“I’ve had a great life – I wouldn’t change a thing.” And with that, Leland (Lee) Duane Carper joined the saints in heaven on January 30, 2017. Born April 23, 1927, in Osceola, Iowa, the youngest son of W.W. and Berenice (Tillotson) Carper, Lee enjoyed all the pranks and adventures pre-war small town Iowa provided, with his three older brothers and large group of friends. During his high school senior year he enlisted in the US Navy, joining his brothers in serving his country in WWII. Following the war, he graduated from Simpson College and began post-graduate work at Drake University. On April 25, 1954, he married Jeanette Bruns. To this union six children were born. After 25 years in Waterloo they moved to Des Moines in 1980.
Devoted husband, loving dad, funny grandpa and great-grampy, Lee never met a stranger and would and could talk to anyone! A strong union man who took great pride in his work, Lee was a heavy equipment operator and training instructor for the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 234. His strong belief in helping others led him to volunteer countless hours to the American Red Cross, Camp Sunnyside, John L Lewis Museum, as well as coach his sons in all their sports. He crisscrossed the state to attend dance recitals, music concerts, and sports activities for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Proceeded in death by his parents; brothers Robert and Darrel; son-in-law Marc Heiben, Lee is survived by his wife of almost 63 years, Jeanette, daughter Barb (Joe) Overman, sons Craig (Ruth Hurley), Doug (Karen), Mike (Nancy), daughters Kolleen (Al) Hosford and Denise Heiden; 19 grandchildren and spouses; 27 great-grandchildren with 2 more on the way; his brothers Bud (Connie), Bill (Norma), sister Carolyn Farr, and sister-in-law Loretta Carper; and numerous extended family and friends.
Visitation will be Friday, 5 – 8 p.m. at Merle Hay Funeral Home. Services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, at Messiah Lutheran Church, Johnston. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Messiah Lutheran Church, Camp Sunnyside, John L Lewis Museum (Lucas, IA), or Mercy Hospice.
” Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”