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Leonard “Len” Lee Schulke, age 70 of Austin, Minnesota, passed away on Wednesday, December 28, 2022. Len was born June 29, 1952, in Cherokee, Iowa. His parents were Vernon and Marjorie (McCormack) Schulke. He graduated from Crestland High School in 1970 and graduated from Iowa State University in 1974 with a degree in mass communication and journalism. Len married Patricia Johannsen on August 11, 1973, in Holstein, Iowa.
After graduating from Iowa State, Len was the advertising manager and assistant publisher for the Nevada Evening Journal in Nevada, Iowa. He then worked at the Iowa Department of Transportation for 10 years as an information specialist. In 1984, he moved to Austin, Minnesota to take a job with Hormel Foods as the communication manager, corporate communications and publications editor. Len was also the publicity director of the National Barrow Show. After retiring from Hormel Foods, he worked for Hy-Vee as a delivery driver for 2 years. He then took a job with Medicap Pharmacy as a delivery driver until his death.
Len and Pat lived in Nevada, Iowa for 10 years and moved to Austin in 1984. Len was active with his children’s activities, such as coaching the youth football and baseball teams. He also loved downhill skiing and especially loved riding his Harley motorcycle. His goal was to ride his Harley to all the Freedom Rocks located in Iowa. He loved attending his grandchildren’s activities; they were his pride and joy. Len loved to travel and enjoyed researching new travel locations to find the points of interests, such as the “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” restaurants and other quirky interests of the area. He loved the Iowa State Cyclones, Minnesota Vikings, and Minnesota Twins.
Len was active with the Austin Visitor Convention Bureau, promoting the SPAM museum and Austin’s many interesting attractions. He managed the Hormel Sausage truck so it could be in many parades in the area. He was also very involved with the National Barrow Show. Len was a faithful member of St. Olaf Lutheran Church and was on the church council. He was also one of the radio broadcasters for the church services.
Len loved people and enjoyed talking to them and learning about them; but what he loved most was teasing his family, friends, co-workers, and was quick to tell a joke. He loved a good time! He was a very loyal and genuine person who was quick to help those in need. You could always rely on Len!
Len is survived by his wife, Pat; daughter, Karen (Ty) Vlasaty of Stoughton, Wisconsin; son, Michael (Angie) Schulke of Eagan, Minnesota; five grandchildren, Abbey Platt, Ella Platt, Olivia Platt, Alexis Schulke, and Ian Schulke; brothers, Duane Schulke of Byron, Georgia, Keith Schulke of Boone, Iowa; sister, Anita (Mike) Anderson of Clive, Iowa; brothers-in-law, John (Sally) Johannsen of Rockford, Iowa, Don (Sue) Johannsen of Potosi, Wisconsin, Larry Korthals of Mesa, Arizona; sister-in-law, Carol (Brian) McNulty of Waukee, Iowa; aunts, Ardie McCormack of Sutherland, Iowa, Sharon Webb of Knoxville, Tennessee, and Anna Weathers of Hillsborough, California; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Vernon and Marge Schulke; sister, Gloria Korthals; parents-in-law, Orville and Helen Johannsen; brother-in-law, James (Joelle) Johannsen; and sister-in-law, Pam Schulke.