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Mass of Christian Burial for Kevin Van Leeuwe, 66, of Marshall, will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, December 19, 2022, at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Marshall. Visitation will be Sunday, December 18, from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. with a CCW Rosary at 4:00 p.m. and a Parish Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m. at the Horvath Remembrance Center in Marshall. Visitation will continue on Monday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the Remembrance Center. Interment will follow the service at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Marshall. A livestream and recording of the service will be available at www.holy-redeemer.com.
Kevin Charles Van Leeuwe was born on September 20, 1956, in Marshall, to Cyriel and Marcella (Peppersack) Van Leeuwe. He grew up on the family farm south of Ghent until moving to Marshall with his parents in 1983. Kevin attended school in Lynd, Ghent, and Marshall. He was one of the first attendees of Helping Hands in Ghent, which was one of the first programs in the area for people with disabilities. Kevin enjoyed traveling and wintered with his parents in their RV in Mission, Texas, for many years.
After his father’s death, Kevin continued to live with his mother. Kevin and Marcella were the best of companions, each taking care of the other; together they were “My mudder, My son.” Luckily for her, Kevin enjoyed helping with dishes, dusting, and other chores around the house. For years, he went to his room to pray the daily radio rosary. He was taught to be a man of God, and he proudly portrayed that with his animated singing of “Jesus Loves Me.”
Kevin enjoyed going to movies, dining out, and “going up town,” especially if he could have a Mellow Yellow, ice cream, or piece of pumpkin pie. He loved horses, going to the rodeo, swimming, bowling, and pens. He liked being in photographs and could cut up the dance floor with a slow dance or his favorite Chicken Dance. The king of fashion and entertainment, Kevin rocked the bolo tie and Christmas socks all year long.
Kevin also appreciated his quiet time to color, copy words from magazines, write long scribble letters with his perfectly spelled signature somewhere within; he could shuffle papers, cut, and tear things like a champion. He made confetti out of everything, and he once shredded most of his wardrobe!
Kevin worked at ECCO and the Hope DAC. He participated in Special Olympics, People First, Jesus Cares, and Southwest Center for Independent Living events. He was one of the favorite attendees at Soul Acres, an equine therapy facility. Kevin loved to socialize and took advantage of every opportunity to take the microphone and become the star of the show. He was a polite man who was quick to offer a thank you or show a sign of his appreciation for being part of his life. On the flip side, Kevin was a thief; he stole hearts and pens every chance he could. His mischievous nature appeared when he would “fire” top-notch care professionals, job coaches, and his H.S.I. family at 506 Viking.
Kevin loved a holiday, a costume, and every event that involved a family gathering. He was round and jolly, which made him a natural as Santa Claus for family Christmas. After he distributed the candy canes, Santa was very competitive about getting the largest wrapped presents! He will lovingly and forever be the most-quoted member of the Van Leeuwe family. Kevin was the light, the laughter, and the love, and he will be missed by all who knew him.
With his hand held and “a see you soon,” Kevin died peacefully on Monday, December 12, 2022. He was under hospice care at his residence in Marshall. He is survived by his siblings Arlene Zieske of Watertown, MN; Julie Naber and Robert (Louise) Van Leeuwe of Marshall; Carol Nerstad of Spring Grove, MN; Randy (Cathy) Van Leeuwe and Daniel (Joan) Van Leeuwe of Ghent; his nieces and nephews, Richard, Emily, Julie, Michele, Denise, Brian, Chad, Joe, Sara, Brad, J.C., Nikki, Eric, April, Jeremy, Lucas, Todd, Amanda, and Kelli; and many other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings Richard Van Leeuwe, Rhonda Van Leeuwe, and Gordon Van Leeuwe; in-laws Fred Zieske, Larry Naber, and John Nerstad; nephew Randy Zieske and niece Rhonda Van Leeuwe.
Kevin’s family offers a deep and sincere thank you to the countless friends who supported him throughout his life. Your kindness and compassion will always be remembered.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the local Special Olympics c/oTerry Davis at 1111 David Dr., Marshall, MN 56258, or Soul Acres at 1570 State Highway 19, Lynd, MN 56157.
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