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September 18, 1929 - December 30, 2021

Memorial Services: 11:00 a.m. Monday, January 3 at St. Olaf Lutheran Church

Livestream: 11:00 a.m. Monday on the St. Olaf Lutheran Church-Walnut Grove, MN Facebook Page (link below)

Visitation: 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Sunday, January 2 at the church

Prayer Service: 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the church

Funeral Home Walnut Grove Funeral Home

Church St. Olaf Lutheran Church

Click HERE For St. Olaf Lutheran Church-Walnut Grove, MN Facebook Page

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Leona Mariam (Kleven) Kottke, age 92 of Walnut Grove was welcomed into heaven on Thursday, December 30, 2021 at Sanford Sioux Falls Medical Center after a valiant battle with influenza and pneumonia. Memorial Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, January 3, 2022 at St. Olaf Lutheran Church, 23323 Co. Rd. 7, Walnut Grove, MN 56180. A livestream will be available on the St. Olaf Lutheran Church-Walnut Grove, MN Facebook Page. Visitation will be held 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Sunday, January 2 at the church, with a 6:30 p.m. prayer service. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service on Monday. Burial is in the church cemetery. 

Leona Mariam (Kleven) Kottke was born on September 18, 1929, to Martin and Lillie (Nordsiden) Kleven in Ann Township, rural Walnut Grove, Minnesota. Leona graduated from Walnut Grove High School in 1947. After high school, she attended Comptometry School in Mankato which led her to her first position as a Comptometrist at Standard Oil.  Leona met Donald Kottke on Friday, October 13th and lived in Mankato until their wedding day on Friday, February 13th, 1953.  After a honeymoon that took them on a road trip across the southern states, they settled on the same family farm where Leona was born.  Together they raised ten children. Leona and Don also raised dairy cattle and kept busy milking cows until they sold their dairy cow operation in 1992. They celebrated over fifty-one years of marriage before Don died in 2004. Leona was an incredible mother, grandmother, friend, daughter, and aunt.  Leona was a faithful member of the St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove for all her 92 years.  She was active in bible study and could be counted on to make unique and steadfast observations of each passage.  The 121st Psalm was her favorite.  Leona liked to bake, and her homemade buns and cinnamon rolls were legendary.   She was famous for her ability to roll a perfect lefse round along with baking the most delicious rhubarb pie.  Over the years, she assisted in making hundreds of pies for the annual St. Olaf pageant supper.  Leona was naturally competitive and loved all sports, but softball and baseball were her favorites.  She was proud to say that was a teammate to each one of her girls which meant she was playing ball well into her sixties.   She also loved to play cards, croquet, and bowl. Each morning she could be found with her iPad in hand and a satisfied smile on her face as she mastered her daily sudoku challenge.  Leona will forever be known for her strong work ethic, honesty, integrity, modesty, faithfulness, strength, and compassion.

Leona is survived by her children: Darla Bloch, Ronald (fiancée Lisa) Kottke, LeRoy (Bonnie) Kottke, Kevin (MariKay) Kottke, Diane Kottke, Dawn Possehl, Mary (Paul) Tomasek, Heidi (Wade) Brod, Keith (Chiloe) Kottke, and Kristi (Kevin) Curd.  Her in-laws: Lorrie & Bob Masuda, Bernie Shannon, and Sandy Kottke.  Her legacy also lives on with her twenty-four grandchildren, twenty-one great grandchildren, three great-great grandchildren, and numerous other relatives.  Leona is preceded in death by her parents, Martin & Lillie Kleven, husband, Donald Kottke, son, John Kottke, sons-in-law: David Possehl and Frederick Bloch, and daughter-in-law, Shari Kottke, and siblings: Henry (Gladys) Kleven, Ellen Kleven, Doris (Leslie) Hoyt, and Gladys “Tussa” Kleven.

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