August 10, 1934 – November 10, 2022
Leonard was born to Louis & Frela Johnsen in Mansfield, Washington where he attended public school. He played on the football, baseball and basketball teams however, enjoyed baseball the most.
Leonard served in the US Army, attended basic training in Camp Chaffey, Arkansas. He was assigned to the Army Security Agency in Fort Devin’s Army base in Boston, MA where he was trained on Morse code. He was then stationed at Two Rock Ranch, CA until he received orders for Korea and shipped out from Tacoma, WA (he went on an ocean going vessel and got very seasick). Once in Korea, he was assigned to intercept Morse code messages coming from North Korea.
Leo had a lifelong passion for education, attending various colleges (Graceland College in Lamoni, IA, Central Missouri State College in Warrensburg, MO and Southwest Missouri State in Springfield, MO). Leo completed degrees in Education, Social Studies, and Mathematics. He then worked to completed all but his dissertation on his doctorate degree (received an “ABD” degree “all but dissertation”).
Leo held many different positions all in education. He taught Social Studies at the high school in Sweet Springs, MO. (While at Sweet Springs, he went on a blind date and met his future wife, Shirley.) He also taught high school Social Studies in Adrian, MO, and then he taught high school math in Lamoni, IA. He also served as high school principal in Lamoni, IA and served as the high school wrestling coach. He worked at Graceland College in Lamoni, IA as the Director of Financial Aid. Leo moved on to Drake University in Des Moines, IA as Financial Aid Assistant Director. He then moved to Columbia, MO where he took a job as Financial Aid Assistant Director at University of Missouri – Columbia.
Once Leo and Shirley retired they moved to Kansas City to be closer to grandchildren. Over the next many years, they spent time with all their grandchildren, taking many hikes, bike rides and traveling.
Leonard died peacefully at home surrounded by family. He is survived by his wife of 64 years Shirley, brother Dale (Ethel) Johnsen of Blue Springs, MO, sister Lena Dennis of Boise, ID, children Tad (Vicki) Johnsen of Columbia, MO, Ty (Kim) Johnsen of Lee’s Summit, MO and Tia (Chick) D’Amico of Leawood, KS, and grandchildren Emily Snider of Fayette, MO, Sandy Hawkins of Columbia, MO, Annie Hawkins of Boonville, MO, Sally Hawkins of Kansas City, MO, Tucker Johnsen of Columbia, MO, and Marissa Johnsen of Pensacola, FL and Ashley Moran of Kansas City, MO, Kirsten (Anthony) Flenoid of Columbia, MO, Andrew Johnsen of Lenexa, KS,
Trey D’Amico of Orlando, FL, Troy D’Amico of Lawrence, KS, and Trent D’Amico of Leawood, KS. Leonard is also survived by many cherished and beloved great grandchildren.
Nephew ,Loomis ,Washington
I’m not sure if anyone or anything can replace his sense of humor. My idol will be sorely missed. Condolences to my Aunt and family, thoughts and prayers 😢😘
Friend ,Des Moines ,Iowa
My condolences to Shirley, Tad, Ty, and Tia. The Johnsen home was my second home as a child growing up in Lamoni. I have so many great memories of weekend sleepovers and Leonard’s “dad humor”. Rest In Peace and god speed good man!