Cover photo for Leonard Manning Harper's Obituary
Leonard Manning Harper Profile Photo
1930 Leonard 2020

Leonard Manning Harper

August 18, 1930 — September 30, 2020

Leonard M. Harper, 90, passed away peacefully during the early morning hours of  Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at the Sunset Manor in Waverly, Kansas. 

He was born on August 18, 1930 in Neosho Rapids, Kansas the son of Harry H. and Ada M. Horton Harper.  Leonard attended Neosho Rapids High School and graduated with the Class of 1948.

Leonard served in the United States Air Force until receiving a honorable discharge in 1955. In his Air Force days his nickname was Hap because of his carefree disposition and the fact that he was always whistling.

He was joined in marriage to Jenel L. LaLanne on July 1, 1953 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Leonard worked as a maintenance engineer for Cities Service Oil Refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana until 1969.  He and Jenel moved to the family farm, south of Lebo in 1969 and he began working at Interstate Brands, Inc. in Emporia. Leonard retired in 1991.

Leonard and Jenel were faithful members of the Lebo Baptist Church. A man of simple faith in Jesus, he once said that what pleased him the most was knowing that all of his family would be together with him forever in heaven.

He was a quiet man, with a bright but unassuming intelligence. He worked with his hands all of his life, first as a farm boy, then as a mechanic for many years. He provided a peaceful and secure country home for his family and inspired in his children a love of nature and of music. His family never had reason to doubt his deep love for them. His joy and pride in his children and grandchildren was positively radiant at times even if he didn't always say it out loud.

Leonard was loved and respected by many, but known well by very few. He will live on in the hearts and memories of his daughters, Linnie Knight and her husband Gary of rural Lebo, Connie D’Aubin and her husband Stan of Bentonville, Arkansas; a son, John R. Harper and his wife Misty of Atchison, Kansas; grandchildren, Amanda Durst and her husband Ryan, Layne Knight and his wife Rachel, Nathan Knight and his wife Rebecca, Clair Pan and her husband Lincoln, Grant D’Aubin, Samuel, Elisabeth, Anna, Malachi, Elias, Rose and Adam Harper; great-grandchildren, Audrey, Isaac, Caleb and Jesse Durst, Susanna, Garrison, Nellie and Hank Knight, Reed and Ava Knight.

Leonard was preceded in death by his loving wife of 61 years, Jenel; his parents and a sister, Annietta Griffin.


Graveside services will be held at 2:00 P.M., Saturday, October 3, 2020 at Mt. Hope Cemetery, East of Neosho Rapids. The family will receive friends from 4:30 P.M. until 6:00 P.M., Friday at the Jones VanArsdale Funeral Home in Lebo. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sunset Manor and the Neosho Rapids Community Center. Condolences may be expressed at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Leonard Manning Harper, please visit our flower store.

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Mt. Hope Cemetery

, Neosho Rapids, KS 66864

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