Dean “Leon” Dwerlkotte passed away in his home surrounded by his loving family on Tuesday Sept. 24, 2019, at the age of 65 years, 3 months.
Dean “Leon” was born June 24, 1954, in Marysville, Kansas. He was the youngest of six children born to Sylvis and Nadine (Oswalt) Dwerlkotte.
Leon attended St. Gregory’s Parochial School in Marysville. His parents divorced when he was 6 years old. He lived with his father in Blue Rapids, Kansas and Beatrice, Nebraska. He later moved to Columbus, Ohio, and lived with his aunt and uncle Ida and Bernie Lachowsky, attending and graduating from the Diocese Catholic School in 1968. He returned to Kansas City and lived with his mother and stepfather, attending two years of high school in North Kansas City. He later moved to Stockton and lived with his sister and brother-in-law, graduating from Stockton High School in 1972.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army in July 1972, with overseas tours in Vietnam and Germany. He was honorably discharged in February 1976, and later re-enlisted in October 1976, proudly serving our country for an additional four years. Again, he was honorably discharged in October 1980. He served as a military police officer for seven years and 11 months and an ADA short-range Missile Crewman; receiving National Defense Service Medals, Good Conduct Medals and expert badges with the M-16 rifle and .45 caliber pistol.
Leon attended Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, Colorado, earning a degree in criminal justice.
After leaving the service, he worked for Union Pacific Railroad for a short time and as a deputy sheriff for Oskaloosa County, Kansas. He returned back to Cedar County in the summer of 1981.
On Sept. 6, 1981, Leon met the love of his life, Jan Elizabeth Cargill. They later married on March 14, 1983. This union was blessed with a son, Adam Lewis; and a daughter, Anneliese Elizabeth.
Leon worked a few jobs in Stockton. He drove a feed truck for Golden State Distillers, was a gas station attendant at Richard’s ’66 Station, as a meat cutter at T & W Supermarket and a produce manager at Woods Supermarket. He also attended Draughn’s Business School earning a degree in computer programming.
In March 1991, Leon got the opportunity to serve our community as a dispatcher for the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office. While working midnight shifts, he attended classes in Nevada through MSSC and earned his 120-hour certification in law enforcement.
In August 1992, his status changed to part-time deputy, which was a step in the direction of the job he so passionately loved. Soon after, he became a full-time commissioned Cedar County deputy. He later received training as a D.A.R.E. Officer. He taught D.A.R.E. to children in the El Dorado Christian School, Everton, Dadeville and Stockton schools and later in the Morrisville and Halfway schools. He enjoyed teaching the kids about drug awareness, and since no one could pronounce his last name, all the kids called him “Deputy Leon.”
Leon left the CCSO in September 2007, and went to work at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in October 2007, where he proudly served as a deputy sheriff.
In 2012, Leon pursued the position of Cedar County Sheriff. In November, Leon won the election and was installed as the Sheriff of Cedar County on Jan. 1, 2013 — a position he was very proud to be in. Unfortunately, by a small margin, he did not get re-elected and returned to Polk County as a deputy in January 2017. Leon loved his job and serving both counties. He was very dedicated to those he protected and served — making an impact on many — and always treated everyone fairly and gained respect from all that knew him. He touched many lives in positive ways.
Leon was a life member of the VFW Post 5525, all-state post commander in 1992, and a member of the Stockton Masonic Lodge 283.
Preceding him in death are his father and mother; stepfathers Richard Huschke and Melvin Chance; a brother, Allen Dwerlkotte; sister and brother-in-law, Ruth and Jim Vanskike; brother, James Dwerlkotte and nieces Lori Jean Dwerlkotte and Karen Dwerlkotte-Ray.
Leaving to mourn his loss are his wife of more than 36½ years, Jan of the home; son, Adam and wife Brianna, Raymore; daughter, Anneliese and husband Ryan Smith, Little Elm, Texas; five grandchildren whom he loved and adored, Adison, Alyvia and Allyse Dwerlkotte and Jack and Emma Smith; a sister, Margaret Trim, Springhill, Kansas; brother, David Dwerlkotte, Stockton; father- and mother-in-law Ivan and Beulah Cargill, Stockton; brothers-in-law Alan Cargill, Stockton; and Mark Cargill, Reno, Nevada; sister-in-law Kelly Hays, Stockton; aunt and uncle Barbara Joyce and Clyde Huddle, Humansville; and a host of nephews, nieces and cousins.
Leon was greatly loved and will be sadly missed by his family and friends.
Visitation will be held on 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, at Bland-Brumback Funeral home, Stockton.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 30, at Stockton High School with burial to follow in Stockton Cemetery.