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Rex Leroy Lesan died on September 27, 2020, at Cedar Manor Nursing Home in Tipton, IA. Rex was born to Glenn and Mabel Lesan on April 25, 1924 in Mount Ayr, IA. He attended school in Lesanville and Mount Ayr, graduating from Mount Ayr High School in 1941. After graduation, Rex farmed with his father and served in the Army Air Corps before marrying Betty Jean Butler in 1945. Together, he and Betty had three children (Troy, Wendy and Bret). In the early years of their marriage, they bought a farm in Kellerton IA, where they farmed and raised Cocker Spaniels show dogs, until moving to Des Moines, IA, where Rex began a long and successful career with Forney Welders. His loving wife, Betty, passed away of cancer in 1972.
In 1975, Rex married Marilyn Yvonne Brooks. He, with his three children, and she, with her six children (Terry, Brian, Kelly, Greg, Brent and Brett), joined together and created one large, loving family. With those of their children still living at home at the time of their marriage, they moved to Leon, IA where their house became a joyful place over the years, especially when all of the children and grandchildren were home.
Rex ended his career with Forney in 1975, and, together with Marilyn, started the Y’VON cattle business, raising Black Angus on the Kellerton farm. The cattle business and the farm were among the most important, and most loved, things in Rex’s life. He was proud to be able to continue with the cattle business until he was 89 years old when he and Marilyn turned the operation of the business over to a family member who continues it today. In August of 2015, at age 91, Rex sold the Kellerton farm that had been such a big part of his life for so many years. He joked he had then “officially retired”.
Rex and Marilyn lived in their home in Leon, where they were long-time members of the Loving Chapel United Methodist church, until 2018 when they moved to Durant, IA. Shortly thereafter, at age 94, Rex moved to the Cedar Manor Home in Tipton, IA where he lived for the remainder of his years.
Rex was a hard-working, honest, kind, good-humored man who was loved and respected by his family and friends. The way he lived his life was an inspiration to those who knew him. He felt fortunate to have spent the last half of his life with Marilyn, whom he cherished, surrounded by a loving family, while devoting much of his time to his beloved farm and his cattle.
Rex was preceded in death by his first wife, Betty; parents, Glenn and Mabel; brother and wife, Robert and Lorraine (Drake) Lesan; brother-in-law, Park Rinehart; grandson, Timothy Lee Wilson; and great grandson, Kaleb Retherford.
Those left to honor Rex’s memory include his loving wife, Marilyn; their children, Troy (Shirley) Lesan, Wendy (Jim) Wilson, Bret (Marcia) Lesan, Terry (Jill) Brooks, Brian (Linda) Brooks, Kelly Brooks Robison, Greg (Wendy) Brooks, Brent (Suzi) Brooks, Brett (Cheri) Brooks; 21 grandchildren; 20 great grandchildren; one great, great grandchild; his sister, Joan Rinehart; and five nieces and nephews. Rex was loved deeply and will be missed by all.
Services were held at the Slade – O’Donnell Funeral Home in Leon, IA on October 3, 2020 and was buried next to Betty Lesan at Rose Hill Cemetery in Mount Ayr, IA.
The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Leon, IA Fire Department, Decatur County Hospital in Leon, or Cedar Manor Nursing Home in Tipton, IA.

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