Leona Ida Brian, age 94, died Monday, May 23, 2022. She was born May 4, 1928, in Fall Creek, Wisconsin to Julius and Ida Reetz.
She will be greatly missed for her generosity, fun sense of humor, large heart, and constant smile. Leona treasured family gatherings and was always the first to volunteer hosting.
Leona attended Fall Creek Elementary grade school and was instrumental in helping her mother and father on their farm. As a teenager she worked at the Artistic Novelty Shop in Fall Creek and later lived in Eau Claire and worked in the kitchen for the Barstow Eat Shop. She left there to be a housekeeper and cook for the William McIntyre family. Before marriage, Leona also worked at Drummond Packing Company and US Rubber Company. She met her future husband, Donald Brian, at Fourniers Ballroom in Eau Claire where she occasionally played the accordion. They were married on August 7, 1948.
Leona and Don moved 22 times in their early years. Following a move to Strum in 1957, Leona worked at Doughboy Industries in Eleva and later worked at Uniroyal in Eau Claire from 1965 until her retirement in 1990. She and Don moved to Eau Claire, Wisconsin in 1968 and became active members of Peace Lutheran Church.
Leona is survived by her three sons, all of Eau Claire: Vince (Karen Wichmann) and their children Aric of Tampa, FL, and Niki (Brady) Kroll of Minneapolis, MN; Les (Dayle Hanson) and their children Ben (Melonie) of Williams, Oregon, Emily (Patrick) Bowen, of Altoona, WI, and Kevin (Jessica) of Byron, MN; Larry and children Hannah and Jeremy, all of Eau Claire, WI. She has been blessed with five great-grandchildren: Collin and Addison Kroll, Margaret and August Bowen, Abraham Brian and his sibling, expected to arrive in October.
Survivors include her twin brother Leo Reetz, Eau Claire, WI, and brother Kenneth Reetz, Fall Creek, WI, sisters-in-law Irene Brian, Strum, WI, Ione Reetz, Beloit, WI, and Dorothy Hageness, Janesville, WI, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins. Leona was preceded in death by her husband Don, parents Ida and Julius Reetz, brother Edmond, sisters Lauretta May and Elma West, brothers in-law Dick, Harold and Jim Brian, Donald Hageness, Gordon West, sisters-in-law Juanita Reetz, Olga Brian, niece Judy Reetz and nephews Gary Reetz, Sigurd and Dean Brian.
A service will be held Tuesday, June 7, 2022 at Smith Funeral Chapel at 12:00pm. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. A luncheon will follow the funeral service with a burial at Calvary Cemetery after.
The family thanks Orchard Hills Assisted Living staff for their excellent care and food (Leona loved the food). Contributions in Leona’s memory can be made to Orchard Hills Assisted Living, 1403 Truax Boulevard, Eau Claire, WI, 54703, and to Peace Lutheran Church, 501 East Fillmore Avenue, Eau Claire, WI, 54701.
Smith Funeral Chapel is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting:
Topic: Leona Brian Funeral Service
Time: Jun 7, 2022 12:00 PM
Meeting ID: 857 9598 6246