Leland “Lee” John Mammen, age 70, of Atwater, Minnesota, passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, October 31, 2020, following a courageous battle with leukemia. He was blessed to have been surrounded by his loving family during his final moments. A socially-distanced Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, November 7, 2020, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Morgan, Minnesota. Prior to the mass will be a visitation from 10:00 until 11:00 am at the church, and following the mass will be a burial at the Redwood Falls Cemetery. Masks will be required at both locations to help protect the health of the family and others. In recognition of the ongoing pandemic and risks of spreading the virus at large gatherings, Lee’s family will be holding a separate “celebration of life” at a future date, when it is safer to congregate and share memories. Friends and family are more than welcome to attend this future event, after the pandemic ends. The family wants everyone to be safe during these difficult times.
Lee was born to Virgil and Mary (Sexton) Mammen on January 19, 1950 in the Redwood Falls Hospital. He grew up in Morton, Minnesota, where he developed a special appreciation for life on the family farm. Lee led a very active adolescent and teenage life where he was a leader of the local 4H club, participated in many choral and speech activities and was named athlete of the year for Morton High in his senior year, based on his excellence in track and field, basketball and football. Lee graduated from Morton High School in 1968 and then attended the University of Minnesota – Morris, where he studied speech and communications and continued to excel at college sports (football and track & field). In 1970, Lee enlisted in the US Army Reserve and completed 6 years of active duty. He also attended the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. On June 14, 1975, Lee married the love of his life, Jeanne Koll, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Morgan. Lee and Jeanne initially settled in Marshall, Minnesota, where they started their family. While there Lee started his career as an Agricultural Loan Officer for Norwest Bank (now Wells Fargo). Ten years later they moved to Worthington, Minnesota where the Mammen family continued to grow. During this period, Lee worked for Pioneer Hi-Bred International as a District Sales Manager which allowed him to combine his interests of agriculture, business and helping people. He later served as an Agricultural Loan Officer at AgQuest, Profinium Financial, and Fulda Area Credit Union. He finished his career as the Bank President for First National Bank (now Red Rock Bank) of Springfield where he enjoyed serving the local community. Throughout his career Lee particularly enjoyed mentoring younger colleagues in their career paths and providing life lessons. Lee retired in early 2016 and quickly fulfilled a lifelong dream of he and Jeanne’s – to live year-round on the shores of Diamond Lake, near Atwater, Minnesota where he, Jeanne and their beautiful family shared so many memories. Lee and Jeanne celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary in June 2020. Lee and Jeanne had 6 children together. Lee was a loving and engaged father who passed on his work ethic, love of sports and music, and corny sense of humor to each of his cherished kids. He played an active role in their daily lives, including their many extra-curricular activities, such as track and field, football, basketball, tennis, dance, theater and various musical activities. He was a dedicated coach and the most passionate fan. Lee and his family hosted several foreign exchange students from Crailsheim, Germany over their years in Worthington. He always took the time to learn about the cultures and families of the exchange students. Lee, Jeanne and their family spent many weekends at the family cabin enjoying the family ski boat on Diamond Lake where Lee instilled his love of water sports (especially water skiing) into each of his children and their friends. In his spare time, Lee also loved being outdoors and taking special pride in the care of his lawn and gardens (roses, hostas, and vegetables). Lee was a music lover, with a beautiful baritone voice, as well as a voracious reader. During the past few years, Lee loved watching the beautiful sunsets over Diamond Lake, seeing his four energetic grandchildren playing on the sandy beach at the lakeshore. In January of this year, Lee was diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), a rare and difficult to treat form of leukemia. Lee endured 8 months of rigorous chemotherapy at Mayo Methodist Hospital in Rochester with the support of his family and his own tenacity. Treatments stopped in late September and Lee spent his last weeks at home with Jeanne and family.
Lee is survived by his beautiful bride of 45 years, Jeanne of Atwater; children- Jon (Sasha) Mammen of Minnetonka, Jacquelyn (Alexander) Thomas of Minneapolis, Erin (Jon) Kirchoff of Inver Grove Heights, Nicole (Jake) Braegelmann of Minneapolis, Jenny Mammen of Chicago, and Tom Mammen of Minneapolis. He is also survived by 4 grandchildren (Lauren, Toren, Grace and Tate), his mother-in-law (Hazel Koll of Morgan) and numerous loving brothers and sisters-in-law. Lee was preceded in death by his parents, Virgil and Mary Mammen, and brother, James.