Phone: (906) 786-2142
400 S 10th St. - Escanaba, Michigan 49829
West 3755 US 2 - Spalding, Michigan 49886
Leon Arnold Smiltneck
Date of Death: June, 13 2019

          Leon Arnold Smiltneck, 71, of Gladstone, died at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay, on Thursday, June 13, 2019, surrounded by family and friends. While Leon’s death was sudden, he suffered from many health problems during the last 10 years of his life and narrowly escaped death many times.
          Leon was born on June 29, 1947, in Menominee, MI and lived a life full of adventure. He hosted circuses and haunted houses with his siblings and other neighborhood kids as a child, traveled to the World’s Fair in New York City in 1964, served in the Army Corp. of Engineers in Vietnam, camped in all sorts of rustic places, traveled most of Route 66, and attended dozens of concerts, including the Paul McCartney concert in Green Bay just days before his death.
          Leon met his wife, Mary Carrol Dragoo, at the age of 8. They saw Old Yeller on their first date a few years later and neither of them seriously dated anyone else. They were married on August 16, 1968, in Menominee, in a wedding they planned in letters written back and forth while he was serving in Vietnam. They remained married until Mary’s death in 1998.
          Leon began working at Andex Industries Printing Division when it was created in 1972 and worked there as a die cutter until his retirement 32 years later. In 2011, Leon “fell out of bed, hit his head, and couldn’t get up in the morning”, which left him paralyzed. He spent the rest of his time on Earth living at the VA hospital in Milwaukee and residential facilities in both Powers and Green Bay, where he resided at the time of his death. He enjoyed the daily activities at the nursing home as well as going out to eat and to various festivals and concerts with his daughter, son in law, and several close friends.
          Leon is survived by a daughter, Emily (Floyd) Paul, of Gladstone, siblings Susan (John) Maciak, Gene (Pat) Michaels, Janis Smiltneck, and Julie Michaels, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, and cousins, and many, many close friends that he considered family.
           He was preceded in death by his parents, Arnold and Marian (Hafeman) Smiltneck of Menominee, and several aunts and uncles.
          Leon had a strong sense of humor that allowed him to enjoy life despite several setbacks. He enjoyed camping and fishing in his canoe, listening to music, watching TV, bad jokes, drinking diet Mountain Dew (Yahoo…Mountain Dew…cold and bubbly), and being the “Groupdad” to several close friends. Before his injury, he was an active member of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 345, the Bay De Noc Indian Culture Association, writers’ group LLOOTOT, and was an “irregular” at the 8th Street Coffeehouse in Escanaba. Above all, he valued family.
          Friends may call from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday June 19, 2019 at the Allo Coolman Funeral Home (400 S 10th St., Escanaba, MI 49829) with Delta County Veterans Council and the U.P. Honor Guard rites at 2:45. A funeral to celebrate Leon's life will follow at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday at the funeral home with Fr. Rick Courier officiating. A luncheon will follow services at the Escanaba Eagles Club.
          Please visit to send online condolences to his family.

  • "Emily and Floyd - so sorry to hear of Leon’s passing. He was a super person who will live on in the hearts of many people. RIP Leon."
    -Dennis and Vicky Ford

  • "I will miss my only brother—but, I will cherish the great memories!!! You were a wonderful daughter, Emily, always attending to his needs especially when his health was failing. And, you had the help of a wonderful husband, Floyd!! And, friends, too! Blessings to you all!!"
    -Gene Micheals

  • "I always enjoyed talking to Leon and remember particularly his sense of humor and very hardy laugh.He always had an interesting story to tell in every conversation. I'll miss him."
    -Dyrk Trout

  • "Sending heartfelt condolences to Leon's family and friends, upon learning of Leon's passing late last week through daughter Emily's timely posts at FB. Leon, his family and I go way back to our childhood days when we partook in a bunch of wild and crazy stuff related to stage, radio shows, spook houses, and just about anything that was creative and fun. Put it another way, Leon was a true inspiration for me to delve further into the media communication field and I've stayed at it ever since. Frequent travel and living abroad these last few decades cut a wedge in our staying closely connected, but my memories of Leon and our mutual good times remain with me forever. "
    -Darryl Kuhnle

  • "Emily and Family, Leon will be missed by many. He had such a great sense of humor and you couldn't help but smile while you conversed with him. Rest in peace. "
    -Brian Blair

  • "Hi Emily and all Leon's family, I couldn't believe it when I read the obits today....a day after the funeral. We are sooo sorry for your loss! When we would see him at Pinecrest he would talk about all the fun times we had and the camping trips. Those were the good old days. Wish we had been there to say goodbye and give you hugs. May he rest in peace. "
    -Arlene Anzalone

  • "Leon was a classmate of mine and we were friends. I send my condolences and prayers to the family. He will be missed. "
    -Steve Gilbert

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