Leonard Sextro
March 9, 1929 - April 11, 2020

Private graveside services for 91 year-old Leonard Sextro of Manning will be held this weekend.
Public viewing will be held from 9 AM to 11 AM on Saturday, April 18, 2020, at Ohde Funeral Home in Manning.
The family will not be present for the viewing, but invites you to join them for a memorial mass later on when circumstances allow.
Leonard passed away on Sunday, April 12, 2020, at Manning Regional Healthcare Center in Manning.

29060 Eagle Avenue 1942 Sextro home place

Back: John, Leo, Ed, Herb
Third: Clara (Lechtenberg), Helen, Marie
Second: Dorothy, Leonard, Norbert
Front: Ruth, Maxine
Missing from picture: Edna who died at 16

From the 2006 Manning Quasquicentennial history book
Leonard and Laurie Sextro began married life on July 30, 1955. They were married at St. Joseph's Church, Earling, Iowa, and settled on a farm four miles from Manning.
Laurie (nee Dolores Gross) grew up on a farm near Earling and graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1951. She attended the College of Saint Mary in Omaha one year and then transferred to Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, attaining her B. A. in 1955. Laurie worked as a teacher, mainly in the area of reading, for many years before retiring in 1998.
Leonard spent most of his life in the Manning area, attending country school, then graduating from Manning High School in 1947. He served in the Infantry in Korea during the Korean War, was wounded and then discharged. He farmed for many years and then worked for the post office for eight years before retiring in 1995.
Leonard and Laurie are the parents of three children: Greg, Terri (Teresa), and Mark (all graduated from Manning Community School). Greg went on to the University of Iowa, earning his law degree. Terri and Mark both graduated from Iowa State University, eventually becoming computer programmers. Terri went on to earn her M. S. in Information Sciences at San Diego State. Greg practices law in Denison and Manning, and Terri and Mark worked as computer programmers in several locations, mainly San Diego.
Greg and Sandra Marshall were married on April 28, 1990, and have two daughters: Katie (Katerina), born in 1995, and Grace, born in 1998. They live on an acreage near Manning. Terri and Mike Buffington were married on June 20, 1998, in Maui, Hawaii. A daughter, Jennifer, was born to them in 1999. Terri passed away on September 8, 2001. Mark worked as a computer programmer in Rochester and Minneapolis, and at present, in San Diego.
Leonard and Laurie have traveled both at home and abroad, visiting Italy, Greece, Japan, Hawaii, Ireland, and various other destinations.

Ewoldt No. 1


Back: Dorothy Sextro, Leonard Sextro, Marie Sextro, Virginia Renze, Norbert Sextro
Front: Darlene Sextro, Marlene Renze, Ruth Sextro, Maxine Sextro
Missing: Shirley Sextro

Greg Sextro family - Greg graduated from MHS in 1978

Terri Jo Sextro MHS 1980

Mark Sextro MHS 1983

Page 7 of the 2009 Manning Schools history book

Page 9 of the 2009 Manning Schools history book

Page 10 of the 2009 Manning Schools history book

1936 blizzard at the school

Back: Ruth Nagl, Alvin Ferneding, ??, Helen Sextro, Clarence Langel, Edna Sextro
Front: Paul Ferneding, Ed Sextro, Ruth Nagl, Viola Langel, Leo Sextro, ??, Herb Sextro

Leonard Sextro first enlisted in the U.S. Army in the fall of 1948 when he was 19 years old. He completed his basic training in Fort Riley, Kansas, and served in Japan for one year. He was a PFC in the 3rd Infantry Division, in the 7th Regiment.

He left the service in 1949 but remained in the Reserves. He was recalled when North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950. He re-entered the service in October 1950 and was sent to the State of Washington for retraining. He then flew to Japan where they were fully outfitted, mostly in left over World War II equipment. They then took a ship to Korea.

They were then told that they were probably too late because the war would be over by Christmas 1950. However, around Thanksgiving of 1950, the Chinese invaded Korea. At that time he was stationed in what is now North Korea. His unit leap-frogged back to Inchon where they were evacuated by ship down to Pusan, along with other units. He experienced little or no fighting during this time.

His unit then fought back north to the 38th parallel. During this time, Douglas MacArthur was replaced by Matthew Ridgeway as supreme commander in Korea. This is when Leonard saw the most action. He was an assistant squad leader and later a BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) man who had an assistant. He was awarded the Bronze Star as a result of an incident in which the regimental commander told a squad to take out a Chinese mortar which was shelling a bridge. He and his 18-year old assistant proceeded to fire heavily upon the location of the mortar until the Chinese were either killed or left. He was wounded on June 2, 1951, as a result of an artillery barrage. He was carried off a hill along with several other soldiers, several of whom were killed by the artillery attack. He was brought to a MASH unit with wounds to his shoulder, hand and eardrum. He was sent to a hospital ship where he underwent surgery on his hand and eardrum as well as having shrapnel removed from his shoulder. He was moved to Japan for recovery and later sent home. While recovering, he met General Ridgeway in the hospital.

