A funeral service for Leonard R. Hoenke, 87, of Plevna, Mont., will be at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, at American Lutheran Church in Baker, Mont. Interment will follow in Peace Lutheran Cemetery at Plevna, Mont., with full Military Rites by the Baker American Legion, Fallon Post #35 and the Montana National Guard Honor Guard.
Visitation was 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at Stevenson Funeral Home in Baker, Mont., with family receiving friends from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Leonard passed away on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, at Holy Rosary Healthcare in Miles City, Mont.
Leonard was born on May 16, 1925, at the St. Charles Motel in Plevna, Mont., to Rudolph and Louise (Christman) Hoenke. He attended school in Plevna until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942 at the age of 17.
As a private first class and BAR gunner, Leonard was involved in several conflicts in the Pacific Theater including New Guinea and the Philippines. He was proud to serve his country and shared many stories detailing the hardships of war. He retold these stories on many Christmas Eve’s, since that was the day he returned from war in 1945, after three years of service.
Shortly after his return, Leonard met and married Ruth Young at Peace Lutheran Church in Plevna, Mont., on June 29, 1947. In 1948, they purchased Ruth’s Café, which they ran until 1980. While running the café, he also worked as a mail carrier and spent many years working for Karl Hepperle at the service station in Plevna. This led to his career as
a John Deere parts man at L. Price Company in Baker, Mont., where he enjoyed helping and visiting with his customers.
Leonard loved completing puzzles, playing cards, reading, watching golf, baseball, and old westerns, plus spending time with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Leonard was an avid bowler and was proud of his abilities at the lanes. He was a mayor of Plevna and a long time member and council member at Peace Lutheran Church. A staunch Lutheran and Republican, Leonard was always willing to discuss religion or politics. Since his call to the Army happened before he could graduate, on Nov. 7, 2002, Leonard was humbled to receive his honorary high school diploma from Plevna High School.
Blessed to have shared his life are his two sons, David (Virginia) Hoenke, Ismay, Mont., and Randy (Jodie) Hoenke, Baker, Mont.; his daughter, Roxie (Berton) Bates, Watford City, N.D.; his eight grandchildren, David E. Hoenke, Ryan Hoenke, Terry (Mindy) Hoenke, Rachel (Vern) Brown, Shawn (Jessica) Hoenke, Darcie (Derrick) O’Donnell, Danielle Bates and Tyler Bates; his seven great-grandchildren, Randi Hoenke, Mikal Hoenke, Callie Hoenke, Halle Brown, Cadence Brown, Clyde Brown, and Nihla Hoenke,; his four sisters, Pearl (Bud) Shepherd, Everett, Wash., Doris Frost, Chandler, Ariz., Betty Jean Hayes, Arvada, Colo., and Shirley (John) Hamby, Billings, Mont.; and one brother, Morris (Delphine) Hoenke, Baker, Mont.
Greeting him in heaven are his loving wife of almost 60 years, Ruth; great-granddaughter, Ella Brown; his parents, Rudolph and Louise; his sister, Florence Quenzer; and three brothers-in-law, Albert Quenzer, Keith Frost, and Jess Hayes.
Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at www.stevensonfuneralhome.com