Gene Edward Leslie, 80, a lifetime resident of Cass County, passed away Saturday, December 15th, 2018, at Heritage House in Atlantic, Iowa. Gene was born December 21st, 1937, to Hazel (Laartz) and Clyde Edward Leslie of rural Atlantic.
At the age of 10, Gene began his lifelong occupation as a farmer when he purchased livestock and a few years later recognized his desire to work the land. In 1958, at the age of 20, Gene increased his farming operation by renting cropland from his parents. An insatiable passion developed to learn everything possible about Agriculture from neighbors, his high school Ag class, personal reading, long hours and hard work.
Gene began buying machinery during his senior year of high school in 1957. One of the tractors he bought that year took him through his 57 year career. Gene’s father was a mechanic and ran a country garage; he was a great influence on Gene’s ability to learn to work on and repair his own machinery. Gene didn’t have an engineering degree but from his family’s standpoint, could figure out and build most anything. Gene semi-retired in 2010, but continued to labor on the farmstead while renting the rest of his farms out. In 2015, at the age of 78, he decided it was time to truly retire.
On August 9th, 1959, Gene and Suzanne Carver were married and resided at the family farm north of Atlantic where they raised three children: Jody, Christine and Jonathan. They all see him as a good steward of the land and a wonderful, hardworking farmer. It was admirable how he loved it and each year looked forward to being back in the fields again during the spring and harvest time. Although Gene’s deeds often were done quietly, many experienced the kindness of his generosity. Gene’s legacy and hope was for his grandchildren to know the heritage and enjoy the blessing of keeping the family farm together.
Gene was an active member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Holy Trinity and Evangelical Free Church in Atlantic, Iowa.
He is survived by his wife, Suzanne of Atlantic; three children, Jody Torbensen of Sun City West, AZ, Christine Leslie of Woodbury, MN and Jonathan (Lilli) Leslie of Kijabe, Kenya, East Africa; grandchildren, Nicholas Torbensen of Omaha, NE, Hannah (Henrik) Stevens of Minneapolis, MN; Tiana Leslie of Bloomington, MN, Joshua Leslie and Sophia Leslie both of Kijabe, Kenya, East Africa; brothers-in-law, Richard (Carol) Carver of Glencoe, MN and Alan (Linda) Carver of Ames, IA; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Gene is preceded in death by his parents, Clyde and Hazel Leslie; step-mother Florence Leslie; son-in-law, Michael Torbensen; sister Rosemary Witt Broderius; brothers-in-law Bob Witt and Bob Broderius.
Open visitation will be from 12:00 p.m. until time of visitation with the family present on Wednesday, December 26th at Roland Funeral Home. Visitation with the family present will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Wednesday at Roland Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, December 27th at the Evangelical Free Church in Atlantic, with Pastor Don McLean officiating. Burial will be in the Atlantic Cemetery.
Memorials may be directed to the family for later designation.
Roland Funeral Home is caring for Gene’s family and the arrangements. Condolences may be left at www.rolandfuneralservice.com.
IN REMEMBRANCE OF
December 21, 1937 - Atlantic, Iowa
December 15, 2018 - Atlantic, Iowa
At the age of
80 Years, 11 Months, 24 Days
10:30 a.m., Thursday, December 27, 2018
Evangelical Free Church - Atlantic, Iowa
Pastor Don McLean
“It Is Well” - Congregational
“Great Is Thy Faithfulness” - Congregational
“He Will Hold Me Fast” - Solo
“In Christ Alone” - Congregational
IN CHARGE OF FLOWERS
Atlantic Cemetery - Atlantic, Iowa
The family appreciates your care and invites you to join them
immediately following the service lunch in the fellowship hall.