Leslie Wilbur Landphair was born to Katie and Kingsley Landphair March 20, 1919 on the family farm in southern Decatur county near Pleasanton, Iowa. Wilbur was welcomed by older sister LaVera and was later joined by younger siblings Venita, Blanch, Harl, Charles, Helen, Donald and Macyl. Wilbur passed away at the age of 92 on December 17, 2011 at the Clearview Nursing Home with daughter Karen (husband Stan) Means and son Ron (wife Martha) Landphair at his side.
Wilbur attended school in Leon, Iowa. He received his eighth grade promotion certificate in 1934. As the eldest son during difficult times Wilbur chose to help on the family farm rather than continue his formal education. After attending a welding training course in Des Moines, Iowa, Wilbur found employment as a welder in Des Moines.
On November 10, 1942 he was united in marriage to Nola Corll in Princeton, Missouri. To this union were born two children, daughter Karen and son Ronald. Wilbur was a very loving and caring husband and father. After a short time of farming in Decatur county the family moved to Ringgold county, near Nola’s family farm. Wilbur was mechanically inclined and held jobs driving a rural tank wagon for Skelly Petroleum Company and as a mechanic for the Carr Motor Company. In 1946 he began working for Iowa Southern Utility Company now known as Alliant Energy. Wilbur started out as a lineman climbing poles and maintaining the main electrical lines. He later became an appliance repairman. Wilbur worked for Iowa Southern for 35 years and retired in 1981 at the age of 62.
Wilbur and Nola enjoyed playing card games with neighbors, family and friends. Traveling, camping and fishing were favorite pastimes. Wilbur was a Boy Scout leader and took great pride in helping young boys enjoy the outdoors. Wilbur could fix anything and often was called upon by family and friends to fix items in need of repair or construction.
Upon retirement Wilbur and Nola joined the snowbird migration and spent many winters in Texas. Wilbur loved to take his grandchildren camping and fishing. He helped the kids put worms or bait on the hook and took fish off the hook more than he fished himself. After battling a second diagnosis of cancer, Wilbur found it necessary to move to the Clearview Estates assisted living in Mount Ayr. Wilbur enjoyed his time spent at Clearview and looked upon the staff as his second family.
Wilbur was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Nola, of 68 years; siblings, LaVera Cowles and Harl Landphair; brothers-in-law, Paul Snyder, Dean Piper, Dale Cowles, Arthur May, Wallace (Jack) Terwilliger, Junior Reynolds, William Corll, Donald Corll and Lester Corll; sisters-in-law, Susie Corll, Robyn May and Fern Reynolds, and great-granddaughter, Anna Catherine Landphair.
Survivors include daughter Karen (Stanley A.) Means of Villisca, Iowa; son Ronald (Martha) Landphair of Mount Ayr, Iowa; grandchildren Brent (Billee) Means, Clint (Shona) Means and Tyson (Tina) Means of Villisca, Iowa, Robyn (Joe) Benco of Scottsdale, Arizona, Nicole (Dave) Opfer of Urbandale, Iowa and Ronald C. (Allyson) Landphair of Dike, Iowa; 13 great-grandchildren; brothers Charles (Dee) Landphair of Humeston, Iowa and Don (Rene) Landphair of Maple Park, Illinois; sisters Venita Snyder of Corydon, Iowa, Blanche (Jim) Gifford of West Minister, Colorado, Helen Piper of Paso Robles, California and Macyl (Dick) Reeves of Council Bluffs, Iowa; sisters-in-law Doris Landphair of Leon, Iowa, Louise Corll of Ankeny, Iowa and Lola Terwilliger of Mount Ayr, Iowa, and many nieces, nephews and a host of friends.
Services were conducted at Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr on Tuesday, December 20, 2011, with Rev. Terry Roberts officiating. Musicians included Nancy Sackett and John Allen.
Casket bearers were Brent Means, Clint Means, Robyn Benco, Tyson Means, Nicole Opfer and Ronald C. Landphair.
Honorary pallbearers included Billee Means, Shona Means, Joe Benco, Tina Means, Dave Opfer and Allyson Landphair.
Burial was in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Mount Ayr.
A memorial fund has been established to HCI Care Services, Mount Ayr.