Community Giving

Leo Henkemeyer

Fund Name:: Leo T. Henkemeyer Fund
Fund Established: July 31, 1996
Community Foundation(s): Central Minnesota

Originally from St. Augusta, Minnesota, Leo lived in the St. Cloud area most of his life. His only move was a brief one while he was in the military. He was the primary owner of St. Cloud’s largest welding supply company, Central McGowan Welding Supply, which his grandson, Joe Francis now runs.

Leo graduated from St. Cloud State with a degree in architecture, thinking he would follow in the footsteps of his father, who was a carpenter. Realizing that he wanted to follow a different path, Leo instead purchased Central McGowan in 1955 and served as the president of the company for many years. He enjoyed seeing the company grow and he enjoyed working with his employees.

Leo enjoyed deer hunting and working with his tools in the garage. He considered himself an “independent guy” and wasn't really involved in community organizations, but he saw the importance of giving back to a community that has given him so much. Making people happy is what was truly important to Leo.

Leo discovered the Central Minnesota Community Foundation through his financial and legal advisors and in 1996 established the Leo T. Henkemeyer Fund to benefit a variety of charitable organizations. The many recipients of gifts from the fund are located throughout Central Minnesota.