Leonard James Degen, 82, of Des Moines and Fort Dodge, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday, August 3, 2018 in Fort Dodge. Services will be 2:00 PM on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at the Gunderson Funeral Chapel in Fort Dodge. A time of gathering of family and friends will be from 1:00 PM until the time of service on Saturday at the Gunderson Funeral Home and Cremation Services.

Leonard James Degen, the son of Henry and Pricilla (Morgan) Degen was born April 7, 1936 in Taopi, Minnesota.

Leonard went to Lincoln High School Webster City and graduated in 1954. He then attended Drake University from 1954 to 1958 and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. Leonard was drafted in the United States Army and served during the Cold War Era form October 1958 until 1960 in Heidelberg, Germany. He then returned home to attend the University of Iowa until 1967 where he received his Master Arts Degree.

Leonard lived and created art in Webster City, Iowa City, Los Angeles, Fort Dodge, and Des Moines. During a period of that time he also taught art at the Iowa City High School and in Winthrop, Iowa school system.

Leonard was a talented figure skater, a lifelong photographer and artist. He enjoyed doing set design and construction, helping with stage construction for the Stage West in Des Moines and Urbandale theaters. His latest talent was graphic design for Kallin-Johnson for the 20 plus years designing monuments for grieving families. He was most proud of the war memorials he helped design across Iowa.

Leonard had a love of animals and was known for helping The Animal Rescue League. He had his beloved cat Blackie by his side when he passed.

He enjoyed spending time with his friends and family and would almost always draw a sketches on a napkin or a spare piece of paper while at gatherings.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a nephew Chris Coleman, a great nephew Lucas Degen, an aunt Catherine Degen and uncles Nick Degen, Leonard Degen, Matt Degen, John Degen, and Pete Degen.

Leonard is survived by his brother David Degen of Lehigh, nieces Catherine Degen-Coleman and Libby Degen (Jon Harmon), cousins Tom Degen, Larry Degen, Dick Degen, and Dan Degen, and several great nieces and nephews.