Leroy Henry Graesser, age 91 of Amana, formerly of West Amana, died Sunday, June 9, 2013 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Funeral Service: 10:00 A.M. Wednesday, June 12, 2013, Middle Amana Community Church with Elder Harold Pitz officiating. Burial will be in the West Amana Cemetery with military honors. Visitation: 4 to 7 P.M. Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at the Middle Amana Community Church. Memorials may be contributed to the Amana Church Society or St. Luke’s Hospice. Kloster Funeral Home, Marengo is in charge of arrangements.
Leroy is survived by his wife, Betty; two sons, John (Jody) of Citrus Heights, CA, and Randy (Marcia) of South Amana; a daughter Susan Shoup (Mike) of South Amana; three grandchildren, Justin and Joshua Graesser, and Erin Shoup (fiance, Nash Albadarin). He is also survived by a brother, Henry “Heine” Graesser of Amana. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother Elmer.
Leroy Henry Graesser was born June 18, 1921 in Davenport, Iowa, the son of Henry Graesser, Sr. and Frieda Berger Graesser. He graduated from the Amana High School and attended Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. He went to work as a welder at Amana Refrigeration. Leroy served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, as a member of the Coast Guard. He returned to Amana Refrigeration following his discharge from the service. Leroy married Betty Parson on June 6, 1953 at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. In 1955, he became farm manager of the West Amana Farms. He eventually became manager for all the Amana Farms, and remained as such for 30 years.
Following his retirement Leroy began building scale models of historic Amana buildings. He actively volunteered in the community and was a tour guide for many of the colony visitors.
Leroy was a member of the Amana Church Society, a former member the Amana School Board, and he served on the Amana Society Board of Directors. He was a founding member of the Amana Heritage Society, and also served on the 1988 World Ag Expo Committee.
The Graesser family would like to thank the staff of St. Luke’s Hospice for the wonderful care and compassion extended to Leroy in his final days.