Leonard Herl

Leonard Herl of Hays, 87, passed away at home, surrounded by family, on March 1, 2021. 

He was born November 17, 1933 to Paul and Lidwina (Wasinger) Herl in Quinter, Kansas.  He graduated from Quinter High School in 1951. He was united in marriage in Collyer to Irma (Sanders) on April 20, 1954.

Leonard was a devoted husband and father, preceded in death by his wife Irma, parents, four brothers Edwin, Albert, Jim, and Paulie and two sisters, Marcella and Viola.

Survivors include a son; Terence Herl and wife Tamara of Cascade, CO, two daughters; Laurie Dimitry and husband Ed of Olathe and Valerie Fischer and husband Jul of Overland Park, one brother Moris Herl of Hays, and one granddaughter Kaeylarae Herl.

Leonard was a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, Dighton, and served as a Grand Knight, and was a Third Degree member of the St. Joseph Knights of Columbus in Hays.  Leonard was also a member of the St Theresa’s parish council to help build and maintain church property and a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church.

In 1962, Leonard and Irma moved to Alamota, Kansas, and purchased 1,017 acres which included an 85-head Angus cow herd. In time, he expanded their ranch to 3,700 acres. In 1969 he bought his first purebred Charolais bull. In 1970 he bought five purebred heifers and established Herl Charolais ranch. At his peak, he ran a 250 head cow calf operation. Leonard was one of the pioneer Kansas Charolais breeders who developed a solid program of a predominately polled herd.  In 1995, Leonard and Irma made the decision to disperse their herd and make time for other interests.  

Leonard was also an accomplished woodworker and enjoyed creating heirlooms for his family. Among many interests, Leonard enjoyed bowling, fishing on the family farm, playing cards, and building demolition derby cars. He was active in his community and participated as a member of the Lane County 4-H Beef Council, and acted as the Alamota township treasurer.

Leonard was community-minded, always eager to help his neighbors in their time of need.  Leonard cherished time with family and will be forever in our hearts. We will miss him dearly.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 am on Saturday, March 6, 2021 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 215 West 13th Street, with Father Matthew Cowan officiating. Burial will follow in St Joseph cemetery. Visitation will be from 5:00 pm to 8:00 on Friday and 9:00 am to 9:45 Saturday, all at Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, 1906 Pine Street. A vigil service will be at 6:00 pm followed by a Knights of Columbus rosary, both on Friday at the funeral home. 

Memorials in Leonard’s memory are suggested and may be made payable to: St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Condolences and memories of Leonard may be left for the family at www.haysmemorial.com

Posted online on March 03, 2021