Leo Michael Kammermeyer, Sr.
Born March 1, 1925 - Died December 25, 2019
Leo's life was filled with adventure, friendship, love, family; a life worth celebrating. The service and celebration will be March 1, 2020 at the American Legion, Post 15, Palmer at 3pm. We welcome anyone to come and share stories of his life.
Leo was born in Pierz, Minnesota, the 3rd of 13 children. He was the "legitimate" son of Stella Jenkins & John Kammermeyer (which truly was written on his birth certificate.)
He was married to Mona Smart and had 2 children; Caralee Mona and Leo Michael, Jr. (Mike). Later he was married to Judy Baronik and they had one son, Henry. In 2006 he married Carol Susan Weydahl.
As was the custom during the 30s he finished the 6th grade and was expected to work to help support his family. This started a life long pattern of working. During his almost 95 years, Leo had several ways of doing this. He joined the Army, artillery division December 1944. He was sent to Okinawa. The time he spent in the Army shaped how he looked at life. Friends and family first. During the time between being in the Army and his retirement (and even after) he was never idle.
When he arrived home from the war, he worked as a truck driver for the Iron Mines in Northern Minnesota. Realizing he would have a hard time owning a piece of land, he left Minnesota in May 1950. He drove to Alaska to start a new life for himself and his family. On his drive up, he took an extra engine and used tires, because there was no place to have work done on his 1937 Chevy along the way. When he arrived in Alaska he worked on the docks in Valdez as a long shoreman and a mechanic.
Taking the US government up on their offer of free land in exchange for working the land, Leo and his family homesteaded in Chickaloon, Alaska during the late 50's to early 60s. He made several friends there while working the land, and at the same time driving a truck. He joined forces with a neighbor John Luster, Sr. and together they were big game guides.
Probably not in this order, he was a gold miner, dog musher, Owner of Leo's Union Service Station, Owner of L&J Excavation, Slope truck driver, Coal mine truck driver, long distance truck driver.
Leo was a single engine pilot and shared his love of flying with all he knew. His love of working with his hands and being outside has inspired 3 generations of Kammermeyers. Leo loved working with his hands and could fix anything. He was only slowed down a bit, by having his hip replaced at 83 and being confined to a wheelchair.
Leo's loyalty to friends was unparalleled. He belonged to the American Legion, in Palmer and the VFW in Wasilla.
Leo is survived by his loving wife, Susan Kammermeyer, his daughter Caralee Kleewein (Wasilla), his son Mike Kammermeyer (San Ramon, CA), 10 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren and 5 great-great grandchildren. One brother, Dick, 2 sisters, Kate and Marie (all of Minnesota).
His family all agree with a friend's statement upon hearing of his passing: "Leo is in Heaven, working on projects and they better brace themselves."
He will be missed.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on Jan. 12, 2020.