Leona M. (Krol) Wechsler

September 20, 1939 ~ May 30, 2022 (age 82)


Leona M. Wechsler, What can you say about a woman who loved her four wonderful children and doted on her 5 adorable grandchildren.  (Finally, being blessed with a granddaughter in her last year). Born on September 20, 1939 in Scranton Pennsylvania to John and Estella (nee Pietera) Krol.  A loving sister to the late Jackie (John) Krol, Jane Gryzbowski, Louis (Norman) Krol and Frank (Francis) Krol.  She often told stories of growing up in the coal mining area of PA, surrounded by cousins, aunts and uncles with fondness.  She adored her indulgent father.   Leona left school in the 9th grade to work and help support the family.  Over the years, she regaled us with many amusing stories of her time at Turko’s Luncheonette.

In 1958, she married Rudolph J. Wechsler, Sr. in New York.  They spent their early years in Maspeth, Queens, and in 1964 moved to College Point, Queens, NY.  It was here that she proved to be a great hostess, entertaining family and friends for nearly every holiday over the next 37+ years.  We fondly recall Santa at the house every Christmas for her kids and nieces and nephews and egg hunts for Easter every year.  And the rowdy New Year Eve seafood feasts.  She entertained people from far and wide –even from South Africa.  All were welcome in our home.  She provided a wonderful childhood for her kids and was an engaged Mom.  Volunteering for school and joining the Girl Scouts and Den Mother for Boy Scouts.  In 1975, she earned her GED high school diploma.  Education was important to her. 

After Dad passed in 2001, she moved to Ridge Gardens, Mahwah, NJ to be closer to her grandkids.  She quickly became part of the community by engaging those she met on her daily walks.  She was known as the “lady in the red hat” and knew every dog in Ridge Gardens.  She loved to attend her grandsons’ baseball games and was an avid cheerleader—both on the field and in life.  Mom was so proud of their accomplishments.  Mom loved reading, the Dollar Store, Walmart and a good burger.  Her love affair with a good burger garnered her the nickname “the Beast” from her grandsons.  (They know why).  We vacationed together every year at Saranac Lake and then Lake George after kids started to arrive.  Mom, Nancy, and Laura took many road trips, some planned, some impulsively.

Until Covid hit, she hosted dinner every Thursday night so we could catch up with each other.  She really missed that in recent years.  Mom spent Covid time engaging with YouTube, paring down her possessions and organizing her finances so she wouldn’t be a burden to her kids.  (BTW -- She didn’t do a good job paring down).  Family was the center of her life as she was of ours.  Mom was a strong, intelligent, genuine, funny, opinionated, caring, and loving person.  She is survived by her four kids, Laura, Nancy, Cheryl, and Rudy.  Their spouses, Wing, John, Charlie and Cecilia.  Her grandkids, John, Mike, Matthew, Ryan, and Riley. Her sibs Jane, Louie and Frank and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.

Leona passed peacefully with no regrets on May 30, 2022 and will be sorely missed by those who knew her best.  Her parting words were to be kind to each other and live a happy life.  This is best way to honor her legacy.  (Oh, and Mom, if you can find a way to communicate the winning lottery numbers to Nancy, please do so as soon as you arrive at your resting place).  Thank you, Mom.

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Private Cremation
June 2, 2022

9:00 AM
Cedar Lawn Crematory
200 McLean Blvd
Paterson, NJ 07504

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