Leo A. Kissner, beloved father, grandfather, husband, friend and child of the Most High God, left this world to join His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday, the 5th of April 2014, after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.|
Born on the 30th of January 1938, in Stewart, Minnesota, Leo was the nineteenth child born to Joseph Kissner, an immigrant from Russia. His mother, Annie Garling Kissner, died of TB when Leo was two years old, and his father died when he was fifteen. He was then raised by his older siblings and later by Dr. Paul Smith on a farm outside Stewart. Leo was an exceptional athlete in high school, playing most sports, and received a scholarship to play football in college. He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1957 where he traveled the world on intelligence missions. While on leave in Del Rio, Texas, Leo met his wife to-be at Garner State Park, Rita Jane Ulbrich. They fell in love and married on the 26th of December 1960. After completing his service in the Air Force, they moved to Houston where Leo attended the University of Houston and later South Texas College of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review and Order of the Coif. Leo and Rita had two children, Todd Alexander and Kriste Katherine. Leo practiced law for almost 40 years in his own firm where many of his clients became his closest friends.
Leo loved his family and friends dearly and was always giving back to them and the community at large. He often served as a coach to his children's teams, as a Sunday school teacher and on several boards such as Ronald McDonald House and the Greensheet.
Leo is survived by his wife of 53 years, Rita Kissner; his son, Todd Kissner and his wife Stephanie; daughter, Kriste Kissner Sullivan and her husband John; grandchildren, Kelley Sullivan, Katherine Sullivan, Elissa Kissner, Christiana Sullivan, Chloe Kissner, Mary Grace Sullivan and Young Sullivan; as well as by siblings, Alvina Krebsbach, Hilda Krebsbach, George Kissner and Johnny Kissner; neice Theresa Wagner; nephews Norbert Krebsbach, Keven Krebsbach, Keith Krebsbach and Eugene Krebsbach; a very special family friend Natalie Kirchhoff who was like another granddaughter; and a very special friend Annabelle Garcia who provided much loving care.
Leo was known best and will be remembered for his uniquely generous and gentle spirit and his love for His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has no doubt greeted Leo with his glorious embrace and the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant..." Matthew 25:21
Honored to serve as pallbearers, are James Woodson, John Dawson, Robert Whilden, William O'Donnell, Lynn Elliott, Gail Crawford, Robert Stillwell, James Jongebloed, James Braniff III, John Barineau, John Meyer, John Kirksey, John Madden, Dunbar Chambers, Charlie Martin, John Melton and Chuck Miller.
Yesterday evening family and friends gathered to share remembrances of Mr. Kissner during a reception at the home of Kriste and John Sullivan.
A Memorial Mass, celebrating the life of Leo A. Kissner, is to be offered at half-past ten o'clock this morning, Tuesday, the 8th of April, at St. Anne Catholic Church, 2140 Westheimer Road in Houston, where the Rev. Alvin A. Sinasac, C.S.B., Pastor, is to celebrate. Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception to be held in the nearby St. Basil Hall.
Prior to the mass, the family will have gathered for a private interment at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions, in memory of Leo A. Kissner, may be directed to Houston Area Parkinson's Society, 1475 West Gray St., Houston, TX, 77019.
Published in Houston Chronicle from Apr. 7 to Apr. 8, 2014