Leonard Louis Kuzela (Len) passed away on September 5, 2023, at the age of 92 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Born on June 2, 1931, in Buckingham, Iowa, to Frances and Louis Kuzela. Len is survived by his loving daughter Lisa Kuzela, his son Larry (Brooke) Kuzela, grandsons Chris (Kait) Kuzela and Alex Kuzela, great-grandsons Camden and Colton Kuzela, and niece Gayle Hogan.
Born on the family farm, Len’s first language at home was Czech; when he entered school, he had to learn English. He loved to tell stories about his time on the farm with his dad and brother. Len was a graduate of Traer High School and cherished his education. He and the surviving graduates of the Class of 1950 would meet once a year for lunch, usually in Traer, with many still around today, in their 90s.
After graduation, Len served his country with honor and pride. He was a Korean War veteran, serving as a member of the United States Air Force from 1950 to 1954. He was an Airborne Radar Technician, working primarily with the airborne radar on B-29 bombers. He remained proud of his Air Force service throughout his life, frequently telling stories about it and the places he had been assigned, including Okinawa and North Africa. He was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
As a child of the Great Depression, he kept those lean times in his mind and would rarely spend anything on himself. With those lessons and an upbringing as a farm kid, he always tried to repair and reuse anything that he could. Until just a few months ago, he was painting and repairing items for Lisa.
Len and Althea (Yeater) were married from June 27, 1959 until Althea’s passing in 2014. She was truly the love of his life, and he missed her every day.
Len had a remarkable career, beginning as a Technical Writer at Collins Radio in Cedar Rapids in the late 1950s, later moving to California for a position at Lenkurt Electric. Following Lenkurt, he served as a Logistics Manager and Quality Assurance Manager for Farinon Miltech. Returning to Iowa in 1974, Len's dedication and expertise led him to become a Supervisor at Turner Microphones and held several positions with J-Tec Associates, including Quality Assurance. He also held a position in Quality Assurance and Purchasing at NORAND until his retirement. Not one to be idle, he continued to work for Timberline for many years after his “official” retirement. For over 20 years, he also served as Vice President of Pheasant Ridge – Ridgeview (Home) Owners Association; a position he took to heart.
If there was one word to sum him up, it would be “sweet.” He was known to everyone as being a kind and selfless man. He was easily loved by all who met him, including those who cared for him during his final months.
Len was preceded in death by his beloved wife Althea Kuzela, his mother Frances Kuzela, his father Louis Kuzela, and his brother Edward Slatinka.
A visitation will be held Monday evening September 11, 2023 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the Cedar Memorial Park Chapel Stateroom. The funeral will be at Cedar Memorial Park Chapel of Memories on Tuesday, September 12, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. A livestream of the funeral service may be accessed on the funeral home website under the obituary for Leonard Kuzela, under the video tab starting at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 12.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Grace Episcopal Church Lending Closet in Cedar Rapids. The family would like to thank the staff of UnityPoint At-Home, St. Croix Hospice and Ridgeview Assisted Living in Cedar Rapids for their care and support these last few months.