L​eonard E. VanDeHey

L​eonard E. VanDeHey, 87, of Portage, Wis., and formerly of Elroy passed away Oct. 4, 2019, in Ashtabula, Ohio, surrounded by family and in the care of hospice.

Len, also known as Van or Buster, was born on April 1, 1932, in Iron Mountain, Mich., to Leonard and Ione (Carpenter) VanDeHey. Born an “April Fool,” he was witty and had an impish sense of humor until the end.

Len was an exceptional athlete. He kicked a state-record, 58-yard drop-kick field goal for Loyal High School in 1948. After turning down a football scholarship to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Len was a professional baseball player in the minor leagues from 1950–1952 and 1955–1958. He played baseball, football, and basketball while serving in the Army during 1953 and 1954, and in 1955, he led the Big Sky League in batting average (.377). Len attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire on the G.I. Bill from 1957–1961, where he played basketball for three seasons and set every major rebounding record at the school.

Len married Joan Catanzar on Sept. 11, 1954, in Indianapolis, Ind. After graduating from college, he enjoyed a long and distinguished career in secondary education. Len taught history and a wide range of social studies courses at Dor-Abby High School in Abbotsford, Wis.; Loyal High School in Loyal, Wis.; and for many years at Royall High School in Elroy. Len was also the head football coach at Dor-Abby, the head basketball coach at Loyal, and the head football and golf coach at Royall. He was an avid golfer, a vocal bridge player, and an enthusiastic sharer of opinions.

Len was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Joan, in 1993, and his son, Michael, in 2005; his parents; and his siblings, Lawrence, Frank, Sister Marietta, and Jimmy.

He is survived by his loving companion, Katharine Finck of Portage, Wis.; his children, David (Cathy) of Ashtabula, Ohio, Lynn (John) Barr of Roseburg, Ore., Robert (Mary) of Lancaster, Wis., Karl (Liza) of Shorewood, Wis., and Peggy (Mark) VanRumppe of Brecksville, Ohio; 12 grandchildren and one great-grandchild; his siblings, Donald (Shirley), Margaret (Tom) Kraus, Milly Schill, and Mickey (Roberta); and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family has designated the American Cancer Society for memorial contributions. A private service will be held at a later date. The family extends its thanks to all of the professionals in the Dean Healthcare system in Wisconsin and the Hospice of the Western Reserve in Ohio for their care and compassion.

Comments are closed.

  • Betty J. Prell

    May 26th, 2020

    Betty J. Prell, 87, of Wilton died Friday, May 22, 2020, at Elroy Health Services.

    Ingeborg “Inga” Louise (Eness) Gerber

    May 18th, 2020

    Ingeborg “Inga” Louise (Eness) Gerber went to her heavenly home the morning of Thursday, May 14, 2020, at her daughter’s home, following a courageous battle with cancer.

    Bertha M. Fowler

    May 15th, 2020

    Bertha M. Fowler, 93, of Tomah died Wednesday May 13, 2020, with one of her daughters by her side, at the Morrow Home in Sparta.

    Lorraine Carolyn (Gration) Goodman

    May 12th, 2020

    Lorraine Carolyn (Gration) Goodman, 87, formerly of rural Cashton, passed away in the loving arms and spirit of her whole family while living at her daughter’s home in West Virginia.

    Alan G. Martalock

    April 28th, 2020

    Alan G. Martalock, 85, of Ontario passed away peacefully April 25, 2020, at his home with his loving wife of 60 years by his side. He was born Aug. 9, 1934, to Lude and Margaret (Ferries) Martalock.

  • Michael D. Downing

    April 21st, 2020

    Michael D. Downing, 61, of Ontario, passed away peacefully Monday, April 13, 2020, at his home.

    Duane “Speed” Evans

    April 6th, 2020

    Duane “Speed” Evans died early A.M. April 5, 2020, and joins his wife Joy and son Greg in the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Von Taylor

    April 3rd, 2020

    Von Taylor, 84, of Ontario passed away peacefully Monday, March 30, 2020, at his home in Ontario

    Edward B. Laznicka

    March 25th, 2020

    Edward B. Laznicka, 76, of Ontario died Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at the Serenity House.

    Arlene M. Ferries

    March 23rd, 2020

    Arlene M. Ferries, 91, of rural Ontario passed away on Saturday, March 21, 2020, at Gundersen St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hillsboro, Wis.

    Grace E. Ziems

    March 18th, 2020

    Grace E. Ziems, 90, of Elroy passed away Monday, March 16, 2020, at Gundersen St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hillsboro.

  • Archives