Leo B. Gieszelmann, Jr., age 80, of Edwardsville, died Wednesday March 15, 2023 at Missouri Baptist Hospital, St. Louis, MO.
He was born March 11, 1943 in Granite City, IL, the son of the late Leo B. and Melda (Buentte) Gieszelmann, Sr. He married Kay Suhre July 19, 1975. She survives.
Also surviving are two daughters: Emily Gieszelmann of Edwardsville and Sarah Gieszelmann (fiancé Heather Case) of Steelville, Mo; and two siblings Jeanne (Bill) Reynolds of Bluford, IL and Sharon (Henry) Dove of Bellflower, MO. 4 Nephews, 3 Nieces, 5 Great Nephews and 6 Great Nieces.
Leo graduated Edwardsville High School and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science from SIU Carbondale. He remained lifelong friends with his college buddies.
Leo worked for many years at Lange Stegman Fertilizer Company until retiring in 2014. He enjoyed playing practical jokes on his colleagues as well as his customers. The relationships he formed with his customers lasted long after he retired. He was good at what he did and loved to go to work. The last few years after retirement he worked part time at the Heartland Library System delivering books. 27 years ago he had the vision to bring Frozen Custard to Edwardsville – Annie’s Frozen Custard.
Leo loved to have a good time and had many cherished friendships. He was an avid bicyclist who developed many friendships through the love of cycling. He enjoyed riding in organized bike rides such as the Moonlight Ramble. He rode the Ragbrai several times, each bringing home many unbelievable stories. In 2006, he actually flew out to Montana and over a course of 6 weeks he rode his bike home. In the last few years he was able to accomplish the Tour De Donut in Staunton, Illinois and had a great time. He met on Saturday mornings with two different coffee groups. He loved to attend Wednesday morning Bible Study at the Yellow Dog in Worden.
Through countless hours of playing catch, tea parties, playing ice hockey, having his nails painted, playing dress up, and driving lessons he was an amazing Dad. He was sensitive, a good listener and had a lot of patience and compassion. Leo was a wonderful companion to Kay. They could talk for hours, worked well together, read the same books, loved to travel and could most definitely win jeopardy together. He was the best Trivial Pursuit teammate. Leo was preceded in death by several of his close buddies and said often how much he missed them.
Most of all Leo loved his girls Sarah, Emily, Kay and his dog Quinn.
Visitation will be from 10am-12pm on Saturday, March 25th at Esic Church in Edwardsville. A Memorial Service will immediately follow the visitation.
Memorials may be given to Metro East Humane Society or Partners for Pets.