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Leo Hevern

ROCK VALLEY, IOWA- Leo G. Hevern, 64, of Rock Valley, died on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at the Hegg Memorial Hospital in Rock Valley, Iowa.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 1:00 p.m. Saturday, May 27th at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rock Valley with Father Bruce Lawler officiating. Burial will follow at the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery at Rock Valley. Visitation will be after 4:00 p.m. Friday, with the family present from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and a Vigil Service at 7:00 p.m. all at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. The Porter Funeral Home in Rock Valley is assisting the family. Condolences may be sent to www.porterfuneralhomes.com. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to Hope Haven, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, or Camp Sunnyside.

Leo was born February 17, 1953 at Canton, South Dakota, the son of Boniface and Margaret (Van Vooren) Hevern. Leo enjoyed working every day at Parkview Industries doing a variety of jobs and sweeping floors at the Mid-American building.

Leo lived the 1st part of his life at home with his parents. Then he moved in with his sister Jane and her family, which he really enjoyed. From 1991 to present, Leo lived in several group homes with Hope Haven, making dear friends with some of the staff and residents.

Family and friends were most important to Leo. His infectious smile, determination, and faith were an inspiration to everyone he met. With his liberator, and a fully charged battery fed wheelchair, Leo was a free man, with the whole community looking out for him as he traveled around town. A joy in Leo’s life was his 45 years attending Camp Sunnyside, and participating in Special Olympics each year, being torch bearer earlier this year.

Leo is survived by his brothers, Lyle (his twin) of Estherville, Iowa, Terry of Sioux Center, Iowa and Larry of Inwood, Iowa; and his sisters, Sheila Driesen of Sioux Center, Iowa and Jane Schelling of Orange City, Iowa.

Leo was preceded in death by his parents, Boniface and Margaret Hevern; his brother, Dave; nephews, David Driesen and Jared Hevern; and a niece, Ashley Hevern.


4:00 PM - 7:00 PM ,Friday, May 26, 2017
St. Mary's Catholic Church
1821 14th Street Rock Valley, Iowa 51247

Prayer Service

7:00 PM ,Friday, May 26, 2017
St. Mary's Catholic Church
1821 14th Street Rock Valley, Iowa 51247

Mass of Christian Burial

1:00 PM ,Saturday, May 27, 2017
St. Mary's Catholic Church
1821 14th Street Rock Valley, Iowa 51247

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Leo Hevern, please visit our flower store.


I used to be a staff member years and years ago. Leo was a delight! Always ready for a joke! His infectious smile was always uplifting! I'm so sorry for your loss. We will be praying for you.

Kris Kuipers May 28 2017 12:00 AM

A Rock Valley icon and friend . He will be missed by many. Thank you to Hope Heaven and the residents of Rock Valley looking after and taking good care of Leo

David Ranschau May 27 2017 12:00 AM

Sincere condolences to the Hevern family in Leo's passing. Our thoughts and prauers are with you. I can remember way back the joy on Leo's face when I would bring little tippy back home after his groomings. RIP.

Paula Altena May 26 2017 12:00 AM

Leo, you were such an inspiration to all of us and no one was more loved than you....
We are sad that you are no longer with us but your spirit will always be here.
We love you and will miss you,
Ed, Linda, Ryan and Sean

The California Heverns May 26 2017 12:00 AM

Lyle and family. I am so sorry to hear about your loss of such a special person. I pray that God will comfort your family during this time of sadness. He was a very special person I can tell. I hope you have comfort in knowing he is in God's arms.

Terry Reekers May 26 2017 12:00 AM

I just got word that Leo has gone to be with Jesus. My deepest sympathy to you all. I'm sure I've met all of his siblings except Lyle but Leo talked about him a lot. I was moved at how supportive his family was for him. In 96, I believe it was I was hired to work at Hope Haven and Leo's needs created my job. I spent 35-38 of my 40 hours a week with him. I'm pretty sure I learned more from him than I taught him. I actually drove him to camp in the summer and other road trips, church, out to eat. One Sunday when I drove him to church at St. Mary's...it was the first time I did this and I knew of the elevator and he convinced me that both of us would go in at the same time. Against my better judgement...there I was in that elevator. I had to stand on the battery of his wheelchair to get the door to close. And moments later we press the buttton to go up & it stopped halfway between floors. We could see the feet of people walking into the sanctuary. He kicked and yelled but it took about 5 minutes for someone to realize we were in there and the church staff at that moment asks me if we are closer to the top or the bottom because they needed to hand crank the lift. I said "down" and then told myself that I'd be going to confessional when we got out of there cause I just lied to the staff. Leo was laughing the whole time because I told him that if they crank us up the door is going to open up straight into the quiet sanctuary and it would be so humiliating as we'd have people looking...nope! 45 minutes later we're free. Mass was over and the van, still running outside luckily because it had been running low on fuel. At dinnertime I remember times when birds were flying into the window in his apartment and he would start laughing and so did I. We had some great times.

Tammie Kosgei May 26 2017 12:00 AM

The Patience of Job
Posted: May 25, 2017 | Last Revised: May 25, 2017

This isn't 1 story in particular. It was a running joke, sort of, that Leo and I had. I would always tell him, that he had the patience of Job. As long as Leo and I had known each other, you would think I would be smart enough to figure out easily what he would often be trying to tell me. I would joke about how "dense" I was. Sometimes it would take me FOREVER to figure it out, and later think, how blatently obvious it was! Not once, did he ever ever become frustrated with me. He was always kind and we would laugh every time it happened. I have never met anyone with the patience that he had. He would never give up. He didn't give up on me. He would take all the time needed, and work hard to re-explain things to me in other ways to get me to understand what he was trying to communicate.

Life Story May 25 2017 12:00 AM

Rip Leo your an angel

Norma Reyes (Peanut) May 25 2017 12:00 AM

I never had the pleasure to meet Leo, I knew him though photos from Sheila. His smile was contagious. My heart goes out to the family and all that knew him.

Kathy Ringgenberg May 25 2017 12:00 AM

Leo. Where do I start. WHAT an amazing person. For those of us that were fortunate enough to have been a part of Leo's life, THANK YOU LORD! He was an inspiration to all. I have been blessed beyond measure to have worked these many years with him. I will treasure the wonderful memories I have of him. His smile could light up a room. His acceptance of his circumstances should be a reminder to us all to be thankful to God for what we do have, not what we don't. Though I miss him so very very much, I know that he is now free to run, talk freely, and enjoy his new body, without the constraints he experienced on this earth. To Leo's family, my deepest, deepest sympathies to you. You know we all here at Hope Haven loved Leo. We are all thinking of you, during this difficult time. I know I speak for many many people here, we are all greatful to have been a part of Leo's life.

Deb Vande Vegte May 25 2017 12:00 AM