Leo Anthony Kiefer

Leo Anthony Kiefer

September 1, 1928 – August 25, 2020
Age 91 of Shoreview. He rests with our Heavenly Father, Mom & Dad, Paul; his brother & dear grand-son, Tony. Leo was first and foremost a family man with a strong sense of responsibility that may have begun at age 7 when his mother died. A first generation American from Aberdeen SD, he served his country at age 17 during WWII, sending home most of his pay. Years later when his brother Paul died of Korean war injuries, he helped support his wife and 2 girls. In 1955 he moved to Minneapolis after earning an engineering degree from Fresno State College in CA. It was the start of a 38-year career at Graco Inc. He worked with owner Russ Gray on inventions and new ideas and became interested in Graco’s early years. That led to Leo eventually being the founder of Graco’s History Center. He has a personal patent, worked on other patents, and designed a line of equipment still in production. As a retiree in 2009, he coordinated the reconstruction of a WWII Convoy Luber still on display at the MN History Center. A historian by nature he discovered that a Graco grease gun was included on Amelia Earhart’s historic flight. Eventually he obtained, for Graco, a grease gun produced at the same time with identical markings. During his early years at Graco he met and married his “forever love” Jan – two opposite personalities who were attracted to each other for 60 years. She survives him along with daughters Laura (Carney) Miller, Lisa (Greg) Padden, and grandchildren Charlie Miller, Ella & Connor Padden, sister Berniece (Richard) Mazanec, nieces, nephews and cousins. His captivating stories, the twinkle in his eyes and sweet smile will be missed. When appropriate, we will get together with family and friends in memory of Leo and his beloved grandson, Tony, a recent victim of a merciless “hit & run.” (See obit today, Miller, Anthony Kiefer) Memorials that support veterans’ families are preferred. (Published in the Star Tribune on September 6, 2020)