Leland Asbury York, 90, Louisburg, died peacefully July 20, 2017, at Louisburg Care Center in Louisburg, Kansas.
Visitation is planned for 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 26, 2017, at the First Baptist Church of Louisburg, 406 S. Vine. Funeral services are set for 11 a.m. Thursday, July 27, 2017, at the First Baptist Church of Louisburg, followed by burial at the Spring Hill Cemetery, Spring Hill, Kansas.
Leland was born Aug. 26, 1926, in New Hampton, Missouri, the son of Francis Asbury and Clara Helen (Cover) York. He was the middle child with three brothers, Charles, Neal and Robert and a sister, Avalon. He married the love of his life, Peggy Lou Hainline, June 12, 1949. They shared 62 wonderful years before her passing in 2011.
Leland moved from New Hampton to Spring Hill, Kansas, at 8 years old, where life consisted of hard work on the family farm, and playing basketball with the “Rinky-Dinks.” Leland graduated from Spring Hill High School in 1943.
Leland served in four wars, including World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Russian Cold-War and Vietnam. His military career began when he enlisted, with his mother’s permission, at 17 in the Navy and served two years on a destroyer escort ship during World War II as a diesel mechanic and also a rescue swimmer pulling downed pilots from the water.
After returning from the war, Leland enrolled at Kansas University in Lawrence and studied metallurgy for two years. But Leland was a true patriot, returning for active duty in 1950 in the newly formed United States Air Force. While serving as a pilot in the Air Force, he had tour of duties in Japan, England, Greenland and Vietnam, finishing his career with five years as the pilot for a group of scientists flying them all over the world studying atmospheric phenomenon. While in the service, he continued his education at the University of Cincinnati, M.I.T., and after the Air Force he finished a master’s degree in archeology with an emphasis in Plains Indians at Emporia State University.
During his military service, his family never traveled with him overseas, but when he retired in 1971, he and Peggy took up square dancing, and they traveled the world dancing at all the places they had never been together. They became known internationally by the square dance community as “Ma and “Pa.”
Leland was also active in his community as a member of the Kansas Farm Bureau, president of the Osage County Farm Bureau, a member of the Osage City VFW and active as a 4-H club leader. He and Peggy through the years belonged to numerous square dance groups including the Sunflower Steppers of Osage City and the Pioneer Plus in Ottawa, and they were also longtime Kansas N.E. District Dance Coordinators.
Leland was known by his Air Force buddies as “Farmer York.” He was interested in all types of farming, and was instrumental in founding the Powell Pumpkin Patch of Louisburg, where he drove wagon rides for many years.
Survivors include daughters, Sandra Kittson, Ottawa; and Barbara Phillips and husband, Bryan, Maple Hill; sons, Daniel York and wife, Martha, Drexel, Missouri, Darrell York and wife, Regina, Bucyrus, Gale York and wife, Candi, and Wayne York and wife, Donna, all of Albuquerque, New Mexico; 14 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Peggy; two brothers, Charles and Neal; and one sister, Avalon; and one son, Brian Jay.
Memorials may be made to “Louisburg Boy Scout Troop 101 Fund,” set up through Peoples Bank of Louisburg to further Boy Scouting in Miami County.
Arrangements are by Dengel & Son Louisburg Chapel, 120 S. Broadway St, Louisburg, Kansas, 66053, (913) 837-4310.
To leave condolences for the family online, please visit www.dengelmortuary.com.