Leola was born on February 17, 1913 in Lastrup, MN and was raised on her family’s farm. She moved to Elgin, IL in 1938 and held various jobs over the years, including seamstress at B & G Garment Company. Leola was an amazing seamstress and over the years, made hundreds of children’s outfits, bridesmaid dresses and doll clothes, as well as much of her own wardrobe. Needlepoint and quilting, as well as cooking and baking, were a few more of her many talents.
Leola was a charter member of St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Elgin where she served as Eucharistic minister and was a member of the Fellowship Club. She also volunteered at the Interfaith Pantry and the Mental Health Center for 30 years. She was a selfless and caring volunteer throughout the community until she was well into her 90’s. Leola wished to be remembered as living a long and happy life, and enjoying every minute of it.
Leola is preceded in death by her husband, Lloyd “Chris” Christopherson; her parents, Caroline (Schlumberger) and Joseph Portner; two brothers, Armin and Joe; and two sisters, Adeline and Elvira.
She is survived by her son, William (Kim) Toth of Clifton, TN; granddaughter, April M. Toth of Belvidere, IL; grandson and family: Travis A. (Jennifer) Toth, great-granddaughter, Emma and Great-grandson, Grant of Rockford, IL; and a number of nieces and nephews.
Leola will be deeply missed, not only by her family, but by countless friends and others whose lives she touched throughout her 104 years and 11 months on this earth. She had so many friends and neighbors that brought joy to her life as well. Two very special friends have been Peggy & John Caughlin, whose selfless and tireless love and care of Leola over the past years, has been an inspiration and a Godsend to our very grateful family. The family would also like to extend a big “thank you” to the wonderful and caring staff at Sunset Haven. They have become family to us and it was comforting to know that Leola was in such loving hands during the last few years of her life.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by O’Connor-Leetz Funeral Home in Elgin. A Christian wake will held in the chapel at St. Thomas More Catholic Church on Saturday, January 27, 2018 from 9:30 a.m.to 11:00 a.m., with a funeral mass to follow at 11:00 a.m. in the sanctuary. Father Richard Rosinski will be officiating. Burial will immediately follow the service at River Valley Memorial Gardens on Rte. 31 in Elgin, (north of I-90 tollway).
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the St. Thomas More Window Fund or to Sunset Haven.
Please call O’Connor- Leetz Funeral Home at 847-741-1400 or visit us at www.oconnor-leetz.com for more information.