Leona was born on August 6, 1928 in rural Lincoln County. She was the youngest of four girls born to William and Octavia (Claeys) Downing. She grew up on a farm near Taunton. She received the sacraments of baptism, first communion, confirmation, and holy matrimony all at St. Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church.
She and Harry F. Noyes were married on November 18, 1947. They lived on a farm northeast of Porter for 50 years. To this union 11 children were born. They all share Leonaâs zest for life and adventurous spirit. She loved horticulture, as could be seen by her garden and beautiful flowers. Her bountiful vegetable garden provided many meals for her large family.
Leona raised her family with the idea that nothing was impossible. She instilled in each of her children the willingness to work hard to achieve their goals. In addition to the never ending chores working on the family farm, Leona supported her children in sporting activities, music events, 4-H and church. Whenever the 4-H club needed a new skit for âShare the Funâ or church needed a new play or program, Leona could whip something together that was sure to entertain. Notable the âGrand Ole Opryâ was one she was most proud of. She had a knack for creativity and enjoyed crafting. No idea was too crazy to entertain, hence the âNoyes Wild Hairâ was coined.
Leonaâs catholic faith was very important to her. She was a very active member of the church; teaching catechism, singing in the choir, playing accordion for polka masses, and holding many offices for the Council of Catholic Women.
Her winter enjoyment was painting saws, lanterns and Christmas bulbs. She spent many hours sewing quilts for family members and sent many to missions across the United States.
Leona was no stranger to music. Growing up, she sang, as well as played the piano, trumpet, and accordion. As a teen, Leona and her sisters formed the âDowning Sisters Band". They performed across the county for many weddings, gatherings and barn dances. She has encouraged and inspired the love of music to her entire family.
After moving to Porter in 2002, entertaining the townâs senior citizens became Leonaâs passion. She loved to brighten their days with activities, games, crafts, skits and music. Leona always said everyone should have a good laugh every day. Nothing would make her happier than to plan a birthday party or get together. She supported the Porter CafÃ© whole heartedly. She enjoyed playing cards with friends and Pepper was her game of choice.
Currently there are 32 grandchildren and 36 great grandchildren. Leona loved children, babysitting many of her grandchildren. They loved to hear her read stories, as she had a way of bringing the story to life.
Leona died on Sunday, January 14, 2018, at the Sylvan Court Nursing Home in Canby, MN.
Leona is lovingly remembered by her children, David (Cora) Noyes of Prior Lake, Marge (Dale ) Swanson of Kensington, Larry Noyes of Sioux Falls, SD, Bob (Teresa) Noyes of Porter, John (Julie) Noyes of Porter, Tom (Becky) Noyes of Porter, Sharon (Chuck) Buysse of Marshall, Pat (Doug) Blackwell of Ann Harbor, MI, Marilyn (Jadee) Larkin of Kensington, and Harvey (Dicksy) Noyes of Marshall; 32 grandchildren, and 36 great grandchildren, all of whom she was very proud. She is also survived by her sister Delores Noyes and brother-in-law George Noyes.
Leona was preceded in death by her husband Harry; daughter; Marcie Kimpe Ningen; grandson, Greg Kimpe; her parents William and Octavia Downing; sisters Lucille and Florence; and special friend Walter.
Blessed be her memory.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Porter Development Corporation. (cafe)