Leonard Edward Lucas
Leonard Lucas, age 93, of Valley City, ND, died Saturday, October 5th at the Sheyenne Care Center in Valley City. A funeral service will be held at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, October 8th at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Valley City. Visitation will be held one hour before the service at the church on Tuesday afternoon. Interment will be in the North Dakota Veteran’s Cemetery, Mandan, ND.
Leonard Edward Lucas, Born November 3, 1919 in Manly, Iowa. He was the third of eleven children of Charles and Lottie Lucas. His brothers and sisters included Howard, Charles, Joyce, Phyllis, Robert, Harold Stanley, Ruth, Richard, Luetta, and Florence. He married his first wife Jessie, who died from cancer in 1969. He married Marjorie in May, 1973 and from that marriage he had 4 stepchildren, 8 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren. He also had many nieces and nephews. Leonard served with distinction in both World War II and the Korean War. He enlisted in December, 1941 and was part of the 127th Field Artillery Battalion of the 35th Infantry Division. During WWII Leonard participated in the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes (the Battle of the Bulge) and Central Europe campaigns. Leonard remembers those campaigns: “I was in the artillery; I remember the foxholes, mud and rain. I had a few close calls, but I got by.” After WWII Leonard remained in the reserves and was called up for the Korean War and spent several months there.
After the Army Leonard made his way to South Milwaukee, Wisconsin from Manly by going through Woodstock, Illinois and Racine, Wisconsin. He settled in South Milwaukee and was employed by Bucyrus-Erie company. After being discharged from the Army, Leonard kept close ties by joining the VFW and American Legion organizations. He and Marjorie would often travel to the VFW 35th Division reunions in Kansas City and they were very active members of both organizations. Leonard liked to march and was always proud to put on his uniform each year and carry the flag in parades. And he enjoyed the Eagles Club. He held several positions in the South Milwaukee Eagles club and Marjorie was also active in the club.
After he retired from Bucyrus-Erie, he and Marjorie moved to Buffalo, Wisconsin. They lived on the banks of the Mississippi River and he would often fish and "swim" in the river. In 2004 he and Marjorie moved to Valley City, North Dakota.
In 2009, for his efforts in France during WWII, he received with the Knight of the Legion of Honor medal from the French government. This is the highest honor that France bestows upon those who have achieved remarkable deeds for France. In a letter to Leonard, Jean-Baptiste Main De Boissiere, consul general of France in Chicago, wrote: “More than 65 years ago, he (Leonard) gave his youth to France and the French people. Many of his fellow soldiers did not return, but they remain in our hearts. “Thanks to the courage of these soldiers, to our American friends and Allies, France has been living in peace for the past six decades. They saved us and we will never forget. I want you to know that for us, the French people, they are heroes. Gratitude and remembrance are forever in our souls. Mr. Lucas, you are among those heroes.”
Leonard is survived by his wife Marjorie, Valley City, ND; three step-sons, James (Nancy) Sieg, Cudahy, WI, David Sieg, West Allis, WI and Rod Sieg, Valley City, ND; one step-daughter, Faye Smith, Black River Falls, WI; one brother, Stanley Lucas, Manly, IA.
Funeral arrangements by the Lerud Schuldt Funeral Home of Valley City. Online guestbook available at www.lerudschuldt.com