McKenna, Leo Thomas Jr.


It is with great sadness that the family of Leo Thomas McKenna Jr., 81, of Winona, Minn., announces his passing on Sunday, February 11, 2018. He had the good fortune to pass peacefully at home in his sleep of natural causes.

Leo was born on April 17, 1936, in New Lisbon, Wis., to Leo T. McKenna Sr. and Eunice (Olson) McKenna. He graduated from Caledonia High School in 1954 and joined the United States Army. Leo was stationed in Germany and Paris, France. Upon return to the states, Leo married Joan Irene (Schomers) McKenna in 1958. Together they raised four children, Lisa, Linda, Tom and Mary Jo in Winona, Minn. He worked hard to provide for his family at Firestone La Crosse and Winona along with Nelson Tire-Brad Ragan Tire/Good Year in Winona for many years, retiring in 1997. He always said, “All they will see is the smile on your face and the shine on your shoes.”

Leo enjoyed working on cars and spending time in his garage. He was gifted with the ability to fix anything and generously helped anyone in need. Leo’s policy was, “The back door is always open, come on in and help yourself.” Leo was a master storyteller, loved to dance, sing, whistle, and feed the neighborhood squirrels. He also enjoyed his daily trip to either Bloedow’s or Bread and Bagel bakeries. He was a member of the world-record-setting Flatliners Car Club, the Antique Automobile Association, Winona Area Jaycees, the Elks Club, and St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Joan McKenna; three daughters, Lisa (Bruce) Myers of Burnsville, Minn., Linda (Derek) Rydholm of Key Largo, Fla., and Mary Jo McKenna Brummer of Winona, Minn.; daughter-in-law, Sherri (Hartzell) McKenna of Zimmerman, Minn.; grandchildren, Ross (Rachel), Jordan, Alyssa Myers, Meagan (Ridge) Belflower, Alex Rydholm, Madeline, Samantha and Morgan McKenna Brummer; great-grandchildren, Elijah Coyne, Aidan Belflower and baby boy Belflower — due in April; sisters, Mary White, and Jean Rogers; numerous nieces and nephews; and his beloved cat, Romeo. He was preceded in death by his parents and his son, Thomas Leo McKenna.

There will be a celebration of Leo’s life on Saturday, February 24, 2018, at the American Legion Leon J. Wetzel Post beginning with a prayer service at 2 p.m., led by Father James Berning, followed by Military Honors. The celebration and reception will then follow immediately after and continue until 5 p.m.

Hoff Celebration of Life Center, Goodview, is assisting the family with arrangements. Please share a memory of Leo, sign his online guestbook and view his video tribute when it becomes available at

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