Lenna Darlene Campbell
1945 - 2021

Lenna Darlene Campbell

Lenna Darlene Campbell, 75, died Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021, at La Crescent Health Services. She was born Feb. 6, 1945, in Kansas City, Mo.

Her parents, Joseph Orma and Audrey Skates; and sister, Judi Allegri, also of Kansas City, preceded her in death.

Lenna became a member of the La Crosse and Coon Valley communities, in about 1973. Lenna taught interior design for 25 years at Western Wisconsin Technical College. She had been employed as a commercial interior designer in St. Louis, Mo., with a specialized focus in architectural history. In the late 1990s, she bought a farm in Braymer, Mo., with her friend, Jim Lyman. They both loved to ride and drive horses.

She had two Belgian horses she trained to plough. Near Coon Valley, she had a flock of sheep, horses, two llamas, geese, and two border collies. Lenna knew many people in the Coulee Region. Neighbor, Terry Miller, was a good friend who was supportive in her care of animals, good friend, Jan Zenker, long-time friend, Robert Jostad, and Mary Jo Peterson, Sun City, Ariz., a friend of 44 years, who had taught with, lived with and traveled with her at various times of her life.

She is further survived by her niece, Leesa;and great-niece, Natalie.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at The Gathering Place, 133 Mason St., Onalaska, with visitation from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. Chaplain Jeff Thomson will officiate.

Coulee Region Cremation Group is assisting the family.

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by La Crosse Tribune on Feb. 14, 2021.
10:00a.m. - 11:00a.m.
The Gathering Place
133 Mason St., Onalaska, Wisconsin
Memorial service
The Gathering Place
133 Mason St., Onalaska, Wisconsin
Funeral services provided by:
Coulee Region Cremation Group
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4 Entries
Lenna and I met through her long time friend Marlene. Marlene and I made two trips to Missouri and spent time working the farm tending horses, gardens, cleaning the pool and house siding with Lenna. We worked and laughed so hard. Every evening we cooked gathered at the dinner table with Lenna´s long time friend Bill Petty. We lingered at the table visiting and sharing stories for until bedtime. Some antics would ensue like trying on chaps over our shorts. The laughter abounded. Lenna and I hit it off from the start and wished we lived closer. We trailered Lenna´s horses to ride on an established trail and rode through water and woods. Lenna took us on "rides around the block" as she called the country roads. We rode Little Babe, Big Babe and the one of the Medicine Hat Horses. When we returned home Marlene and I both commented on how much we missed the evening meal together and the fellowship of our friends. The second trip to Missouri was serious work with one ride around the block. We mended fences, removed thistle plants as tall as I am, and weeded garden beds. We repaired and brought an old wooden wagon out of the field and prepared it to go to auction. We loaded the trailer with many harnesses and horse tack for the same sale. In the fence repair we opened a nest of itty bitty ticks the size of a pin head. Lenna and I became friends without secrets as we picked ticks off of each other´s bodies. The laughter roared as we inspected each other. Of course we cooked evening meals and gathered with Bill. We would still be sitting on that wagon in the field without the help of Bill. Lenna and I Skyped sharing our lives with each other. We drank a lot of coffee while on the computer. Because of Skype we could visually show each other things we were doing. It wasn´t perfect but it worked. When Lenna moved back to her Wisconsin Farm I had a couple of trips to see her. The best was when Lenna and I went to Madison to the Midwest Horse Festival and ate breakfast with Linda Parelli. I asked Linda about her riding pants. Lenna and I both ended up buying riding pants custom made. When Lenna wasn´t riding anymore we still put on the riding pants and talked on the phone loving our pants and reminiscing about adventures. Lenna and her dog Stormy joined my family in Minnesota for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays the next year. Lenna and I did our Black Friday shopping at Goodwill stores. When Lenna was getting ready to leave she wept at how hard it was to part. Without internet at the Wisconsin farm phone conversations became our communication means. Lenna rose early in the morning so I would call her while driving to work at 6:30 am for coffee together. We texted and talked about our thrift finds, Herberger escapades, horses and growing older. I spoke to Lenna about 2 weeks before her passing. She didn´t share about how ill she was. Lenna was the strongest woman I´ve known. She could drive anything through the eye of a needle. There wasn´t a project she wouldn´t tackle with a friend at her side. She introduced me to Moscato wine, Amish chickweed salve and Black Rock leather conditioner. We really shared the simple things in life. I´m so glad she was my friend. I wish I lived closer.
Penny Pickard
February 27, 2021
I knew Lenna for more than half of my life. I have always thought she was an amazing and unique person. I moved to La Crosse in 1977 to take a teaching position at WWTI (now Western Wisconsin Technical College). She had been teaching there for about 3-4 years. We became friends right away. I was single and she was married with a hobby farm on Brinkman Ridge. I was so new to the area that it was not until she invited me to see her farm that I really got out of town and was exposed to the beauty of the Wisconsin Bluffs and countryside. I immediately became aware of her love for the area and the animals she and her husband were caring for on their farm. They were both from other areas of the country and had discovered the Kothe Nursery during the time they first moved to the Coulee Region. I don´t know the year they bought it, but I do know they planned to completely restore the farm buildings and were in the process of doing a combination restoration and remodel to the house. During that time they had 20 - 30 sheep which Lenna had shorn. She spun the wool and made yarn which she learned to thread on a large floor loom. She did some textile weaving. She also grew herbs and tended a considerable number of gardens on the property. They also had several horses, 2 llamas, 2 geese, a few chickens and cats as well as their loyal dog . I moved away from the area between 1982 and 1985 but kept in touch. During this time Lenna was divorced. I knew she had a full, rich and active life. Her job kept her busy and involved with people throughout the area. She loved her horses and went trail riding with friends. She did hay farming to feed all her animals throughout the year. I helped a few times with that. What a job that was! I have not known another woman in my life that worked as hard as she did and loved every minute of it. That is my honest observation of my good friend and colleague. I left the area again in 1991 and returned for several visits over the years. Samantha, her loyal border collie was her constant companion. She met a wonderful man, Jim Lyman who shared her love of horses. They bought a farm in Missouri together and she learned to drive horses behind a sleigh, several wagons and a plough. I visited twice during those years. When Jim passed away it was difficult for Lenna to continue caring for both the Missouri and the Wisconsin farms by herself. However, she had lots of friends in Missouri and participated in horse trail riding and wagon trains. She had a devasting stroke, and a long and difficult recovery. It was during this time that she decided to move the horses back to Wisconsin. She accomplished this almost completely by herself. We chatted on the phone often. She planned to re-model her house and update the Coon Valley farm buildings. I knew that over several years she had been dealing with some health issues. Lenna was a very private person and was not comfortable discussing personal issues with her friends. I am sure her friends in La Crosse were very important to her. She spoke of them often, but did not tell me how sick she had been. Lenna was one of my best friends for many years. I miss her a lot.
Mary Jo Peterson
February 16, 2021
Lenna was a great friend and neighbor. We had fun doing projects around her farm and helping to take care of the horses.There always seemed to be something challenging going on and it was fun to help her figure out problems. Lenna was definatly a strong independat woman and took lifes problems head on . We will surely miss her and hope we can continue to some how help with the farm or horses. Rest in peace and may the Lord find you in his grace. Tom and Tammy Kolen
Tom and Tammy Kolen
February 15, 2021
lenna will be greatly missed by myself. I always enjoyed helping her on the farm, she was a very easy going person. I also enjoyed hunting and cutting wood at her place. my mother passed away in 2001 and lenna helped to fill that void in my life. I will always have alot of great memories with lenna.
terry miller
February 14, 2021