On March 31, John Mista and Anna Pavek Mista of Hinckley, Minnesota welcomed Leonard into their family. He had a big sister named Elizabeth.
Leonard grew up in Hinckley, Minnesota where he completed his 12 years of education in the Hinckley school system.
After graduation in 1942, he met Jenette Swanson, who he would later marry after his military service.
Leonard joined the United States Navy as a Sea Bee in 1943. He was actively serving in the European, African, South Pacific and Middle Eastern campaigns. He was at Omaha beach during the morning hours on June 6th, 1944 where he was wounded by shrapnel from German shore batteries. He was joining a Rhino Ferry to an LST moving desperately needed armor to the beach. The upper deck of the LST was already an operating theatre and he was able to receive immediate surgery. After being transported back to England for recovery, he was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in action. He was honorably discharged in 1946. He never forgot any details of his Navy career, and had spoken of his service to his country with pride. To the end of his life, he recalled vivid memories of his experiences.
Leonard married the love of his life in October of 1947 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a short trip to a wedding chapel to be married, then he and Jenette returned home to Los Angeles. After several years, he and his bride returned to Minnesota to reside in White Bear Lake - St. Paul. He followed the footsteps of his father as a carpenter, and built several family homes. He eventually hired on with First National Bank of St. Paul where he became a painter.
Leonard and Jenette had two children, Jane and Paul. It was shortly after Paul’s birth, that Paul’s pediatrician recommended that due to his severe asthma, the family move to a drier climate. They moved to Denver in 1959 where he and his family resided until his death. He became an active member of Emmaus Lutheran Church. Leonard loved fishing, Sunday drives with his family, dancing, and weekend road trips with Jenette. Leonard retired at the age of 55, and enjoyed dabbling as a re-seller at the local weekend markets. He also loved photography. You would always see him with his camera or video camera documenting vacations, holidays and nature.
Leonard left this world on April 1, 2020 to be with his beloved wife and family. He leaves behind his two children, Jane Ostapovich and Paul Mista (Cheryl); six grandchildren Marya, David, Rick, Ryan, Kristen and Ryan; and nine great grandchildren.
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