John Concannon, Publicity
My victim this month is another familiar face around the Ironwood club house, Len Skeate.
He was born Leonard Arthur Skeate on November 29, 1932, in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, a small, rural town in the center of the state, where he spent his youth. While in high school, he had a varied career, participating in track, basketball, band where he was lead trumpet player, and was active in the school drama club. While in high school, Len won the state Public Speaking Championship for the State of Minnesota.
Upon graduation from high school, Len joined the Navy and became a Hospital Corpsman. After a couple of stateside assignments, Len went to sea for the balance of his enlistment. While in the Navy, Len married his high school sweetheart, Leona Kopp in 1952.
After his discharge, Len attended St. Cloud University for two years, but, with a wife, two children and one on the way, Len determined that he needed to obtain gainful employment. He worked for two years as medical assistant at the St. Cloud Veterans Hospital, followed by eight years with American Bakeries in St. Paul, Minnesota. He then took a job as a trainee with Alfa-Laval-Agri, an international company based in Sweden. Len spent 35 years with the company in a variety of management positions, ending his career as National Sales Manager, responsible for all Dealer and Sales personnel in the U.S. and Mexico. During his years at Laval, Len and Leona continued to populate the world, building a family of four daughters and two sons. They are the proud grandparents of 16 and great- grandparents of three. Of particular note, while at Laval, Len won the company cow milking contest while on a business trip to Sweden. Great hands, eh Len?
Len retired in 1996 and was presented with a 30-day trip to Australia and New Zealand as a retirement gift. That should give you a fairly good idea of the company’s feelings for Len and his contributions to the company during his years of service.
Len has always been a giver. Through the years he has served as a Boy Scout leader, a church president, and while living in Missouri, was a member of the Board of Directors of the Platte County Parks Department where he helped develop a golf course for the group.
Len and Leona moved to Sun Lakes in 1996 after his retirement and he became involved in the community almost immediately, working as coordinator of the Robson Preferred Guest Golf program. When that program was terminated, Dennis Allan hired Len to be part of the Ironwood Pro Shop staff, a position he still holds. He and Leona are members of Risen Savior Lutheran Church where he is a member of the choir. Len is a member of the Board of Directors of The Perfect Place, a special care unit serving local seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Len is not short on other interests as he is an avid reader and enjoys going to the theater and the symphony with Leona. They also spend lots of time travelling to visit family members spread around the country.