Leonard Steinle (1932 - 2019)

  • "To the Steinle family, Leonard and Nancy were my neighbors..."
    - Rita Or John
  • "To the family. Leonard was a good friend. I was lawyer for..."
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    - Ila Andersen Russell
  • "Lenette - so sorry for your family's loss. My thoughts are..."
    - Ila Andersen Russell
Service Information
Memorial service
Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019
11:00 AM
Lawrence First United Methodist Church
Obituary

Leonard George Steinle, 87, of Shawnee, KS passed away on September 15, 2019 and is now with the love of his life, Nancy. Leonard is survived by his children Lenette and Steve Johnson, Kirk Steinle, Brad and Monica Steinle and Melanie and Randy Watson. Grandchildren Juliana Johnson, Adrian Steinle, Kirsten Steinle, Kayla Steinle, Alex Steinle, Jacob Steinle, Jenna Steinle, Naomi Perkins, Eva Watson, Tabitha Watson and Maiah Watson. Great grandchildren Kingston, Kenzi and Karingtyn. Leonard was a loving son, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and a great friend who "never met a stranger" which is how so many of us remember him.

Leonard was born on July 17, 1932 in Russell KS to George and Martha (Galyardt) Steinle. He had a sister, Joyce. Leonard graduated from Russell High School in 1950. He went to Bethany College in Lindsborg KS where he met the love of his life, Nancy Ruehlen. Leonard graduated in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science in Music.

Leonard had a long career in education in Kansas schools. He moved to Yates Center in 1954 and he directed the band. While in Yates Center, he married Nancy on June 12, 1955. He accepted a job in Columbus in 1959 as a band director and wrote the Columbus "fight song" which is still in use today. While in Columbus, he began his career in administration as Vice Principal and after finishing his Masters, became Principal of the high school in 1965. In 1968, Leonard accepted a position as the Superintendent of Schools in Baldwin City. While in Baldwin City, he oversaw the building of a new high school and forged many great friendships. In 1972, Leonard went back to college and graduated from the University of Kansas in 1974 with a Doctorate of Education.

After completion of his doctorate, Leonard became the Superintendent of Schools in Independence. He took Independence through some tough times. In 1982, he moved on to a position with Independence Community College. In 1985, he took a position with the Arkansas City school district as Superintendent of Schools. He implemented many new programs and remained there through 1994. His last position before retirement was with Southwestern College in Winfield, KS as Education Chairperson.

Leonard and Nancy retired to Lawrence KS in 1996. He remained immersed in education by volunteering in schools and meeting weekly with fellow education retirees. Throughout his life, he was involved in Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce, and Rotary memberships in many communities. His last membership was The Lawrence Jayhawk Rotary Club, which felt so relevant with his lifetime love of KU. Leonard and Nancy were avid basketball fans at KU. They were booster club members for the Lady Jayhawks and held season tickets.

Leonard participated in many church choirs and directed several as well as participating in community choirs and theatre. His faith was important but always non-judgmental. He left a mark on so many individuals and communities. It was common to hear someone say that I can't believe that he remembered me so many years later. His last four years of life were spent at Brookdale Assisted Living in Shawnee. The family is so very thankful for the care and support he received at Brookdale.

He will be missed by so many but the thought that he is reunited with his Nancy helps brings peace. Leonard's Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, October 5th, 2019 at 11:00 AM at Lawrence First United Methodist Church. Donations in his honor can be made to Meals on Wheels in Lawrence, KS, Saint Luke's Hospice in Kansas City, or Mental Health America.
Published in Lawrence Journal-World on Sept. 29, 2019
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