Leo J. Gansen Jr., 61, of Epworth, passed away Feb. 2, 2020 at Unity Point Health Trinity in Bettendorf.

Visitation for Leo was held from 1-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 at the Reiff Funeral Home in Epworth, where a prayer 2 p.m. service was held, Farley Fire Department meet as a body at 6 p.m., Farley American Legion meet in a body at 6:30 p.m., and a Knights of Columbus rosary was held at 7 p.m. Visitation was also held after 9 a.m. at the funeral home Friday.

Mass of Christian burial was held at 10:30 a.m. Friday Feb. 7, 2020 at St. John’s Catholic Church in Placid, with Re. Michael Schueller presiding. Lectors were Bill Mausser and Theressa Northouse. Eucharistic Ministers were Sherry Horsfield, Sandy Kass and Betty Mausser. Placing of the Pall was done by Wendy Gansen, Damien Miller, Terry Miller, Eric Gansen and Andrea Brehm. Giftbearers were Sydni Miller, Alaina Gansen and Claire Gansen. Honorary Escort were Class of 1976, Mike Wessels, Glen Brown, Dan Olberding, Steve Horsfield, Chris Smith and Mike Donovan. Honorary Pallbearers were Isabelle, Grace and Samuel Brehm.

Burial was held in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Epworth.

Casketbearers Tyler Gansen, Deven Gansen, Noah Miller, David Miller, Garret Miller, Zach Miller, Alex Miller, Cloie Miller and Kylie Gansen.

Leo was born Feb. 27, 1958, in Dubuque, son of Leo J. and Shirley (Jaeger) Gansen Sr. He was a 1976 graduate of Western Dubuque High School. On Oct. 20, 1979 he was united into marriage to Wendy Thias-Miller at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Epworth. He worked at the Anamosa State Penitentiary in Anamosa for 26 years.

Leo loved spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren. His family was truly his top priority; he was genuinely proud of his children, his grandchildren and all of their accomplishments. Any given weekend he could be found spending time at the family cabin in Guttenberg. He loved fishing with anyone who would go, camping with friends and family, and working on race cars in his shop with his sons, where he passed on his love for racing to his family. He always made time to lend a helping hand to family, friends or a stranger.

Leo was a proud supporter of the Western Dubuque Bobcat Athletic Program (especially #’s 20 & 23), and an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers, St. Louis Cardinals and the Iowa Hawkeyes.

He was a member of the St. John’s Parish in Placid, Knights of Columbus Council #7823, AFSCME Council #61 where he served on the Executive Board, Local #2994 where he served as past president, and the Board of Adjustment for Dubuque County. Leo was an avid political supporter and union member where he worked tirelessly to support workers’ rights.

He is survived by his wife, Wendy Gansen of Epworth, four children, Damien (Tanya) Miller of Dubuque, Terry (Andrea) Miller of Waterville, Eric (Katie) Gansen of Farley, Andrea (Jaime) Brehm of Bernard; 14 grandchildren; a brother, Garry (Sue) Gansen of Epworth; Brother and Sisters-n-law, Bill (Cindy) Thias of Harpers Ferry, Deanne Normann of Clermont, Danny Beisker of Leola, Pa.; and many close cousins, nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents; father and mother-in-law, Eugene and Janet Thias; father-in-law, Marvin Miller; nephew, Justin Thias.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.reifffuneralhomeinc.com.