Leon J. Cochenet, 89, passed away peacefully on Feb. 13 at Admiral’s Pointe Nursing home. His wife Sharon, of 43 years, was by his side when he passed.
Leon was born Nov. 10, 1933, in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. He was raised there by his parents Elmer and Helen (Carmody) Cochenet. Leon grew up on the family farm learning about farming and beekeeping with his three sisters: Betty (Bob) Schallock, Mary (Joe) Arnoldy, Margaret (Mike) Heilman; and brother, Bill Cochenet.
Leon graduated from Sturgeon Bay High School in 1951. He became a welder helping to build the SS Badger, which is now still running as a passenger and vehicle ferry. He went on to obtain his Bachelor’s in Science in Civil Engineering from Marquette University.
After college, Leon spent 3 years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. This experience allowed him to help others and travel to many places overseas. Leon always talked about the time he spent in Germany and learning to ski in the Alps Mountain Range. He was able to help run a summer camp for children of parents stationed there. When honorably discharged from the Army, Leon spent some time back in Milwaukee as an X-Ray technician at the VA Hospital.
Leon eventually settled down in the small town of Sycamore, Ill., where he worked for Anaconda Wire and Cable Company. He served the company in many roles from 1968 – 1982. While in Sycamore he was a Process Engineer, Technical Supervisor of Customer Service, Technical Supervisor of Quality Assurance and Manager of Engineering. After transferring to Colorado with the company to the Anaconda Minerals Company, he was the Senior Project Engineer. While in Colorado, Leon found a passion for real estate and left Anaconda to open his own brokerage company through Metro Brokers Inc. He spent many years working as a broker.
Leon met his wife Sharon while he was living in Sycamore. They married in July of 1980 and moved to Colorado together that summer. Leon did not have any of his own children, but quickly became a dad to Sharon’s three children; Pat Elias, Todd Elias, Jon (Katy) Elias, and Jennifer (Jeff) Tallitsch. Leon shared many of his interests with his new family. He loved traveling and would find ways to take Sharon on trips together that allowed them time to form many of the same interests. He was an avid golfer on trips and at home. They enjoyed looking at different housing and land properties together that they have had six homes together throughout their marriage. They would spend many a weekend taking trips up to the mountains, pursuing shops, finding and selling antiques, and finding new quaint places to eat out at.
Leon and Sharon moved back to her hometown of Port Clinton in 2016. They enjoyed going to the Elks (he was a lifetime member) and having drinks and appetizers around town. Leon liked meeting new people and could easily strike up a conversation with anyone.
Over the years Leon’s family grew and he became a grandpa to five grandchildren: Rachel Elias, Tegan Elias, Dennis Elias, Isabella Tallitsch, and Mackenzie Tallitsch. Leon was always up to spending time with them by taking trips to the zoo, swimming, and going out for meals at fun places.
He has 15 nieces and nephews. Leon was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Bill, and sister Margaret.
The family is thankful for all the help that was given by Stein Hospice, Veterans Affairs in Sandusky, and Admiral Pointe in Huron. This provided Leon with a nice quality of life towards the end. The family will do a private gathering over the summer. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to Alzheimer’s Research and Stein Hospice.