Katy Funeral Home


Leona D. Deuschle

March 5, 1920April 6, 2021
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Leona Desirree (Russell) Deuschle, age 101, of Sweetwater, Texas, passed away Tuesday morning April 6, 2021, in Nocona, Texas surrounded by her loving family. She was born March 5, 1920 in California, Pennsylvania to Eva and Frank Russell.

Leona is preceded in death by her husband, United States Air Force Colonel, Francis John Deuschle, Sr. She is survived by their son Francis John Deuschle, Jr. (aka: Baby Jesus) and his wife Barbara of Hot Springs, Arkansas, ‘oldest daughter’ Margaret Butler and husband Bill of Sweetwater, Texas, and ‘favorite daughter’, Patty Knaus, and husband Rick, of Austin, Texas.

With 101 years, Leona was the matriarch of an exceptionally large and sprawling family spread throughout Texas and Arkansas. She was the doting grandmother of 11 grandchildren who relished time with their “Grandma, Nana, Granny” at an annual 4th of July lake celebration featuring fireworks, cookouts, and hundreds of stories about what was new in the lives of her grandchildren. Her grandchildren produced a remarkable 43 great grandchildren, and 15 great- great grandchildren. Despite the volume of children, grandchildren, their spouses, and more than four dozen great and great-great grandchildren, Leona never missed sending everyone a birthday card and making a phone call to each one.

Leona’s true and greatest love was being present at all the weddings, the births, graduations, baptisms and confirmations, driving thousands of miles back and forth across Texas and Arkansas for her grandchildren and great grandchildren. At one point in her life, it was nothing for her to travel from a military installation in Germany back to Texas to babysit a newly born grandson. Leona loved being the first to visit her grandkids new homes, help them get meticulously organized and then quickly spread all the details through the family grapevine. If you ever heard her say, “now don’t tell anyone, but…”, you could be certain the information she was about to share was already rapidly on its way through the family. She was well into her late 80’s when it was decided that it was time for her to hand over her keys to her beloved Honda Accord, “it’s the best car on the road”. Not because she couldn’t drive anymore, but because she was getting too many speeding tickets and had reached her limit of times to attend traffic school.

Leona was well known by all for her dedicated prayer life for her family. She kept the home fires burning, raising their three children and making certain every item in the house was pristinely ironed, while Colonel Deuschle served in the Korean War and Vietnam War. For many years she was a loyal volunteer at a children’s hospital neonatal intensive care holding and nurturing sick babies. The family extends a deep and profound thank you for the love, mercy and grace given to her through her final year from her full-time caregivers; Josephine, Martha, Bertha, Sean and Shane (aka: her granddaughters, Jennifer and Shannon) and to the compassionate nurses and hospice workers in Hot Springs, AR, Sweetwater and Nocona who made the journey easier.

Visitation will be held Thursday, April 22, 2021 from 4-8PM at Katy Funeral Home (23350 Kingsland Blvd, Katy, TX 77494). A recitation of the Rosary will begin at 5pm that evening. A funeral mass at St. John Vianney Catholic Church (625 Nottingham Oaks Trail, Houston, TX 77079) will be held on Friday, April 23 at 10:30AM followed by burial, next to her beloved husband, at Memorial Oaks Cemetery (13001 Katy Fwy, Houston, TX 77079).

The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made honoring Leona’s favorite charity, Smile Train, PO Box 96231, Washington, DC 20090-6231, online @ or by phone 1-800-932-9541. She never missed a year giving to this non- profit organization, where she knew she was helping little kids, facing life with the challenges of cleft palates.


22 April


4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Katy Funeral Home

23350 Kingsland Blvd
Katy, TX 77494

22 April

Rosary & Eulogy

5:00 pm

Katy Funeral Home

23350 Kingsland Blvd
Katy, TX 77494

23 April

Funeral Mass

10:30 am - 11:30 am

St. John Vianney Catholic Church

625 Nottingham Oaks Trail
Houston, TX 77079

23 April

Graveside Service

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Memorial Oaks Cemetery

13001 Katy Fwy
Houston, TX 77079


Leona D. Deuschle

have a memory or condolence to add?

Nicole Tarsio

April 15, 2021

When I met Granny, she told me she had prayed for me every day of my life. She gave me a gift of unconditional love that I did not feel like I deserved. It was easy to see this woman was immensely kind and caring. I truly believe her prayers have profoundly influenced my life as I have always felt so blesed. Having Granny in my life, even if it was just for a short time, has been beautiful.
Thank you for your love Granny I'll be making a donation in your name.

Paul Crowley

April 9, 2021

While growing up and into my adulthood I spent countless hours at Patty and Rick’s house both playing and eventually working with Nana’s grandson. Whenever Nana came to visit she could be found running around the house ironing, cleaning, and cooking with a smile on her face. She always seemed to have more energy than someone half her age, and never liked to sit still. All of our friends would call her Nana and she treated us like part of the family. I was amazed at how she always asked about everyone’s wives and children and even remember the children’s birthdays.

I will miss her kind heart, and her grilled cheese and tomato soups on Friday during lent. I feel blessed by God for knowing her and know that she is now in paradise.

Susan Valashek

April 9, 2021

Patty & Rick,

We share in your sadness as you remember your mom, Leona. Dean and Brynn loved their great grandmother (Nana) very much. Craig and I will never forget Nana’s attendance at so many of their sporting and school events, even at 99. What a special gift she was to them.
May your precious mom rest in peace and may you feel the peace that surpasses all understanding in Christ Jesus.

Deborah Huchton

April 9, 2021

I want to give recognition to my parents, Margaret and Bill Butler, who took Granny in and cared for her from the time my grandfather died in 1981 until her death. My Mom, with a broken heart was not physically able to finish the care that she so lovingly gave all those years, but we are grateful to Jennifer and Shannon for stepping in and taking over, allowing Granny to live her last year in comfort and dignity, surrounded by family.

Cathy Knauff

April 9, 2021

I have so many memories of Granny from Marchmont, New Ulm, to the Lake House at Lake Hamilton. She always made me feel like one of the family. She always had advice and hugs for us. When we got in trouble at the Lake house, she had some words for us then too! I will cherish all my memories of her and the Butler/Deuschle families. Granny was one-of-a-kind.

Gloria Longoria

April 8, 2021

Our most sincere condolences to the whole family of "Granny", especially our very own Deacon Bill & Margaret Butler. Our hearts, thoughts, prayers are with you all. We certainly miss our sweet Granny's hugs after mass. She always praised our kiddos and looked at them like her own grandchildren. Rest in Paradise sweet Granny.
Love always,
Ray Jr., Gloria, Ziya, & Zuri Longoria XOXOXO

Maria Aguirre

April 8, 2021

Margaret & Bill,
My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. May you cherish in the memories and the time you spent with Leona. May she rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon her.