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July 20, 1937 - May 18, 2014

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Leonard Birchem, 76, of Columbus, formerly of West Point, died Sunday, May 18, 2014 at Immanuel Medical Center in Omaha. Funeral Mass will be 10:30am Wednesday at St. Isidore Catholic Church in Columbus, with Reverend Joseph Miksch as celebrant. Burial with military honors will be at All Saints Catholic Cemetery in Columbus. Wake Service will be 8:00pm Tuesday, and Visitation will be 4:00pm until 8:00pm Tuesday, at St. Isidore Catholic Church. A memorial has been established. Leonard John Birchem was born July 20, 1937 on the family farm near Monterey to Bernard and Adella (Benes) Birchem. He attended St. Boniface Catholic School and served in the United States Army from November 1956 until November 1958. On May 12, 1959, Leonard married Joan Ridder at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Dodge. The couple farmed the home place and Leonard did carpentry work. They moved to Columbus in 2008, where he was employed part time at Hadley Braithwait. Leonard was a member of St. Isidore Catholic Church in Columbus and Dodge American Legion. He was outdoorsy and his many interests included camping, fishing, woodworking, gardening, and spending time with family. Survivors include his wife Joan of Columbus; daughters Sandy (Gary) Novotny of Valparaiso and Tammy (Mark) Kreikemeier of North Bend; sons Dan (Deb) Birchem of West Point and Randy (Linda) Birchem of Columbus; mother Adella Birchem of West Point; sisters Margaret Wagner of West Point and Elaine (Robert) Mlnarik of Fremont; brother Ralph Birchem of Greenbrier, AR; grandchildren Danielle (Mitch) Ehrisman, Cory (Tisa) Kreikemeier, Christopher (Alicia) Kreikemeier, Nicole (Justin) Kavan, Cody Kreikemeier, Jessica (Chuck) Gotchal, Morgan (Nick) Podliska, Carla (Josh) Eberhardt, Garrett Birchem, Craig Kreikemeier, Devon Birchem, Chelsea Kreikemeier, Damian Birchem, Brant Birchem, and Jenny (Jason) Schmutte; andnine great-grandchildren. Leonard was preceded in death by his father Bernard; brother Raymond; and a granddaughter. Stokely Funeral Home of West Point is in charge of arrangements. Visit Leonard’s living obituary at