Leone Welter

Leone S. Welter, age 101, of Olivia passed on to eternal life on Sunday, Christmas Eve, December 24, 2017, at the Olivia Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Olivia, MN.  Mass of Christian Burial is Friday, December 29th at 11:00 a.m. at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Olivia with the Rev. Dennis Labat as celebrant.  Burial will be at the St. Aloysius Cemetery in Olivia.  Visitation is on Thursday, December 28th from 4-6 p.m. at Dirks-Blem Funeral Home in Olivia.  Visitation will continue Friday at St. Aloysius Catholic Church for one hour prior to the mass.    


Leone Susan Welter was born on August 14, 1916 on her family’s farm near Hokah, Minnesota to Frank and Anna (Boltz) Stemper. She was the youngest of seven children.  Leone received 12 years of Catholic school education graduating in 1934 from St. Peter’s High School in Hokah. On July 10, 1937, she married George Welter.  For the first several years of marriage they lived in many places in Minnesota and Iowa because of George’s work as a road construction dynamite specialist.  During World War II, they moved to Hanford, WA where George assisted in the construction of the Hanford Nuclear Reactor Plant. In 1945, they returned to Minnesota and bought a farm northwest of Olivia where they raised their five children. George passed away in 1968. Leone remained on the farm until 1985 when she moved to Olivia.


In addition to being a wife and mother, Leone was also a farmer, accountant, business owner, manager of a school lunch program and caterer.  Forever social and very generous, Leone served on many committees and volunteered hundreds of hours of her time.  She served on the Renville Co. Extension Committee, Renville Co. Arts Committee, was a member of the Renville Co. Hospital Auxiliary, was a 4-H leader for many years and a hospice volunteer. She worked with Olivia civic leaders in founding the Olivia Senior Center and served as its first president. Leone was a devout Catholic all of her life and was very involved in activities at St. Aloysius Parish.  She served on the parish council, was president of the Council of Catholic Women, chair of the Rural Life Committee, chair of the Community Affairs Committee and Deanery chair for Catholic Charities. 


Leone was an avid reader, loyal Twins fan and was always ready to discuss current events. She had a passion for quilting and nothing gave her more pleasure than making quilts for family, friends and those in need. For many years she hosted a mission sewing group in her home making clothes for children at US and international missions. She was known for her beautiful flower gardens, which she shared with many.  In the summer, she was continually making floral arrangements and taking them to persons in the community who needed “a day brightener” as she would say.  Leone had a special interest in the elderly and, for many years, made weekly visits to the nursing home to read and visit with the residents


Leone was proud of the special awards she received over the years which included the WCCO Good Neighbor Award in 1979, the Outstanding Volunteer at the Olivia Nursing Home award in 1984, the Diocese of New Ulm Bishop’s Medal of Service award in 1988 and the Renville County Senior Citizen Award in 1995.


Leone is survived by: three children, Robert of Denver, CO, Virginia (and Terry) Hartmann of Forest Lake, MN and Agnes (and Tom) Meium of St. Paul, MN; 11 grand children; and 21 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband George in 1968, her son Roy in 1974, her daughter-in-law Helen in 2000, and her son Norman in 2010.  Blessed was the life of Leone S. Welter.  She is now enjoying eternal peace.