Michael J. Liepold, 61

Michael J. Liepold, age 61, died peacefully with his family at his side as a result of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease at Praha Village Monday, Sept. 18, 2023. Mike was born March 20, 1962, in Heron Lake, Minn. to Marvin and Anne (Lusk) Liepold. 

He graduated from Heron Lake-Okabena High School, earned a bachelor of science degree in agriculture education at South Dakota State University and completed his master's of education degree at the University of Minnesota. Mike worked as a U of M Extension educator his entire career and yet “never worked a day in his life.” He served as the Le Sueur County 4-H educator through the U of M Extension Office. He co-designed the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership (MARL) program, serving as the program leader from its inception in 2000. Mike planned and conducted in-state seminars, and Washington, D.C and international based leadership experiences for 270 MARL participants. Additionally, he led over 500 agricultural professionals to the nation’s capital through other Extension leadership programs. He retired from the University of Minnesota Extension with 34 years of experience in leadership education. Mike was a member of the SDSU chapter of Farmhouse Fraternity, New Prague Rotary, and the Vintage 4-H Club. 

The only thing that Mike loved more than his job was his family! He married Paula Wilson Sept. 14, 1985, in Strandburg, S.D. His children became his hobbies and he encouraged them to be involved in and take any opportunities that were presented. He was an avid volunteer in their activities: serving as an announcer during his daughter’s ice shows, helping his children with 4-H woodworking projects, and growing four acres of vegetables that they sold at the weekly farmers market. When his father decided to retire from farming, Mike took that on as well. His wife and family were his focus and his passion. With the birth of his two grandchildren, he stated that though he had many titles, the very best one was “Grandpa.” Mike left a huge legacy, beloved by people across the state, the nation, and globe. The impact he left will continue to influence others far into the future. 

Mike is survived by the love of his life, Paula, of New Prague; children, Chantal (Tyler) McCabe of Rochester and Thomas Liepold (girlfriend, Elizabeth Linderbaum) of Washington, D.C.; grandchildren, Charlotte & Adeline McCabe; mother, Anne Liepold of Heron Lake; siblings, Julie (Chad) Nolz of Milbank, S.D., Lisa (Scott) Haugen of New Prague, Ted (Lori) Liepold of Arvada, Colo., and Nancy (Joe) Berg of Little Falls, and many nieces & nephews. He is preceded in death by his father, Marvin.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at 10 a.m. at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in New Prague with The Rev. Eugene Theisen officiating. Mass will be live-streamed on npcatholic.org. Visitation will take place Thursday from 4-7 p.m. and Friday morning from 7:30-9:30 at Bruzek Funeral Home. Lunch will follow Mass at the KC Hall. A private burial will take place at a later date at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Heron Lake. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Minnesota 4-H Foundation: https://z.umn.edu/8xb7. Please specify "M Liepold Memorial." Gifts can also be mailed to Fund 1512, University of Minnesota Foundation, P.O. Box 860266, Minneapolis, MN 55486-0266.

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