Leah Rae Sokel (Nee Clough) age 80 of Menasha, passed away peacefully on Monday, August 22, 2016, at Theda Clark Hospital, surrounded by her family. Born in 1936 to the late Arthur and Elizabeth Clough, Leah was raised in Neenah. In 1953 Leah married Joseph (her beloved Junie) Sokel Jr., who passed away in 1986. Leah enjoyed family gatherings, especially at Grandma Clough's house, playing sheepshead, cribbage, and laughing with her large family. Mom made our house a home, raising nine "little angels!" (LOL).
To relax mom and dad would take the "Pike Angler" out on Lake Winnebago, catching walleyes left and right. They also enjoyed getting away to the Nimrod Lodge in Conover. Their home was a popular stop for family and friends, to have a beer or two at the picnic table.
Leah worked in the lunch room at St John's School in Menasha. Widowed at the young age of 49, our mom was left with the task of finding full time employment and raising the youngest of the children alone. Her doors were open to family in need. She really was a mother to all. After retiring from Plexus, Leah enjoyed a home with her daughter Bushy. She enjoyed scrabble, spades and pulling the "one arm bandit". Leah was a lucky lady who spent countless hours winning with her special nephew Wyatt L. Benz. She had a few special family recipes (gooshies, kluskas, mucka maflush, and perogies) which will be carried on for years to come. Everything Leah made was always from scratch.
She is survived by eight children: Jeanne (Dan) Talbot; Deanne (George) Paveletzke; Elizabeth "Lizzy" (Dale) Jost; Jo Marie "JoJo" (Terry) Beschta; Rebecca "Becky" (Carl) Casperson; Kelly Sokel and special friend Robin; Kathy "Bushy" Lowe and special friend Bob; and John (Tammy) Sokel; and a son-in-law: (Mike) Akstulewicz.
Leah's grandchildren are: Adam (Jade) Talbot; Ben Talbot and his fiancee Heather; Doug Talbot; Hannah Talbot; Holly Talbot; Shelby (Joe) Frank; Shawn (Andrew) Robbins; Eric (Lori) Akstulewicz; Heather Akstulewicz; Bobbie Jo Akstulewicz; Samatha (Robert) Blake; Kimberlee Akstulewicz; Jessica Galeazzi; Kelly (Stacie) Beschta; Brittany Beschta; Jeremy (Natalie) Canfield; Kaileigh Sokel; Kaitlen Sokel; Jake Sokel; and Wesley (Amy) Sokel.
Her great-grandchildren are: Katie, Gavin, Evan, Aizlyn, Alivia, and Marley; April, Leah, Yeager, Andy, and Mallory; McKenzie, Madison, and Mikayla; Joseph and Alexis; Avery and Anna; Dominick and Marie; Seth; Joseph, Patience, and Brianna; Winston; Lacey and Whitney.
Her siblings include: Hazen Clough; Deanne (James) Turner; Herschel (Cathe) Clough; Darrell (Betty) Clough; Beth Robinson; Lynn (Barbara) Clough; Kathy (Dale) Peterson; and Mary (Orin) Sayner.
Leah's in-laws are: Corky Sokel; Marion Sokel; Molly Sokol; and Joyce Kolasinski. She is also survived by countless nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Leah was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, a daughter: Marie "Freddie" Akstulewicz; two sons-in-law: Tom Johnson and Indy Lowe; Bushy's longtime companion: Dave Schoaff; sisters: Aileen (Ruben) DuFrane, Mildred (Ernie) Johnson, Lenna Mae Clough; brothers: Stephen Clough and Arthur "Archie" Clough ; and an infant sibling; as well as several in-laws: Mary Clough, Roger Robinson, Richard Sokel, Robert (Sue) Sokel, Hillard Sokel, John Sokol, David Kolasinski, and Irene "Diddy" (Ralph) Montonati.
Friends and family are welcome to celebrate Leah's life at Washington Park, 631 Winneconne Avenue in Neenah on Sunday August 28th, from 12:00 noon until 4:00 PM. Lunch will be served.
A special thank you to her neighbors Todd and Tracy for always looking out for Leah, and to Dr. Michael F. McGuire and his staff for their exceptional care.
"To the Best Mom Ever ~ I Luv You with All My Heart." xoxo Bushy
Dear Mom, we thank God, through His amazing grace, that He blessed us with you. We will miss you terribly, but we know you hung on as long as you could. No more fears or worries, just pure joy. Rest in peace, until we meet again. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
Heart of the Valley Cremation Services
101 N. Elm St.