Most people probably have forgotten that I'm still working on a two-volume Manning Veterans' history book project.
Some people have been upset that I haven't published it - after working on it for 10+ years.
I had hoped to have it published by now but for many reasons, I'm having a difficult time getting Manning Veterans or the families of deceased Veterans to get their military pictures and information to me to scan and add to the database for editing later on when I start to lay out the book.
I also hear from various people that I won't be able to get every Veteran's history - as if I don't already know this, having worked on Manning history for over 40 years...yes, I know I won't get everyone connected to Manning but I have lots of names without a picture or 1 sentence of information...I know I can get more but it will just take me a lot more time - unless more people start coming forward right away.

One thing most people don't stop to think is that it costs tens of thousands of dollars to publish a history book.
I've published 2 Manning books now, with the help of a lot of volunteers on the first 2 books, BUT now it is "Me, Myself, and I."
Those previous 2 books cost me thousands of dollars of my own money - beyond what was raised through fund-raisers, donations, and the pre-sales of those books.

One way I am able to raise money for the Veterans' project is with the sales of the 2006 Manning Quasqui history book and the 2009 Manning Schools history book.
I have a lot of extra - brand new books for sale. 100% of the money from the sales will go to the Veterans' book.

If you are interested in helping financially with the Veterans' book project by purchasing one or both of the previous Manning history books, you can find more information on the left side of my main web page - click on "History book order forms" and you'll see images of the books and printable order forms.
I have a history book bank account at the First National Bank, where the money will be deposited.
Dave Kusel

Now most people may wonder why I'm including this military information with Leonard Sextro's tribute.
There are hundreds of Manning connected Veterans who I have very little if any military information and pictures and unfortunately, so many of them pass away before I have time to make contact with them directly.
In 2016 I asked Greg if he would visit with his dad about his military service.
Leonard, like so many other Veterans, seldom if ever talk about or share their military experiences with non-veterans or family members.
I understand why for the most part and realize that most Veterans are very humble and private when it comes to their own personal service.

This makes it very difficult for me to break through that barrier so I can get their pictures and information to use in the Manning Veterans' history book project and Manning's history as a whole.
Other Veterans who have worked with me and provided me with their pictures and information are becoming disappointed that I have not yet published the book.

Besides wanting to get more information and pictures for the hundreds of Manning Veterans who I have very little to nothing here is another reason.

Yesterday, I received a call from a Manning Legionnaire. He told me that Dale Hinners was able to find the key to gain access to a cubby hole in the Legion Hall and in it was a filing cabinet and tons of old records and documents. Both of these men know how desperate I am at finding and preserving Manning's history so they graciously gave them to me to scan and preserve.

Some records are as recent as the 1980s but most were much older and some are from the very beginning.

There is an amazing log book for the Manning Legion Drum & Bugle Corps.
Other records tell of how active the Veterans were in serving the community and operating various annual community events which shows how important and integral these men were in not only serving our country but also our community. Here are some samples. I don't have time to scan all of the information now, but wanted to have some examples in my database so I know roughly what is in those drawers of information.

One document shocked me and I will explain below.

So please follow along and try to understand why I think it is so very important to get as many Manning Veterans included in the Manning history book and my Manning database.

1921 Legion dues

1928 Christmas lights fund raiser

1929 Christmas lights fund raiser

1947-48 mailing list

1966 membership cards

1929 North Western RR freight bill

Drum & Bugle Corps

Grant Grundmeier, Adjutant

Coast to Coast in Manning paper sack

Now here is what shocked me at first when I saw it. I'm always looking for Memorial Day programs from the past.
When I saw this 1969 program I thought - "what the heck" where are all of the WWI & WWII names."
Then it dawned on me that the list is and has always been the list of names of deceased Veterans, but I've worked with the more recent Memorial Day programs over the last 20 years so this 1969 program surprised me.
Then when I saw the 1985 program, I was more aware of the number of names listed.
Then compare to the 2019 list...it is STRIKING!!!

Now why should we care about preserving our history and especially the records and documents of our local organizations?
If you read all of the material above you will get just a little idea of what the Legionnaires have done for this community...NOW their organization is no more in Manning.
Almost incomprehensible when you look at, for instance, the list of names in the 1948 records.

I fully understand the reasons why the men could no longer maintain this organization/building. Most of the committee members are in their 70s to early 90s and very few younger generation Veterans are members. This is also a numbers game, whereas during WWI & WWII there were hundreds of Manningites who served and returned to Manning to live and raise families, but in the later years, relatively few numbers of Manningites have served, PLUS most of them never returned to Manning after their service.

So sadly an organization of very Patriotic & Proud members no longer exists.

1969 Memorial Day program

1985 Memorial Day program

2019 Memorial Day program

So as you can see, all of the Manning WWI Veterans have passed away and most of the Manning WWII Veterans.
These men & women were part of Manning's Pioneer history and the Greatest Generation.

We need to consider that with the loss of all of these Manning people will and has had a major effect on the community and will be much harder for the current generation of Manning citizens to hang on to the organizations we still have...all of which this community would not be able to function and provide the quality of life we have.

Also realize that the WWI & WWII lists of men above are JUST those who are buried in Manning - there are hundreds more who moved away and are buried elsewhere.
In my Manning military database I have over 350 WWI and over 600 WWII Veterans, which is an astounding number for such a small community.

So if you are a Manning Veteran or member of a family of a deceased Veteran - please contact me so we can work on your military history.

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