Melvin Carl Lenz, age 91, passed away peacefully of natural causes Monday Feb 3, 2020 at Stonehill Care Center surrounded by his loving family.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday, February 7th, 2020 at St Joseph Key West Church with Rev. Rodney Allers officiating. Private family burial will be at a later date at St Theresa Cemetery, rural La Motte. Visitation will be from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Thursday, February 6, 2020 at Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory, 2595 Rockdale Road, where a vigil will be held at 2:45 p.m.
Melvin was born May 12, 1928, son of Carl and Cleta (Wieseler) Lenz. He grew up on the family farm, oldest of six children. He graduated 8th grade from a small one room country schoolhouse near his home. After graduation, he bought his first herd of dairy cattle and made a lifetime career as a farmer.
On September 27, 1949 he married Anita Arensdorf of LaMotte, IA. Together they farmed and raised five children on the Lenz Century Farm south of Dubuque until Anita’s passing in 1988. He continued to farm with his son David until retirement took him to LaMotte where he married Evelyn (Herrig) Mueller on May 19, 1990 at Holy Rosary Church. He was proud that his family grew to ten children.
In addition to farming full time, he worked as head maintenance man at Morrison Brothers, Dubuque. He was a township trustee in Jackson County. He was a faithful member at St Theresa Church and enjoyed maintaining the parish grounds and cemetery. He was proud to be a weekly usher beginning as a teenager and continuing his whole life. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus.
In his younger years, Melvin enjoyed hunting and fishing. As his family grew, creek fishing picnics became a favorite Sunday pastime. He collected antiques and loved to share stories about them. He restored and explained every function of his 200+ piece antique wrench collection. He never turned down a friendly, but competitive game of Euchre. Especially while listening to Johnny Cash and drinking a Star Beer, warm or cold. He was a jokester and tried to teach many his famous pencil tricks. He traveled with and visited family in many states.
In his later years, as a resident of Stonehill Care Center, he played many games of Euchre, discovered Bingo and never missed a game. He liked teasing the Stonehill staff and shared his knowledge of farming with everyone there. He truly appreciated each and every one of them.
Mel is survived by his wife, Evelyn; his children, Dale Lenz, Dee (Terry) Schilling, Denny (friend Jennifer Turner) Lenz, Dianne (Jack) Brehm and David (Cindy) Lenz, Elaine Neubert, Ron (Denise) Mueller, Roger (Julie) Mueller, John (Mary Jane) Mueller and Mark (Julie) Mueller and many grandchildren and great grandchildren; two sisters Ardella (Marvie) Weber and Harriet Smith, one brother Gary (Sherrie Brown) Lenz, in-laws Jerry (Marion Welter) Arensdorf and Patricia Arensdorf.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Anita, his parents, siblings Geraldine Helsel and Willard Lenz.
In lieu of flowers, a Melvin Lenz Memorial has been established.
The family would like to thank the staff of Stonehill Care Center and Hospice of Dubuque for all the wonderful care and kindness they gave Mel.
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