Denver William Leinonen, 88, died on March 28, 2021. He was born July 26, 1932 at the Finnish Hospital in Ishpeming, MI. He attended local schools in Covington, MI., graduating from L’Anse High School with the class of 1950. He then attended Suomi Jr. College and Seminary (now Finlandia). After two years at Suomi, moved to Northern Michigan College (now NMU). During the fall semester played football, was drafted into the U.S. Army, Camp San Luis Obispo, CA and Basic Training and school for teletype, followed by Camp Gordon, Ft. Bragg and Ft. Huachuca, AZ. Then back to NMU graduating with a B.S. in 1957 and then married Patricia A. Strangle on August 10, 1957 at Trinity Lutheran Church of Trout Creek, MI. The service conducted by the Rev. Les Neimi, a former teammate while at Suomi College. Denver was hired by the Ewen Public Schools to teach Phys. Ed. boys and girls grades 7-12 and coach all sports. Patti was hired by the Rockland Schools to teach Home Ec. On November 21, 1958 his boys’ basketball team stopped Chassell’s 65 game win streak by a 37 to 35 score. After the birth of their first child, James, on Sept. 4, 1961 and his M.A. degree in 1962 they moved to Almont, MI. He taught 7th graders for one year then high school U.S. Government and History for 24 years. He also taught Drivers Ed. for 37 years, helping 2400 students get their license. He also coached Elementary and 7th grade basketball, track, golf and cross country. Since his 1987 retirement, they spent their summers at their 1964, inherited family Centennial Farm plus six trips to Finland.
Surviving are his wife Patricia; son James and daughter Erin, son Jerry, his wife Marci and sons Austin and Blake.
Preceding him in death are his parents William and Alma, brother Claude.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday April 1 at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Imlay with Pastor Alan Casillas officiating. Visitation will follow the funeral service at the church. Burial will be in the Covington Twp. Cemetery in Covington, MI.
Arrangements were entrusted to Muir Brothers Funeral Home in Almont.