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Leland Reiss - February 24, 2013


Leland Dean Reiss, 83 years of age, of rural Wilcox passed away on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, at the Phelps Memorial Health Center in Holdrege.
Leland was born Dec. 12, 1929, on the family farm five miles east of Ragan in Harlan County. Leland was the youngest of three children born to August and Rilla (Arehart) Reiss.
Leland was baptized on Jan. 12, 1930, and confirmed on May 5, 1942, at the St. John’s Lutheran Church in rural Wilcox.
He received his primary education from the Freewater School in Harlan County and then graduated from Wilcox High School with the Class of 1947.
During his school days, Leland played the tuba. Following graduation he continued to play and march with the band. Music was a very important part of his life and playing several instruments came natural to him. He also enjoyed being a member of the “Sons of the Soil” band, playing the accordion for over 60 years.
He interrupted his farming career when he enlisted into the United States Army on Sept. 20, 1951. He received his basic training from Fort Riley, Kan., and attained the rank of Staff Sargent serving his country during the Korean War. After his honorable discharge on June 20, 1953, Leland returned home and continued his farming career.
On Feb. 14, 1954, he was united in marriage to Beverly Gregg and to this union three children were born: Dennis, Marcia and Marilee. The family made their home five miles east of Ragan.
While the children were young, Leland was very involved with the children’s activities and the couple was recognized as a Farm Family of the Year in Harlan County by Nebraska Farmer Magazine.
The family enjoyed traveling together through the years as well. In addition to the farm, Leland became a dealer for many farm related services including irrigation pipe and grain bins.
Beverly passed away on July 28, 1978.
On Feb. 24, 1979, he was united in marriage to Jackie (Merritt) Colligan. Her children: Elizabeth, Heather and Shawn were blended into one loving family. Jackie was supportive to Leland with his various business interests. In later years, Leland and Jackie traveled both domestic and abroad, and enjoyed being together in their motorhome.
Leland was a member of the Bethel Lutheran Church, he was active on the Board of Directors of the Federal Land Bank Association, active member for many years of the Wilcox Lions Club, and many friendship bonds were formed in business, church and social card clubs through the years.
He leaves to mourn his passing his wife, Jackie, of rural Wilcox; their children, Dennis Reiss and wife, Brenda, of rural Wilcox, Marcia Friesen and husband, Tim, of Omaha, Marilee Aspegren and husband, Leland, of Wilcox, Elizabeth Chappell and husband, Clem, of Opelika, Ala., Heather Miller and husband, Warren, of Holdrege, and Shawn Colligan of Selah, Wash.; grandchildren, Christina (Reiss) Platt and husband, Steven, Sheena (Reiss) Dallmann and husband, Justin, Shari (Johnson) Wood and husband, Matt, Joshua Johnson, Kristen Friesen, Samantha (Aspegren) Goetz and husband, Tyler, Courtney Aspegren, Shelby Aspegren, McKenzie Aspegren, Lance Aspegren, Claudette Thomas and husband, David, Michelle Chappell, Jim Pearson and fiancé, Nicki McDonnell, Bryce Pearson and wife, Lacey, and Weston Colligan; great-grandchildren, Heath Platt, Lily Dallmann, Quentin and Shawn Wood, Brecken Goetz, Clayton Thomas, Cody and Katelyn Poe, and James Pearson; sister, Delores Konert of Wilcox; sisters-in-law, Loretta Triplett of Kearney and Elaine Warner of Arapahoe; brother-in-law, Darrell Gregg and wife, Ruth of Bertrand; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Besides his first wife, Beverly, Leland was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Lawrence Reiss; brothers-in-law, Leonard Konert and Duane Warner; son-in-law, Jim Pearson; and his two beloved German Shepherds.
Funeral services were conducted from the Bethel Lutheran Church in Holdrege March 1 with the Revs. Jamie Strickler and Darrel Wissmann officiating.
Interment was in the Prairie Home Cemetery in Holdrege with military honors provided by the Martin-Horn American Legion Post #66 in conjunction with the United States Army Military Honors Team.
A memorial has been established in Leland’s honor and will be designated at a later date.
Expressions of caring and kindness can be sent to the family at www.nelsonbauerfh.com
The Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege was in charge of the arrangements.