Leon Wollersheim died Nov. 22, 2021 at the age of 79.
His parents, Arnold and Yvonne (Mauthe) Wollersheim, received him with joy on Jan. 26, 1942. Leon was educated by his parents in the life of the Holy Spirit, honest work and concern for other people and his world. His education at St. Boniface Grade School, Manitowoc; Sacred Heart Seminary, Oneida; and St. Meinrad Seminary, St. Meinard, Indiana prepared him for work as a priest and an involved world citizen.
In 1968, Leon was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Green Bay. He lived in the parishes of St. Francis Xavier, De Pere; Sacred Heart, Appleton; St. Margaret Mary, Neenah; and St. Philip, Green Bay. In 1980 he began the diocesan Single Again Ministry and served as director of Holy Name Retreat House.
Leon completed a Master of Science Degree in Social Work in 1986. He has worked for Family Services of Madison, Manitowoc County Human Services Department and Family Life and Growth in addition to doing divorce mediation and facilitating groups for men who have abused their partners.
Leon will be remembered as a person who believed in the goodness of people, God’s presence in the human experience and devotion to a renewed Catholic Church. He will be especially remembered for the development of the Beginning Experience in Northeastern Wisconsin and the development of new programs for Holy Name Retreat House. He was honored by the Wisconsin Association of Marriage and Family Therapists in 1981. He became a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers in 1988.
Leon married Barbara Henry in 2003. Three women—Anna Kolar, Rebecca Bilak and Mary Wesener—and six grandchildren are part of the family.
Leon retired from the Manitowoc County Human Services Department in February 2007. Since that time he has dared to take on new endeavors such as school bus driving, acting as legal guardian and representative payee, teaching young and old to read and spell better, and assisting disenfranchised people to gain some assistance from appropriate resources.
Throughout his life Leon was proud of his sisters, Lynette Herold and Grace Lang, and his brother Donald. His brother, David, a priest, preceded him in death. He was grateful to them for their love and support.
During his life, Leon tried to embrace the gifts which life offered. Having lived to the fullest, periods of health and sickness, joy and sadness, clarity and confusion, Leon believed life was a time of opportunity and challenge.
Having taken on the last phase of this earthly experience, death, a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 17 at St. Francis of Assisi on Grand, 1416 Grand Ave., Manitowoc. The Rev. Paul Demuth will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial, with burial of his cremated remains to follow at the Calvary Cemetery, Manitowoc. Relatives and friends may call at the church on Friday, Dec. 17 from 9 a.m. until the time of services at 11 a.m.
Memorial donations in Leon’s name can be made to the Holy Family Conservatory of Music Scholarship Fund. The Pfeffer Funeral Home of Manitowoc is assisting the family. Online condolences can be expressed at www.lakeshorefuneralhomes.com.
Leon’s family is grateful for the care he received at Homestead Health Services in New Holstein.