Leo F. Sutter passed away peacefully in his sleep at Hallmar Care Center at Mercy Medical Center on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019.
Leo was born Jan. 11, 1920, on a farm near Elgin, Iowa, to Dan and Hulda Frederich Sutter. He attended Elgin schools and enlisted in the U.S. Army Infantry at the start of World War II. Leo served in North Africa and Italy, where he was wounded and received the Purple Heart. At the end of the war, he returned home and married the former Violet Koch at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Eldorado, Iowa, on Oct. 11 1945. They were married 60 years until Vi's passing in 2006.
Leo and Vi came to Cedar Rapids where Leo began his career as an auto mechanic at Baxter Motor Co. He later started his own gas station on the corner of A Avenue and Second Street NE, first as a DX Station and then a Phillips 66 Station for many years. He went on to work for the city of Cedar Rapids as a mechanic for the streets department, retiring as a foreman. After his retirement, he went to work at Randall's grocery store as a greeter and cart man. He loved this job.
He always had a smile and a joke or story to tell to whomever he could catch.
Leo is survived by his two daughters, Sue Humphrey (Mike) and Leigh Sutter of Cedar Rapids. Also surviving are grandsons, Matt (Valoree) Humphrey and Jeff Humphrey (Mario Radilla), also of Cedar Rapids. There are two great-granddaughters, Hailee and Allison Humphrey. He also leaves behind his best furry friend, Paws, his cat.
Leo was always very patriotic. He had been a member of the American Legion since his discharge from the military and a 50-plus year member of the VFW. He was always known for his red, white and blue suspenders and his neighbors adorned his riding lawn mower with American flags and streamers.
Leo's pastimes included Cubs baseball, living long enough for them to win the World Series. Over the years, he attended stock car races at Hawkeye Downs and watched NASCAR on television, rooting on Jeff Gordon.
Leo and Vi had a faithful church life starting as charter members of Hope Lutheran Church and then Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church, where he was a member until declining health prevented his attendance.
Leo's daughters called him "dial a joke" as his jokes and stories were legendary and never ending. He always started a conversation with at least one joke or story and oftentimes it didn't stop there.
Leo was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Marie Anderson; and one brother, Fritz Sutter of West Union.
Leo is survived by his two daughters; two grandsons; two great-granddaughters; one brother, Don (Marilanna) Sutter of Elgin; and Erna Baumgartner Koupal (Ken) of Cedar Falls; and many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to give special thanks to Mercy Palliative Care, especially Bonnie Seeley who kept Leo in his own home until the past six months. Also, many thanks to Hospice of Mercy and Sally, his nurse, for their care and compassion during this final journey of life. And to the staff of Hallmar at Mercy for the outstanding care and compassion, you are all angels of Mercy!
A private family graveside committal will be at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery, and a celebration of life will occur at a later date. If you have a special memory of Leo or a joke or story, please come and share. Date and arrangements will be announced later.
To those who may want to honor Leo's memory, his favorite charities were Camp Courageous, P.O. Box 418, Monticello, IA 52310; or the Cedar Valley Humane Society, 7411 Mount Vernon Rd. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403.
Online condolences may be left at www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.