Leona Marie Bishop, age 94 of Park Rapids, MN, formerly a longtime Osage area resident, peacefully passed into eternal life on Friday evening, September 7, 2018, at Diamond Willow Assisted Living in Park Rapids with her loved ones by her side.
Leona was born on December 7, 1923, in LeMars, Iowa to Harry and Engel (Doering) Landgraf. She attended country school near her parent’s home where she was an honor student. On September 27, 1940, Leona was united in marriage to Otto Floto Bishop. On December 7, 1941, her 18th birthday, after delivering her firstborn child, Sally, and while still hospitalized, Pearl Harbor was being bombed. Shortly thereafter, her husband, Otto entered the United States Army and proudly served his country fighting in WWII. Leona then moved out to California with her family, entered the workforce and helped in the war effort working as a “Rosie the Riveter” helping to build airplanes. Following the war, they returned to LeMars for a short time before venturing up to northern MN. The young family made their home in Wylie, MN where they farmed for a short time. They later moved to Deer Creek, MN, and Sebeka, MN before settling in Osage, MN in 1956. Here they raised a fine herd of dairy and beef cattle and worked hard in transforming the rugged land into a productive farm. In the summer, while Otto was working Iowa road construction, Leona and the children milked the cows, put up the hay and performed all the other work involved in the day to day operation of the farm. In addition, Leona devoted herself to making a loving home for her husband and children. She was a wonderful cook and baker who will be long remembered by her children and grandchildren for her delicious home cooking. In addition, she would spend nights baking at the Rapid River Logging Camp north of Park Rapids for the meals of the coming day. She also cooked and baked at Doc’s Truck Stop in Osage and operated Leona’s Lunch Wagon, a favorite at local auctions, for many years. Since receiving Christ into her life at the age of three, Leona’s faith was at the core of everything she did. Her sacrificial and unconditional love for her children, grandchildren, other family and friends displayed her servant's heart. She was an attentive, patient and trusted confidant to others who would freely share their life events with her. Her life was forever saddened by the death of her beloved Otto in 1996. She also endured the heartache of losing three infant children. Her faith saw her through these hard times. She was a long time member of the Calvary Lutheran Church in Park Rapids, where each of her children were confirmed and for the past two years started attending and became a member of the Eastside Christian Church of Park Rapids. Leona was an avid seamstress sewing clothing for her children. After her children were grown and she had more time, Leona sought to develop the artistic talents and skills that God had given her. She spent time honing her talents of oil painting on canvas and also painted farm scenes on saw blades and painted fish decoys her husband had carved.
Leona will be lovingly remembered by her seven children: Sally Bingham of Edina, MN, Charles (Connie) Bishop of Lake George, MN, Gloria Rothermal of St. Louis Park, MN, Terry (Susan) Bishop of Fergus Falls, MN, Vicki (Michael) Walters of Osage, MN, Otto (Lisa) Bishop, Jr. of Plover, WI and Peggy Van Winkle of Solon, IA; 27 dearly loved grandchildren; 44 precious great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren; one brother, Bill (Diane) Landgraf of McMinnville, OR; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Leona was preceded in death by her husband, Otto Bishop, Sr.; her parents; three infant children; six siblings: Rose Nolan, Alvin Landgraf, Raymond Landgraf, Angela King, Harry Landgraf, and Vern Landgraf; two daughters-in-law: Roxanne Jokela Magnuson and Rose Bishop; two sons-in-law: Samuel Bingham and William Rothermal and one grandson, Lloyd Michael Walters.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 PM Friday, September 14, with sharing of memories of Leona starting at 7:00 PM at the Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids and will continue on Saturday morning at the Calvary Lutheran Church beginning 9:30 AM.
A Celebration of Leona’s Life will be held 10:30 AM Saturday, September 15, 2018, at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Park Rapids with the Reverend Stephen Norby officiating. Special music will be provided by Leona’s grandchildren. The casket bearers will be: Greg Bishop, Brett Bishop, Mark Rothermal, Charlie Van Winkle, Spencer Van Winkle, Tiffany Jackson, Shawna Walters, and Nicole “Leona” Walters. The rest of her grandchildren will serve as honorary casket bearers. Following the service, a luncheon will be hosted by the Calvary Lutheran Church. Interment will be next to her husband at the Ft. Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis on Monday, September 17, 2018. To leave online condolences or to view the video tribute please visit www.jonespearson.com