Leo Van Harris, age 75, passed away peacefully from complications of Parkinson’s on August 29, 2021, at Wisconsin Veterans Home at King, Wisconsin.
He was born to Van and Louise (Loetscher) Harris on March 20, 1946 in Stevens Point. Leo worked hard on the family farm while growing up in Plainfield, Wisconsin. He graduated from high school in 1964 and went on to attend the University of Wisconsin River Falls where he studied Agribusiness. Just shy of earning his degree, he was drafted into the United States Army. Leo served honorably from 1969 through 1971 and completed a difficult tour in Vietnam as an infantryman conducting reconnaissance. Leo was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in combat. During his first year in the Army and prior to leaving for Vietnam, Leo married his first wife, Pamela Lincoln, on December 6, 1969, and had five children together. When he returned from overseas, Leo was able to complete the final credits to earn his Bachelors Degree from UW River Falls. He continued to farm for several years and then became a salesman for Vigortone serving the farmers in our region before making the move to Maher’s Water Care. Leo also loved being a public servant and enjoyed his time as President of the Tri-County Area School District School Board. Leo married Arlene (Smith) on May 4, 1996, residing in Plainfield where they raised their son and continued to build their life together.
Leo had many hobbies over his life such as gardening, running, hunting, bowling and cheering on his children as they participated in track, cross-country, baseball and basketball. He was a dedicated member of St. Paul’s Catholic Church throughout his life, volunteering as a reader and communion distributor, but his passion was singing in the choir. Most of all, he loved being surrounded by and spending time with his children and grandchildren.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 25 years, Arlene (Smith) Harris, his children Linda (Steven) Reinolt of Wisconsin Rapids, WI, Brenda (Brian) Mischnick of Mosinee, WI, Angela (Mark) Harris-Weiss of Plover, WI, Theresa (Christopher) Fraro of McHenry, IL, Lincoln Harris of Mosinee, WI, and Robert (Casie) Harris of Wisconsin Rapids, WI; 11 grandchildren Kayla (Scott) Killian, Matthew Reinolt, Alexandria Weiss, Darrion Bond, Elijah Weiss, Nicole Reinolt, Gavin Bond, Sage Mischnick, Kaden Fraro, Sawyer Mischnick and Leo Harris; his 8 siblings, Patricia Kalata, Barbara (Lori Donaldson) Harris , Glen Charles (Cindy) Harris, Laura (Tom) Mattek, Ellen (Carl Heintze) Harris, John (Kim) Harris, Kathleen (David) Harris-Zur, Daniel (Denise) Harris; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Leo was preceded in death by his parents, first wife Pamela, and special granddaughter little Florence.
A very sincere thank you goes out to all the staff at Wisconsin Veterans Home at King for taking such great care of Leo during his stay there, from March 27, 2019 to Aug 29, 2021.
The funeral with full military honors will take place at Stahl Funeral Home in Plainfield, Wisconsin, on September 7, 2021. Visitation will be from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm with the service at 1:00 pm. Burial will be at the Plainfield Cemetery on September 9, 2021, at 1:00 pm.
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