, where he taught high school special education until 1977. In 1977, Leo and his family moved to Algona, Iowa, where he taught elementary special education at Bertha Godfrey and later Lucia Wallace Elementary School until his retirement in 1999. Leo also spent many summers in Lake City and Algona teaching driver’s education.
Leo was an active supporter of Iowa’s Special Olympics program throughout his teaching career. In addition to teaching, Leo was an avid woodworker and loved fishing. He was a longtime member of Algona’s Chip off the Old Block woodworking club, the Algona Kiwanis Club and St. Cecelia Catholic Church.
Leo died Monday, May 11, 2020, at the Kossuth Regional Health Center in Algona. He was 80.
Left to cherish Leo’s memory are his wife of 57 years, Janice of Algona; children, Patricia (Dave Leck) of Edmond, Okla., and their daughters, Alayna and Jolee, Michelle of Edmond, Okla., Jim (Lisa White) of Vinton, Iowa, and their children, Lucas, Logan and Lauren, and Jon of Algona. Leo is also survived by his loving sister Peggy Kalin, Holstein, Iowa, and brother- and sister-in-law, Keith and Sylvia Carstens, Holstein, Iowa.
Leo was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Opama; brother Donald; sister and brother-in-law, Eleanor and Henry Sokolowski; brother-in-law Ralph Kalin; and infant baby girl Murray (1968).
Arrangements were handled by Oakcrest Funeral Services. Condolences may be left at www.oakcrestfuneralservices.com.