Leonard Anthony Kress

May 2, 1941October 1, 2019

Leonard Anthony Kress May 2, 1941 - October 1, 2019 Jacksonville, Florida

Leonard Anthony Kress passed away Tuesday, October 1, 2019 of natural causes.

His story began on May 2, 1941, as the eldest child of Leonard and Lydia Kress. He was born in Spokane, Washington. Following a ride in a small airplane as a teenager, his love for airplanes began. He joined the Navy at 17 and set off to San Diego followed by school to become an Aviation Electronics Technician. In 1960, he met and married the love of his life, Helen. They would be together for 54 years!

Len worked for General Dynamics briefly before rejoining the Navy and eventually moving the family to Illinois. When it came time for orders, he decided to get out of the Navy once again, but opted to stay in the Navy Reserves. It was during his time at Glenview that he became a Flight Engineer on the C118, thus fulfilling part of his dream to be up in the air. He began a job working Civil Service for the Navy at Naval Air Station Glenview and was a “Weekend Warrior” with the Reserves. As a reservist, he had the opportunity to travel around South America as part of a good will flight crew providing travel for the Navy band. He would go on to achieve the rank of Senior Chief (E-8) in the Navy Reserves. Len and Helen were most proud that all 5 of their children joined the military and served their country. They proudly displayed their portraits in their home. In 1984, Len and Helen made the move to Jacksonville, Florida due to a job transfer.

Capable of most anything, Len renovated their home in Illinois which included adding an entire second story. It was also during this time that he fulfilled his dream of getting his private pilots’ license. He would go on to become a flight instructor and certified flight mechanic. Finally able to buy his own airplane, he chose the Beechcraft Bonanza V-Tail. His tail number was N710AM. Active in his flight club, he would go on to become Chief Judge at the Sun n Fun event that is held annually in Lakeland, Florida for airplane enthusiasts from all over the United States. Len would spend his retirement years in his hangar at Herlong Airport in Jacksonville Florida working on airplanes and taking students up for lessons. He loved everything about flying and was always upgrading his aircraft!

He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen and their son, Leonard Jr. He is survived by his children, Donald (Dora) Kress of Jacksonville Fl., Ronald (Nancy) Kress of Bristol, WI., Allison Sabin, Chippewa Falls, WI, and Kit Kress of Johnsburg, IL., his sister, Gunnie (John) LeHew and brother, Lonnie Kress, both of Belleview, Fl., as well as 13 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be held Friday, October 18, 2019 at 11 a.m. followed by a service at 12 p.m. at Hardage Giddens, Riverside Memorial Park and Funeral Home 7242 Normandy Boulevard, Jacksonville Fl 32205.

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” ― Leonardo da Vinci


  • Visitation Friday, October 18, 2019
  • Funeral Service Friday, October 18, 2019
  • Committal Service Friday, October 18, 2019


Leonard Anthony Kress

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Andrew Salyer

October 12, 2019

Our deepest condolences to the Kress family. I have known them since I was just a little kid and hqve always liked them. Mr. and Mrs. Kress were both very kind and wonderful people. May God give the family strength, comfort and peace in the coming days. God bless. Andrew and Melinda Salyer

barbara satterwhite

October 11, 2019

I knew Mr.Kress because his son kit was married to my sister becky many years he was a kind man and his wife was really nice also R.I.P