Leota M. Roider | Obituary

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Leota M. Roider (nee Kirkley), was born on Dec. 5, 1929, in Neelyville, Mo., to Isaac and Bessie (nee Counts) Kirkley. She died surrounded by her family in Waterloo on Jan. 11, 2023.

In her 93 years, Leota became a very strong, independent woman, especially after becoming a widow at age 41. She continued to oversee her sister-in-law, Jeanette’s, care needs, through Human Support Services, the remainder of her life. Leota overcame adversity and many health issues later in life.

In addition to raising five children, Leota also worked as a bookkeeper, Secretary at Boatmen’s Bank, Zahnow Elementary School, the Chester Mental Health Office and for the Superintendent of Schools before finishing her career as the office manager at the American Lung Association. After retirement, Leota shared her knack for interior decorating with her many customers when she sold home interiors and gifts for many years.

Leota was a tremendous cook and loved to share her canned pickles and salsa with her family. She enjoyed being outdoors, especially camping, boating, gardening and watching the sporting events of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was such a loyal fan and rarely missed a game from the tee-ball level all the way through college softball and college baseball games, in addition to soccer, basketball, football, volleyball and cheerleading. She was a huge Cardinal’s fan and loved watching college basketball and football. Years ago, she coached her daughter’s softball team and later volunteered to coach a tee-ball team because of her love for children and sports.

To say she was organized and had an incredible memory is an understatement. She loved to organize things and events. She was the co-founder of the Senior Haven, where senior citizens could go for a catered meal, socializing, games, music and dancing. Later, she continued to organize groups of seniors to gather at restaurants for lunches and play bingo. She was a big proponent of volunteering and often gave of her time at the United Church of Christ, Oak Hill Nursing Home and Waterloo Sportsman’s Club. She proudly served on the executive board for Human Support Services.

Leota was very sociable and won the hearts of many while she lived at Oak Hill Nursing Home. Her family will forever be grateful for the caregivers who made her feel loved like family. Her family also extends a special thank you to Heartland Hospice and the Oak Hill staff for their loving care and support in her final days.

Leota will be deeply missed by her loving family, the many friends she made during her long life, and especially her friends and loving caregivers at Oak Hill Nursing Home, where she lived the last 5-plus years of her life.

Leota was adored by her family of five children, their spouses, 13 grandchildren, their spouses, 22 great-grandchildren and 2two great-great-grandchildren. 

Leota is survived by her son Leon (Diana) Wirth; daughters Nancy (Gary Gene) Gilbert; Betty (Carl, Jr.) Brandenburger and Lori (Don) Dillenberger; daughter-in-law Donna Wirth; grandchildren Dawn (Alan) Averso, Leon C. (Michelle) Wirth, Jason (Yurika) Wirth, Angela (Brett) Crawford, Beth (Mark) Heusohn, Gary C. (Carrie) Gilbert, Corey Wirth, Brandy (Tom) Clements, Cheri (Clinton) Mudd, Jennifer (Byron) Falkenhain, Jamie (Nick) Schlemmer, Bradley (Bryce) Dillenberger and Aimee Dillenberger; great-grandchildren Hannah (Josh) Herup, Becca Wirth, Emma (John) Herup, Olivia Wirth, Leah Wirth, Clara Wirth, Alicia Wirth, Jenna Wirth, Dustin Crawford, Dalton Crawford, Marcus Heusohn, Luke Gilbert, Ava Gilbert, Gavin Clements, Titan Clements, Cailee Mudd, Camden Mudd, Maybre Falkenhain, Landon Schlemmer, Lucy Schlemmer, Oaks Dillenberger and Shaw Dillenberger; great-great-grandchildren Esther and Ezra Herup; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Royal (Shirley) Wirth; sister-in-law, Kay Kirkley; nieces and nephews and their spouses Orville (Becky) Rahn, Jr., Joyce Kuergeleis, Allen (Brenda) Rahn, Bonnie (Glen) Meyer, John (Marikay) Kirkley, Deanna Atkins and Dale Kirkley, Robert (Susan) Wirth and Kathy (Jeff) Schnoes; Danny Hicks; great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins and friends.

Besides her parents, Leota was preceded in death by her 1st husband, Herbert C. Wirth and 2nd husband Herbert O. Roider; her son, James “Jim” Wirth; great-granddaughter, Sakura Wirth; sister, Lena Mae Rahn, brother-in-law, Orville Rahn, brother, Jess Kirkley, former sister-in-law, Lois Kirkley, sister-in-law, Jeanette Wirth, brother-in-law, Arthur Wirth, nephew-in-law, Ronnie Kuergeleis, her grandparents and many dear aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Visitation is 4-8 p.m. Jan. 16 at Quernheim Funeral Home and 8:30 a.m. until time of service Jan. 17 at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Waterloo.

A funeral service will follow at 10 a.m. at the church with Rev. Jeff McCarn officiating.

Interment will beat Waterloo Cemetery in Waterloo.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be given to: Human Support Services – Waterloo; Oak Hill Activity Fund; or American Lung Association.

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