Leon Edward Scharenberg was born Oct. 1, 1952, to Leo D. and Dorothy L. (Lewis) Scharenberg at Marion, Kansas, the youngest of four children. The family lived on a farm northeast of Marion in the Youngtown community.
When Leon was but a toddler, the family moved to Cedar Point, on the banks of the Cottonwood River. He attended grade school at Cedar Point and attended Florence High School. He was a cakewalk king candidate his senior year, as was his cousin, freshman Danny Heim. He participated in football and basketball and was class treasurer his senior year, graduating with the class of 1970.
His senior year he willed all of his flat tires and car repairs to his cousin, Richard Heim, and hoped that he had the money to finance it.
He trained in mechanics at Emporia Vo-Tech, and during his lifetime he maintained all of his own vehicles. He excelled in electronics, and he could fix anything.
In the summer of 1971, Leon and Rich took a road trip to St. Louis in his 1970 Dodge SuperBee, 440 Magnum Six-Pack. Returning home on I-70, a 1969 Roadrunner pulled up beside them. Leon played cat and mouse with the Roadrunner, and finally shut it down at 135 mph.
On Aug. 23, 1972, he was called by Uncle Sam to serve his country in the U.S. Army. He took his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Leon convoyed most of the time while in Germany but also spent time in major German cities such as Berlin and Kaiserslautern, which is 295 miles northeast of Paris, France. He served two years, active duty from 1972 to 1974, and four years in the Reserves from 1974 to 1978. He was discharged Aug. 23, 1978.
Most of Leon’s career was spent working for Hesston/AGCO Corporation in Hesston, Kansas. He started March 5, 1972, and committed 44 years of his life in service there. He was soon to retire when he became afflicted with cancer, which ended his career and ultimately took his life on Sunday, July 9, 2017.
Leon often spoke of the things that he loved and those who enriched his life. He enjoyed the outdoors, and as a kid, he enjoyed riding horses in the timber and hunting bullfrogs on the Cottonwood River. He loved his God, family, country, friends, and neighbors, and respected and appreciated them and all that everyone did for him in his lifetime.
He loved his green 1970 Dodge SuperBee muscle car and enjoyed telling stories about drag racing it in his youth — what a “winner” it was! He loved watching movies and had an outstanding collection. One of his greater passions was music. He always had lots of music in play, and he liked it loud!
Leon often commented that there were four necessities that he was going to purchase if he conquered his illness: a new La-Z-Boy recliner, a new “Shark” sweeper, a new refrigerator, and a new battery charger.
Leon was a well-respected conservative who freely spoke his mind and defended what was right.
During his youth, Leon attended Youngtown and Florence Methodist churches with his family. In the past months, he felt a part of Aulne United Methodist Church, which prayerfully supported him, along with other community churches, during the difficult journey with his illness. He was honored to be baptized Jan. 22, 2017, by Pastor Jeff Lee. It was a very spiritual moment in his life.
Leon became a devoted Christian in his later years, but most recently in the latter months of his life. He claimed this Bible verse as his own, and quoted it frequently: Isaiah 41:10, which reads: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Claiming that verse, one could often hear him comment, “Whether I live or whether I die, I win either way! It’s in God’s hands! It is well with my soul!”
Leon departed from this life to his home in Heaven on July 9, 2017. He was preceded in death by his father, Leo.
He is survived by his mother, Dorothy; sisters, Clarice “Charli” Alexander and husband, Tom, of Lincoln, Nebraska, and Millcine “Micki” Siebert and husband, Jerry, of Cedar Point, Kansas; brother Dennis Scharenberg and wife, Phyllis, of Wichita, Kansas; cousins that lived in the home, Richard Heim and wife, Bev, of Hesston, Kansas and Danny Heim of Pinehill, New Mexico; cousin Pat Heim and wife, Peggy, of Maize, Kansas; cherished nieces and nephews who graciously gave their time and offered their love and support to their Uncle Leon; and extended family and friends.
A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 15, 2017, at Aulne United Methodist Church, Aulne, Kansas.
Memorial contributions in Leon’s name can be made to Aulne United Methodist Church in care of the funeral home.
Arrangements by Zeiner Funeral Home, 205 Elm St., Marion KS 66861. (620) 382-2112. Online condolences at www.zeinerfuneralhomes.com.
Last modified July 12, 2017