Leonard John Witkowski
Leonard John Witkowski
  • June 3, 1921 - December 1, 2017
  • Tucson, Arizona

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Leonard was born in David City, Nebraska on June 3, 1921 to Anna and John. He grew up on a farm and learned many diverse skills. In high school he excelled at Track & Field. He was Nebraska state champion in 1937 and 1938 for the 220-yard dash, high & low hurdles and the long jump.
Leonard's father passed away soon after Leonard finished high school. Due to the Depression the farm was lost, and Leonard and his mother moved to Plainview, Texas. He worked on an uncle's farm and had a job working on farm equipment. He soon learned how to repair and service tractors and combines. With the effects of the depression still being felt he purchased equipment at auctions, refurbished them and resold for profit. He worked hard and did well.
World War II arrived, and he was enlisted in to the Army Air Corp. About a year in he was involved in a training accident and was discharged. He returned to his business in Plainview, Texas. He was successful, expanded his business and purchased the first of many airplanes. He was a consultant to John Deere and the Coors corporations.
He started custom farming, which involved cutting farmers crops on contract. He traveled from Texas to the Dakotas following the ripening grains. He even cut for the Clutters who unfortunately became famous in Truman Capote's In Cold Blood.
He married Mable Louise Street in 1948 and continued to farm and fish and hunt in off season. After Warren arrived in 1954 he decided to phase out the farming and start a sporting goods store selling boats, campers in Canyon, Texas. James was born in 1957. We all went on many fishing trips.
In 1966 Leonard decided we should move to Tucson, Arizona. I believe the reason was the great quail hunting and the great expanse of public land. He opened a boat dealership, and continued to hunt and fish. The family had many great adventures fishing, hunting and flying.
In 1976 Leonard and Louise divorced. Leonard and Florence Atkinson started their time together. A place on a lake in Texas for Spring & Fall fishing, trips to the North in the Summer and hunting in Tucson in the Winter. They enjoyed this life for years until Flo passed in 2006.
Dad stayed active for another decade, he was with his grandson Steven when Steven got his first quail. He returned to Del Rio to fish into his early nineties. He will be missed. I will expand on this brief outline, filling in some of the adventures he led us on through the years.