Leon Wallace Zimdars

September 5, 2018 GMT

SULLIVAN -- Leon Wallace Zimdars, 97 years and 4 months, was born and lived in Sullivan his entire life. He was born April 29, 1921, to Arthur and Alma (Giese) Zimdars. He died Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018.

He married Genevieve Haag May 22, 1946, and celebrated 59 years of marriage with his beloved wife. Leon was a lifelong member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Sullivan.

Leon served during World War II, 1942-1945, in the U.S. Army as a T5 in the 531st AAAW (Anti Aircraft Automatic Weapons) 30th Infantry. Unknown to most, Leon served as a German translator and as an infantryman served in the European Theater Operation. Leon was a decorated soldier and recipient of the EAME Theater Ribbon, Silver Star Medal, Silver Battle Star, five individual Battle Stars for his service in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe, three overseas service bars, Distinguished Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and was awarded the prestigious French Legion of Honor Medal by the Government of France, December of 2012. After his service during World War II, Leon was employed over 40 years as a maintenance supervisor, and mechanical engineer for Friskies Dog Food Factory in Jefferson. At the age of 16, Leon joined the Sullivan Fire Department as a volunteer fireman, and was an active member and past commander of the American Legion Post 349 for 72 years.

Leon enjoyed fishing, camping and traveling the U.S. with his children and wife.

He and his wife showed champion Cochin Bantam chickens at local and state fairs. Leon spent many hours as a mentor to 4-H children who were interested in poultry.

Leon is survived by: son, Dennis Zimdars (Kathy); daughter, Donna Zimdars Burns; nephew, Darry Reuhl (Diane); sisters-in-law, Isola Millett, Kathryn Louise Roberts, Betty Haag; nieces and nephews; four grandchildren, Shelley Edwards (Crissie Elder), Stacy Neubauer, Dawn Neubauer, Andrew Zimdars; five great-grandchildren, Corey Elder-Edwards, Jack Elder-Edwards, Lillian Neubauer, Michael Neubauer and Farah Zimdars.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Genevieve and son Duane Zimdars.

Leon will be buried Sept. 22 with military honors at a private graveside service at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Sullivan. The Rev. Dean Zemple will officiate.

Memorials can be directed to the Sullivan Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 95, Sullivan, WI 53178.

Olsen-Gibson Funeral Home, Jefferson, is handling the arrangements. To place an online condolence, please visit www.olsen-gibson.com.

Olsen-Gibson Funeral Home

221 S. Center Ave. Jefferson