Leona A. Karels, age 91 of Melrose, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family on Monday, September 27, 2021 at the CentraCare Care Center in Melrose, Minnesota.
A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, October 9 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Melrose with Rev. Marvin Enneking officiating. Inurnment will be held in the parish cemetery.
Visitation will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday morning at the church.
Leona Anne Monnens was born during the dust bowl days on July 26, 1930 in Isabel, South Dakota to Frank and Gertrude (Stapert) Monnens. She spent most of her childhood down by the river in Lac qui Parle County and attended country school. Leona graduated valedictorian of her class in 1949 at Bellingham High School. She was united in marriage to Theodore C. Unzen and later divorced. From this union, three children were born. Leona worked for Production Credit for 17 years, retiring in 1983. On June 4, 1983 she married Stan Karels in Plymouth, Minnesota. They moved to New Hope and Leona continued working in the metro area. On June 25, 1996, the couple moved to Melrose.
She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Melrose, Christian Women, American Legion Post 101 Auxiliary and the Schanhaar-Otte VFW Post 7050 Auxiliary. Leona enjoyed using her seamstress talents for hire as well as for family, friends, and for various veteran organizations.
Survivors include her children, Frances Allen of Keene, New Hampshire, Ronald (Carol) Unzen of Madison, and Rebecca (John) Ferkinhoff of St. Cloud; six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Leona was preceded in death by her husband, Stanley Karels; parents; brothers and sisters, Edward (Patsy) Monnens, Mary Monnens, Dorothy (Orrin) Oddan, Arthur (Hilda) Monnens, Francis Monnens, Stella (Maurice) Bombeck, Lauretta (Emmanuel) Karels, Robert (Dorothy) Monnens, Earl (Evelyn) Monnens, and Raymond Monnens; and an infant sister.