Leonard Alfred Kriegel
Leonard Alfred Kriegel was born July 8, 1920 in Giddings, Texas to K. Gus Kriegel and Alwina (Berger) Kriegel. The Rev. G.W. Fischer baptized Leonard into the Christian faith on July 25, 1920 and confirmed him on March 25, 1934 both at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Giddings, Texas.
Leonard began his education at Immanuel Lutheran School. He graduated from Giddings High School
in 1938 and continued his education at The University of Texas at Austin.
From 1942 to 1945, Leonard served his country in the United States Air Force as a mechanic and flight engineer. His tour of duty was in the South Pacific on the Island of Tinian with the B-29 Air Force Group.
Following his service in the military, he moved to Port Arthur, Texas and worked for Gulf Oil Corporation from 1946 to 1955 in the Laboratory Development Department. On June 8, 1947 he married Margaret Ruth Studtmann. This marriage was blessed with three daughters, Patricia Carol, Deborah Anne and Gretchen Beth.
Leonard and Margaret opened a Men's and Children's clothing store known as Leonard's Fashions for Men in downtown Giddings on May 6, 1955. In 1957 Margaret's Ladies Apparel was acquired, creating businesses known as Leonard's and Margaret's.
Throughout the years Leonard gave unselfishly of his time and talents to a variety of organizations including his church, community and profession. For many years he served Immanuel Lutheran Church as Sunday School Superintendent, Church Elder and Chariman of Board of Elders. His artistic abilities were utilized in building sets and staging of the Christmas Pageants at Immanuel Lutheran Church. As a member of Martin Luther Lutheran Church, he was elected as Vice- President and Secretary of the Church Council. He also was the Chairman of the Worship/Evangelism Committee, President of the Men in Mission, and Acolyte trainer. He served on the Board of Directors of the Southwest Synod of the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches for a period of seven years.
In his community, Leonard was active as President and Board member of the Giddings Chamber of Commerce, the Giddings Rotary Club and the Lee County Heritage Society. In 1985 he was elected to the Rotary Hall of Fame and was honored as the "Outstanding Citizen of Giddings." Leonard was a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, He served on the Giddings City Council from 1970 to 1980 during which time he was instrumental in the interior design and furnishing of the new City Hall. His second term of office on the Giddings City Council began in 1993 until 2009. For many years as the President of the Giddings Recreation Association he guided the efforts to provide a swimming pool for the Giddings community. His interest in preserving the history of Giddings was brought to life through the sets he designed and built for the Giddings 100th Geburtstag. Leonard also enjoyed offering his talents to the community through many fundraising efforts.
Professionally, he was an active member and served on the Board of Directors in the Texas Retailers Association.
Leonard's greatest pleasure was being a part in the lives of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was always a devoted and supportive husband and father. His love for his family was boundless and he enjoyed giving and sharing his abilities to each one.
A back surgery on September 1, 1999, left him a paraplegic, a disability he heroically rose above. The rapid onset of acute leukemia took his life on October 1, 2009.
Leonard was preceded in death by his parents, K. Gus and Alwine Kriegel; his brother Erwin Kriegel & wife, Jackie Kriegel and his nephew, James Robert Kriegel, and Leon Wallace, husband of Kay Wallace.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret (Studtmann) Kriegel of Giddings; his three daughters and their spouses, Dr. Pat Koch & husband Dr. Robert Koch of Austin, Deborah & Robert Gaeke of San Antonio and Gretchen & Barry Rodstrom of Giddings; his grandchildren, Ysidra (Koch) Williams & husband, Grant of Austin, Zephyr (Koch) Van Dyke & husband, Ryan of Austin, Micah Koch & fiancee, Jennifer Matlock of Austin, Brandon Gaeke & wife, Misty of Houston, Brent Gaeke of San Antonio and Erica (Rodstrom) Withers & husband, John of Denton; his four great-grandchildren, Erin & Emma Williams of Austin, Austin Van Dyke of Austin and Anna Lyn Gaeke of Houston; brother-in-law, Robert & Barbara Studtmann of Tulsa, Oklahoma; nephews and nieces, Charlie Bill Kriegel, Kay Wallace, Michael & Kim Studtmann, Peter & Michelle Studtmann, John & Debbie Studtmann, Stephen & Shonda Studtmann, Nathan & Lisa Studtmann, Elizabeth & John Steele and numerous great nieces and nephews, relatives and friends.
Serving as pallbearers were Brandon Gaeke, Brent Gaeke, Micah Koch, Ryan Van Dyke, Grant Williams and John Withers. Honorary pallbearers were members of the Giddings Rotary Club and the employees and council members of the City of Giddings.
Funeral services were held on Saturday, October 3, 2009 at Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Giddings with Rev. Dr. Robert H. Studtmann and Rev. Jeremy Walloch officiating. Burial followed in the Giddings City Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Martin Luther Lutheran Church, 570 North Main, Giddings, Texas 78942, the Lee County Heritage Society, P.O. Box 93, Giddings, Texas 78942, Hospice Austin's Christopher House, 2820 E. MLK Jr. Blvd, Austin, Texas 78702 or the charity of one's choice.