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Leona I. Soltis,   Age 93
Funeral Time: Graveside services will be held Friday, September 8, 2023 at 3:00 PM
Funeral Location: Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, Little Falls, Minnesota
Burial Location: Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, Little Falls, Minnesota
    Leona I. Soltis, 93
    St. Cloud, MN
    March 8, 1930 – July 31, 2023
     Leona Irene Soltis, age 93, St. Cloud, MN, died peacefully on Monday, July 31, 2023 at her home in St. Cloud.
     Graveside services will be held Friday, September 8, 2023 at 3:00 PM at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, Little Falls, MN with a celebration of life reception immediately following at the Little Falls VFW. Funeral arrangements were made by Benson Funeral Home, St. Cloud, MN.
     Leona was born on March 8, 1930 in Swanville Township, Minnesota to Clara (Wolters) and Philip Petersen. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Wallace; sons Kelly and Jack Soltis; brothers George, Otto, and Jim Petersen, and infant sister, Carol Petersen.
     She is survived by her sons Ley (Lea) Soltis, Philip (Yoshiko) Soltis, Joey (Joan) Soltis, and daughter Lois (Ike) Blythe; daughters-in-law, Elena Soltis and Jan Greniger; sisters Selma Glende and Myrna (Sonny) Schrupp; sisters-in-law, Loretta and Joan Petersen, Marlene and Helen Soltis, Bonnie (Victor) Bieniek; brothers-in-law, Danny (Irene) Soltis, Donny (Karen) Soltis, Terry (Doli) Soltis; grandchildren Alvin (Robin) Soltis, Julie (Tyrone Enriquez) Soltis, Ryan (Amy) Soltis, Valery (Derick Kenson) Soltis, Peach (Mohammed Loraoui) Soltis, Dr. Laura Emiko Soltis, Jack (Shelly) Soltis Jr., Jolene Soltis, Jenna Soltis, Jennifer (Greg) Miller, Jessica (Jack) Kemble, Jason (Victoria) Soltis, Aaron Blythe, Kirstin (Art) Miller, Karin (Darian Richardson) Blythe, Adam Blythe; and 30 great-grandchildren.
     Leona was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was also a beloved friend, neighbor, and peacemaker, who had an insatiable love of travel and adventure.
     Leona leaves a legacy of generosity and kindness to those who were fortunate to have known her. She accepted all people as family, no matter where they came from or where they were on their life journey. Leona cared deeply about justice and fairness, though there was no sanctuary for weeds in her garden. She was especially passionate about women’s rights, and it was only fitting that she was born on International Women’s Day. Leona absolutely loved learning, crafting, playing cards and word games, camping, gardening, and keeping in touch through greeting cards with her wide community of family and friends.
     Although she had lost many people she loved throughout her life, she continued to live every day looking forward to the future and making joyful memories with those who remained. She was 93 and still had a lifetime of plans ahead of her, and we are heartbroken her adventures have come to an end. But she will live on in all of us, whether we were her given or chosen family, and be remembered always for her most tender heart.
     In celebration of Leona’s life, friends and family are invited to donate to some of her most passionate causes: Planned Parenthood, Freedom University, and Moapa Valley Senior Center.
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