Sylvan J. Leffelman

Posted 12/6/20

DIXON — Sylvan J. Leffelman, 91, of Dixon, formerly of Amboy, died on Dec. 3, 2020.

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Sylvan J. Leffelman


DIXON — Sylvan J. Leffelman, 91, of Dixon, formerly of Amboy, died on Dec. 3, 2020. 

Sylvan was born on Feb. 19, 1929, to Walter and Esther (Burkardt) Leffelman in his Grandma Burkardt’s farmhouse outside of Sublette.

Sylvan spent much of his childhood sweeping floors and cleaning windows at his father Walter’s International Harvester farm implement dealership across from the Illinois Central depot in Amboy. It was under Walt’s watchful eye that Sylvan learned the importance of hard work and customer service. At home, he was blessed with his mother Esther’s delicious meals and ever present love.

Sylvan graduated from Amboy High School in 1946 and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to study business for two years. He returned to Amboy when needed at home for a family medical crisis.

Sylvan was drafted into the Army in 1951 and served two years during the Korean War. After his discharge, Sylvan once again returned to Amboy to work with his father and brother, John at the family business.

After Walt’s retirement, Sylvan and John became co-owners of W.G. Leffelman & Sons and oversaw its transition to a Case IH dealership.

Sylvan married his beloved, Virginia Warner on Nov. 14, 1953 and they recently celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary. Together they raised five children: Jan (Tom) McConville, of Amboy, Phil Leffelman, of Elgin, Paul (Robin) Leffelman, of Amboy, Nancy (Jim) Butler, of Bartlett and Rita Leffelman, in heaven (died 9-4-93). They are the grandparents of Rachel (Mike) White, Mitch (Meg) McConville, Maggie (Michael Daly) McConville, Damon (Alyssa) Leffelman and Lucas Leffelman. Their precious great-grandchildren include Kylie, Kaysen and Leo.

Sylvan was preceded in death by his parents; stepmother, Eva (Blackburn) Leffelman; infant brother, Michael and daughter, Rita.

Other survivors include Sylvan’s brother, John (Mary) Leffelman; in-laws: Jim (Janet) Warner, Lyle (Rosella) Warner, Jim (Mary Ann) Blackburn; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Sylvan was involved in many civic and religious organizations throughout his life. He was a founding member and remained a strong supporter of the Amboy Education Foundation. Sylvan also enjoyed lecturing and distributing communion at St. Patrick’s in Amboy and St. Anne’s in Dixon. He was a proud member of the Amboy American Legion Post 453.

Sylvan loved people! And he believed in their inherent good, always giving them the benefit of the doubt. Sylvan was an optimist and a man of deep faith. He often expressed his appreciation for the many blessings in his life, especially his beloved, Virginia and his family.

To best honor Sylvan’s memory, we believe he would simply want you to be kind to one another. Look for ways to do good for your family and your community, especially now. We will honor Dad’s life with a funeral mass to be held at a later date.

The family would also like to express their deep gratitude to all the staff at Liberty Court. They knew Dad’s every like and dislike, and cared for him with great compassion and professionalism. We also appreciate Dr. Joe Welty’s dedication to always providing Dad with practical and empathetic medical care.