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Leo Valencia, 87, St. Joseph, MO

Leo Valencia, 87, of St. Joseph, passed away Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at KU Medical Center.

Leo Valencia, 87, of St. Joseph, passed away Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at KU Medical Center.

Mr. Valencia was born October 22, 1925 in St. Joseph to Marcus and Cruz (Hernandez) Valencia. He attended Christian Brothers High School and St. Joseph Junior College. He served in the US Navy during WWII aboard the General E.T. Collins, later worked at Swift and Company, and retired as a Retail Meat Cutter in 1990. On October 30, 1948 he married Elizabeth J. Mejia in St. Joseph, she survives of the home.

Leo was a WWII Honoree, a charter member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, where he performed many volunteer services. He was also an active member of the Notre Dame Alumni Club, American Legion, VFW Post #1668, Retail Meat Cutters, UFCW and served on the St. Joseph Planning Commission from 1987 to 1992,

After his retirement in 1990, Leo enjoyed traveling with his family and treasured spending time with all his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was an avid Notre Dame fan making many trips to Notre Dame football games. He was very active in St. Joseph Boys Baseball and instrumental in the development of Hochman Field. He was very devoted to Our Lady of Guadalupe, making several trips to the Shrine in Mexico City.

Leo was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Louis Valencia; sister, Carmen Jefferson and three step-brothers Jesse, Manuel and Frank Valencia.

Mr. Valencia is also survived by his children; Gloria A. Nikes, Kathy J. Ziolkowski, and Lynn Valencia McMillian of St. Joseph and Richard M. Valencia of Melbourne, Florida; grandchildren; Amy Ray, Gary L. Ziolkowski, Jr., Steve Nikes, II, Darcy (Nikes) Brown, Lanie Nikes, Taylor McMillian, Cole McMillian, Erin Valencia, Mollie Valencia and Patrick Valencia; great-grandchildren; London Ray, Saylor Ray, Canyon Ray, Mclayne Ziolkowski and Cash Ziolkowski; sister Delores Moyer, St. Joseph nephews David and Danny Moyer, as well as numerous other nieces and nephews

Visitation will begin after 9:00AM Friday, August 23, 2013 at Heaton-Bowman-Smith and Sidenfaden Chapel. A Parish Rosary will be recited at 7:00PM Friday evening at the chapel where the family will receive friends until 8:30PM.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 12:00 Noon Saturday at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Interment will be at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

The family request memorial contributions be made to Bishop LeBlond High School.

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