On March 18th, with family by his side, he passed away peacefully at his home in Red Wing. William “Leonard” Neidig was a self-made man with a zest for life. He was a great story teller, with 101 years of experiences. Leonard’s story began on January 24, 1919, in Shannon City, Iowa, to William and Mary (Williams) Neidigh. He attended Iowa State University, where he was a member of the Acacia Fraternity. Leonard served during WWII beginning as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers and was honorably discharged in 1946, a Lieutenant Colonel. After WWII, he returned to Iowa State and received his degree in Agricultural Engineering. His experience with machinery and heavy equipment led him to his first career with Caterpillar in Peoria, Il. He worked there for 2 years before relocating to Minneapolis, to work for Ziegler CAT. He spent 30 years at the Ziegler dealership in Minneapolis, retiring as Executive VP. Not one to sit idle in retirement, Leonard became an entrepreneur. One of his many ventures, Northern Power Products, is still a successful entity today.
Leonard was an active Rotarian, having been a member of clubs in Edina and Red Wing. He was on the board for Walker Methodist Health Center in Mpls.
Leonard was greatly influenced by Norman Vincent Peale and his ideals in the “Power of Positive Thinking” and always looked to find the positive in others. He was a great friend and advisor, a generous and giving man who always tried to make people feel welcome.
Leonard’s life was blessed in many ways. One of which was his first wife, Alice Mitchell, and mother of his children. They spent 46 wonderful years together until her passing in 1992. He later began a new chapter with his marriage to Dorothy Martin and celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this past year.
His survivors include his wife, Dorothy; daughter Margaret (Jeff) Stewart of Apple Valley; granddaughters, Anne (David) Cooke and Elizabeth (Doug) Briese both of Omaha, NE; great-grandchildren, Daniel, Andrew and Jonathan Cooke; nieces and nephew, Joyce, Sandy, Sherry, Jim and their families. Leonard was so fortunate to be part of Dorothy’s family; her children, Sheila (Larry) Galvin, Nancy (Mike) McKay, Maryellen (Eric) Trehus and Steven (Angie) Martin and grandchildren, Melissa, Casey, Molly, Evan, David, Brigit, Ethan and their spouses; as well as 15 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Alice; son, Bill and siblings, Ruth and Jim.
On Leonard’s behalf, his family would like to thank the staff at Deer Crest Assisted living and Brighton Hospice for their loving support and care.
A private interment will be held for family and a Celebration of Life will be at a later date. Memorials may be made to Leonard’s family for an engineering scholarship at Iowa State University or directed to the Rotary Foundation. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.mahnfamilyfuneralhome.com