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Leesa K. Kulow

Buckley-Loda High School

Classof 1982

Leesa K. Kulow, age 45, of Paxton died March 8, 2010, after a brave struggle with cancer. She was born August 28, 1964, the daughter of Kenneth Kulow and Barbara Zoellick. She attended Trinity Lutheran School in Arenzville and St. John’s Lutheran School in Buckley. She graduated from Buckley-Loda High School in 1982 and attended Parkland College. She worked for Paxton Day Care Center and Dr. Richard Foellner for a number of years before her employment with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Champaign and Chicago where she worked for more than 20 years. She enjoyed reading, computer activities and playing games with her nieces and nephews. She was known as an entertaining story teller. Below are pictures of Leesa with her nieces and nephews as well as reflections by her sister and father.


Memorials in Leesa’s memory were directed to the PBL Education Foundation because of her love of kids, keeping things local, and betterment of future learning. Memorials totaling around $3,300 were used to purchase an LCD projector, laptop computer, ActivBoard and Activotes for first grade teacher Kelly Neukomm’s classroom at Clara Peterson Elementary School. Ms. Neukoom invited Leesa’s family as well as Foundation Board members to view the use of the equipment. Leesa’s father commented, “What a joy to see and hear the children as they enhanced their learning skills via the interactive presentations.” The following picture was taken of Mrs. Neukomm’s first-grade class as well as the members of the Kulow family who viewed the equipment demonstration. Also pictured is Connie Ross, one of Leesa’s high school teachers at Buckley-Loda. Connie is currently a member of the PBL Education Foundation Board.


The following comments were made by Leesa’s sister Kim: “What really comes to mind is that she was a caring person who had such a positive attitude. When she was going through chemo, she would be concerned about the other people who were going through it and not about herself. She did not want you feeling sorry for her. She loved her nieces and nephews, and thought and treated them as her own. The kids could talk to her about anything. They loved to listen to her tell stories about their parents’ childhoods and hers. Whenever the family would get together, she always had all of us in stitches with her stories. She enjoyed kids–probably because she was a kid at heart. She was always rooting for the underdog. She loved to read, even the same books the nieces and nephews were reading so that she could talk to them about the stories. The computer along with other electronic gadgets fascinated her and also challenged her. Her work gave her many challenges with technology. It was her job to problem solve the logic that some of the programs may have or could develop in the future. Everything that I described about Leesa was why we chose the PBL Education Foundation for her memorials. It stands for what she believed in . . . KIDS?”

Leesa’s father added the following thoughts concerning his daughter: “Leesa was a loving person who was for the underdog. The family was able to enjoy her for 45 years and now the future generations will be able to share in her legacy through the contributions to the Paxton-Buckley-Loda Education Foundation. Leesa was a person who, after having a five-minute event, would take thirty minutes in describing the event!!! She had a positive outlook for her life, even during her struggle with cancer. She was able to use her abilities to further her work for a major health insurance company. She was the official “trouble shooter,” receiving many calls each day soliciting her assistance to problem-solve many claims. By acknowledgement of her coworkers, she is sorely missed in the company. Leesa’s physical presence is gone but her legacy will continue for years to come.”

The following is a picture of Leesa with her  nieces and nephews.


Additional pictures of the students and Ms. Neukoom using the equipment purchased with the Kulow memorial funds may be seen at Grants Update Page.






Our Mission is to acquire and distribute resources for enhancing or supplementing the educational programs for all learners in the Paxton-Buckley-Loda Community Unit #10 School District located in Paxton, Illinois