Juanita Leno, age 77 of Prior Lake, passed away due to complications of colon cancer on December 30, 2019 at the U of M Hospital. A Celebration of Life will be held Monday, January 6, 2020 at 11AM with a visitation starting at 9:30AM at Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church, 3611 North Berens Rd. NW, Prior Lake. Pastor Karen Treat will preside and Juanita’s grandchildren will act as urnbearers.
On December 28, 1942 in Hitterdal, MN, Juanita was born to parents John and Adeline (Nelson) Meyer. She was the youngest of seven children and affectionately nicknamed “Sis” by her siblings. Growing up on the family farm instilled a strong work ethnic in Juanita. She often helped her father with field work and drove grain to the local elevators.
Following her high school graduation, Juanita furthered her education at Dakota Business College in Fargo. During this time, Juanita met another young college student—Wendell Leno. While driving down Broadway Street, Wendell pulled alongside Juanita’s car and started a conversation. Soon after, they began dating.
On October 6, 1962 Juanita and Wendell exchanged wedding vows at Eksjo Lutheran Church of Lake Park, MN. They were blessed with 57 years together and a loving family.
When they were first married, Juanita worked at NDSU in the business office and later the U of MN grant office as a means of supporting Wendell’s education. When he graduated from the U of MN, they settled down and raised a family. Once the children were older, Juanita returned to work. For 25 years, she worked in the business office for the Prior Lake School District.
Juanita was a dedicated wife, mother, and grandmother—her family was the most important part of her life. For many years, they took camping trips to Mantrap Lake near Park Rapids. In the past fifteen years, they would visit a cabin near Cross Lake. Juanita loved relaxing, watching her grandchildren play, and listening to the sounds of nature, especially loons. More than anything, Juanita loved being a grandma! Along with Wendell, she attended countless school functions to cheer on her girls.
In her free time, Juanita also enjoyed crosswords, antiquing, refinishing furniture, and hosting family, especially Christmas. An avid card player, she cherished her time playing Bridge with neighbors. A woman of faith, Juanita was a longtime member of Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran. She often assisted with serving communion.
In the last ten years, Juanita endured numerous treatments for cancer. Through it all, her faith and appreciation for family never wavered. No matter the moment—big or small, tough or easy—Juanita was a kind and constant presence in the lives of those she loved.
Juanita is survived by husband, Wendell; daughters; Stephanie (Christopher) Melton, Christine (Shawn) Wallin, Andrea (Mark) Bouressa; grandchildren, Madeline (Andy Nyren) Lietzau, Olivia Lietzau, Lila Wallin, Hollie Bouressa, Elsie Bouressa: step-grandchildren, Sarah (Adam) McKibbin and their children, Jamie (Adam) Hoatson, Stephanie (Ben) McNeill and their children; siblings, Janet Burns, Joan Grefsrud; sisters-in-law, Carlee Meyer, Carol Meyer; brother-in-law, Charles Nelson; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
There to greet Juanita in Heaven are her parents and siblings, Aileen (Roy) Malakowsky, John Meyer, Nathan Meyer and Janine Nelson.