Leona Emma ‘Ellinghuysen’ Klassen
Leona Emma (Ellinghuysen) Klassen, 93, of Plainview, affectionally known as the “Popcorn Lady” went to her heavenly home Friday, May 7, 2021 at Green Prairie Rehabilitation Center where she resided for the past 2 _ years, with family and God by her side.
Leona was born September 2, 1927 in Hillsdale Township, Winona County, to Ferdinand & Viola (Zimmerman) Ellinghuysen. Soon after birth the family moved to rural Plainview. Leona attended Grubb School until the eighth grade. After several years of working on the family farm and helping neighbors, Leona attended Winona Nursing School and graduated with an LPN Degree which fulfilled her life-long dream to be a nurse. On October 30, 1954 Leona married Everett Klassen at Immanuel Lutheran Church and went on to have five children. Everett passed away in October of 1993.
She worked for 27 years at Hillcrest Nursing Home, Plainview, which is now called Green Prairie Rehabilitation Center, Plainview. There she influenced several young people to pursue nursing and was a treasured employee, kind and caring to all who resided there. Leona was a fantastic cook and after retirement, never content to sit, worked as the main cook for the Elgin American Legion for over 10 years providing wonderful home cooked meals.
Leona loved her huge garden, which at one time included 96 tomato plants! She would always say “tomatoes were God’s special gift”. She canned many things and shared her harvest with all she knew. One could never have enough flowers as well. Leona loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and spent as much time with them as she could. These children were a bright light in her life.
She owned and operated the Klassen’s Popcorn Stand for over 30+ years, until recently passing the torch to the next generation of Klassen’s. She enjoyed being referred to as “the popcorn lady” and enjoyed the patrons who stopped to get popcorn or to say Hi, especially the kids and their joy. She also enjoyed scooting around in her Little Blue pickup. Every morning, without fail, Leona enjoyed a cup of coffee and an hour reading her prayer books, as God was a special part of her life.
Leona is survived by her four children; sons, Ronald (Joan), Duane (Jean), and Bruce (Carol) all of Plainview, and one daughter, Rita of Plainview; 9 grandchildren, Tashia, Travis, Tamra, Mike, Jackie, Katie, Kristi, Chelsea, and Ashley; 13 great-grandchildren, Makaleigh, Amiya, Danaeya, Max, Ella, Harper, Preslee, Leon, Graham, Emmett, Marlee, Olivia, and Arya; one brother Franklin (Bernadine) Ellinghuysen of Plainview; a brother-in-law and sister-in-law James & Jane Klassen of Plainview, and Helen Pierce of St. Charles, and many nieces and nephews. Leona was preceded in death by her husband Everett, one daughter Lorraine Ann, and one great-grandson Lincoln, her parents Ferd & Viola Ellinghuysen, stepmother Edna, 2 sisters and their spouses Arlene Pitman, Ed Pitman, Marion & Melvin Dickinson, 3 brothers and their spouses, Marvin & Gladys, Clarence & Pat, and Harold, a stepbrother, Willard Mussell. Brothers-in-law and sisters-in law Robert Klassen, Bill Klassen, George & Neola Cook, and Art & Maxine Vogt.
A walk-through visitation will be held at Schleicher Funeral Homes, Plainview Chapel on Wednesday, May 12, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and one hour prior to the service at the church. The funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 13, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Plainview, with Pastor Phil Augustine officiating. Burial will follow the service at Greenwood Cemetery in Plainview. Masks are required at all services and please practice social distancing.
Arrangements entrusted to Schleicher Funeral Homes, Plainview Chapel, the guest register may be signed at www.schleicherfuneralhomes.com