Leonard Nicholas Eischens, age 97, a lifelong Two Inlets, MN area resident, peacefully passed into eternal life in the early morning hours of Monday, October 1, 2018, at his home on Two Inlets Lake surrounded by his loved ones.
Leonard was born on August 26, 1921, to Christian and Mary (Dirkes) Eischens at his parent’s farm near Two Inlets. He attended the Popple Grove School near his home. As a young man, Leonard helped on his parent’s farm until entering the United States Army on January 15, 1945, where he proudly served his country in the Pacific theatre of World War II. Leonard was part of the invasion forces in Okinawa, Japan. He served with the 7th Calvary, 27th Infantry Division and was part of the New York National Guard replacement troops in Okinawa until Japan surrendered. He then remained a part of the occupation forces in Yokohama & Tokyo until his honorable discharge on November 15, 1946. After the war, Leonard returned to Minnesota where he worked for Power Brake and Equipment Company of St. Paul repairing heavy equipment. When his father died in 1956, Leonard returned to operate the family farm near Two Inlets. In 1958, he began working for Bud Gross doing building construction. On June 9, 1962, Leonard was united in marriage to Audrey Therese Kolarsky. They were richly blessed with seven children. Leonard worked on and off for Bud for many years, with breaks now and then to work for himself or leaving to work on the iron range in helping to build the new Minn-Tac Plant. Later in his working career, Leonard started working at the Thelen Pre-Cast Concrete plant until fully retiring in 2006 at the age of 85. In addition to his devotion to his family and his work, Leonard also was very active in his community. He was a man of faith who actively served all his life in St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Two Inlets. Leonard served as a church lector for a number of years and was also a charter member of the Father Rocca Council of the Knights of Columbus where he had served as a past Grand Knight. Over the years, Leonard had also helped build the current church building, the Stations of the Cross and the Church Grotto. In addition, Leonard had served as a lifetime member of the Otto Hendrickson American Legion Post #212 where he had been a past Post Commander, Vice-Commander and Adjutant. He also had served as the 6th District Vice-Commander and Commander and had attended numerous national conventions where he had met a number of U.S. Presidents. He was also a member of the Guy L. McDermeit VFW Post of Menahga and the DAV. Leonard loved his country and held firmly to the Conservative principles of supporting our military and protecting the lives of our unborn children. He volunteered many hours in calling Bingo games at the Fargo VA Hospital for the injured and sick and also called Bingo for many years for the Otto Hendrickson Post 212. In addition, he enjoyed playing pinochle with his friends who met weekly to play at the Two Inlets Store and enjoyed competing on the Men’s Bowling League playing as part of the American Legion Bowling Team. He also enjoyed being a member of the Forest Rider Snowmobile and ATV Clubs. In April of 2009, he appreciated being asked to go on an honor flight to Washington DC honoring WW II veterans. As an avid MN Twins Baseball fan, Leonard was honored in May of 2017 at a Twins Baseball Game at Target Field, in appreciation of his military service in WWII, he was asked by the MN Twins Organization to raise and salute the U.S. flag during the playing of our national anthem.
He will be lovingly remembered by his wife and soulmate for these 56 years, Audrey; his seven children: Gregory (Lorrie) Eischens of Plymouth, IA, Jeannette (Richard) DeWandeler of Andover, MN, Monica (Ken) Kunkel of Buffalo, MN, Barbara (Keith) Gunter of Simpsonville, South Carolina, Brian (Heidi) Eischens of Andover, MN, Christopher (Susan) Eischens of New Folden, MN and Angela (Shawn) Solland of Molt, MT; 23 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; two sisters: Helen Kilstrom of Arvada. CO and Bernadette “Squeaky” Lemert of Mankato, MN; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Don and Carol Kolarsky of Two Inlets as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
Leonard was preceded in death by his parents and ten siblings: Sister Margaret, Robert, Dorothy, Genevieve, Marcus, Thomas, Urban “Smokey”, Christopher, Theresa and one brother in infancy.