Leota Maxine James, daughter of Harry Hanson Peterson and Minnie Marie (Kohnlechner) Peterson, was born April 19, 1929 in Decatur County and passed from this life at Southern Hills Specialty Care in Osceola, Iowa on Monday, November 9, 2020 at 91 years of age.
Leota received her early education in rural schools and was a 1947 graduate of Diagonal High School. She later attended Teachers Training in Clarinda, Iowa and began her teaching career at Doyle Township School #9 in Hopeville, Iowa. While teaching at Hopeville School she was annoyed by a young man cutting through the schoolyard every morning on his way to work on the farm. Eventually, her annoyance disappeared and she found herself liking this young man. In fact, she liked him so much they celebrated 67 years of marriage prior to Paul’s death in 2016.
Leota and Paul lived most of their married life on their farm south of Murray, Iowa where they raised their 10 children and were members of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church. Leota spent her life caring for her family-making sure homework was completed, spelling lists practiced and shoes polished for church on Sunday. Homemade bread fresh from the oven with homemade strawberry jam was a common afterschool snack and sugar cookies or pumpkin bars were always on hand. She enjoyed time spent with all of her grandkids, whether it was an afternoon visit or a week-long stay during the summer. She loved having her grandkids in the kitchen helping her cook, playing card games or working jigsaw puzzles. Grandma James knew her grandkids’ favorites foods and these were always on the menu when they visited. She enjoyed cooking for haying and harvesting crews, and received many compliments on her melt-in-your-mouth roast beef and homemade pies.
Those preceding Leota in death were her husband, Paul; parents; sons Gerald and Dennis James; daughter Rosemary Morrison; granddaughter Megan (Justice) Skellenger; great-granddaughter AnnaRose Morrison; sisters Elvina Sheets and Waunetta Peterson; brothers John Peterson, LeRoy Peterson, Henry Peterson, Clifford Peterson and, Galen Rocarol Peterson.
Leota leaves to cherish her memory; children, Pat New of Maryville, MO, Tom James of Murray, IA, Elizabeth (Craig) Justice of Murray, IA, Paul Andrew James of Murray, IA, Barbara (Chris) Dueker of Maryville, MO, Tony (Teri) James of Lexington, MO, Dan James of Ankeny, IA; grandchildren, Mary (Ed) Waldeier, Janie New, John (Sabrina) Justice, Amy (Cody) Starlin, Nate (Meredith) Morrison, Rachael (Robert) Carter, Katie (Jonathan) Beaver, Jacob Morrison, Aaron Dueker, Kara Dueker, Hayley (Joe) Noynaert, Heather (Drake) Taylor, Emily James, Ashley James, Zac Taylor; great-grandchildren, Will Waldeier, Joseph Waldeier, Grace Waldeier, Sadie Trovato, Ellie Starlin, Dillon Starlin, Maxwell Skellenger, Grant Skellenger, Essa Morrison, AvaKate Morrison, James Carter, Adeline Carter; great-great-grandchild, Leo Travato; sister, Leona Holland; son-in-law, Brett (Diane) Morrison; grandson-in-law, Brett Skellenger, sisters-in-law, Martha (Eugene) Kraber, Velda James; brothers-in-law: William (Cherie) James, Martin (Patricia) James as well as other relatives and friends.
Open visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, November 13, 2020 at Kale Funeral Home in Osceola. Due to Covid-19, Family is not expected to be present.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
The family and funeral home asks that anyone in attendance at the visitation please follow social distancing guidelines. The use of face coverings are REQUIRED.
Private Graveside services will be in the Hopeville Cemetery
Memorial contributions may be directed to Murray First Responders or Clarke County Ambulance
Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.kalefuneralhome.com