John Leikam John Leikam passed away peacefully on June 10, 2014 at the age of 93. John was born on May 2, 1921 in Lincoln, Nebraska to Katherine and Henry Leikam. He was one of sixteen siblings. His family moved around Nebraska finding farming work where they could. At the age of 19, he decided to move to California to work with his brother on a ranch and then eventually ended up in the San Francisco Bay area. When World War II broke out in the Pacific, he enlisted in the Navy and became a radioman on a scout patrol plane on the USS Columbia. After being injured by a Kamikaze hitting his ship, he was discharged with a purple heart and became a manager for Standard Chevron. In 1946, he moved to Visalia where he met the love of his life, Madeline Thornbury, on a blind date. They were married in 1951 and had their only child, Johnette or Johni. He loved teaching her how to ski, golf, hit a baseball and do all sorts of fix it things around the house. John was a proud owner of a Chevron Service Station in the Visalia area for approximately 40 years. One of his favorite past times was golfing, especially after he became a member of the Visalia Country Club. He loved to travel for golf with Madeline and many friends. He was also a long time member of the Visalia First Baptist Church and the Breakfast Lions. John enjoyed sharing his many memories of World War II with veterans groups, high school students and his family. But one of things that he always looked forward to was a visit with his grandson Ryan and granddaughter, Taylor. John's last few years involved caring for his wife at home until more intensive care was needed. He joined her at Magnolia Park during the last months of his life when he required increased help. He was preceded in death by fourteen of his sixteen siblings. He lost his cherished wife of 63 years on April 30 this year just six weeks before his death. He leaves behind his daughter, Johni (Jeff) Peterson and his loving grandchildren whom he adored, Ryan and Taylor Peterson. In addition, he leaves his one remaining brother Jack (Jeanne) Leikam of Scotts Bluff, Nebraska and many wonderful nieces and nephews. John has left behind memories for all and his wonderful smile and joy of life and family will not be forgotten. A memorial service will be held July 18th, at 11:30 AM at Salser and Dillard Funeral Chapel with a celebration of life following at the Visalia Country Club. In lieu of flowers please donate to the
or To Children's Hospital Oakland, PO Box 2054, Oakland, CA 94604 A memorial tribute may be offered by logging onto www. salseranddillard.com
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Salser & Dillard Funeral Chapel
127 East Caldwell Avenue
Visalia, CA 93277
Published in Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Adv-Register on July 15, 2014