Deacon Leland "Lee" Leckner, 67, of Hot Springs, Ark., passed away suddenly on Thursday, May 18, 2023. Lee was ordained a permanent deacon for the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock on Dec. 14, 2002. Deacon Lee was assigned to St. Mary of the Springs Catholic Church and was a gifted homilist.
Deacon Lee was born on April 18, 1956, to Paul Earl Leckner and Helen Faye Leckner, nee Burrows, in Pratt, Kan. Raised in a large extended family in the community of Pratt, Deacon Lee went on to graduate from St. Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City, Kan. While living in Dodge City, he met the love of his life, Dianna, in 1981. The couple were married on Feb. 6, 1982, and raised a family of three children, James Leckner, Robert "Paul" Leckner and Holly West.
Deacon Lee had a varied career, but found his niche in the field of rehabilitation. He was rehabilitation counselor for the Arkansas Division of Services for the Blind (DSB) in Fort Smith, Ark., before becoming the assistant director of Field Services for DSB. His final role was as an organizational consultant for the Regional Rehabilitation Continuing Education Program (RRCEP) of the University of Arkansas, from which he retired in 2003. He spent his remaining years concentrating on his ministry as a Catholic deacon, including volunteering at CHI St. Vincent and at St. Mary's Parish.
Deacon Lee was predeceased by his parents, Paul E. and Faye Leckner, a brother, Lonnie Leckner, and a daughter, Lynn Katherine Leckner.
He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Dianna (West) Leckner; two sons, James Leckner and Paul Leckner, both of Hot Springs; his daughter, Holly P. West, of Morrilton, Ark.; his sister, Sharon Archer and her husband, Craig, of Derby, Kan.; and two beloved grandchildren, Alexis of Harrison, Ark., and Sawyer of Hot Springs. He also left behind several nieces and nephews, as well as two special brothers-in-law, Mark West of Independence, Mo., and Michael West of Hot Springs.
Hot Springs Funeral Home, Hot Springs, Ark., is overseeing the arrangements. Visitation and rosary will be at St. Mary of the Springs Catholic Church, Hot Springs, from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, May 25, 2023.
The funeral Mass will also be at St. Mary's beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 26, immediately followed by interment at Calvary Cemetery in Hot Springs. Family and friends will then gather for a reception and refreshments at St. Mary's Parish Hall.
Arrangements are by Hot Springs Funeral Home.
Online condolences at http://www.hotspringsfh.com.