Leno H. Menghini, 87, of Cheyenne, Wyo., passed away Jan. 5, 2013, at the Davis Hospice Center in Cheyenne.
Leno was born in Superior, Wyo., the son of Italian immigrants, Egidio and Costantina (Prevedel) Menghini. His father died when Leno was 3 years old, and he and his brother and sister went to work delivering milk around Superior to support their family.
In high school, Leno then went to work for the UP Coal Co. in and around the mines. He graduated from Superior High School and attended the University of Wyoming, where his studies were interrupted by World War II. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1943 and served in an engineering company in Greenland from 1943-46. After an honorable discharge, Leno returned to the University of Wyoming and graduated with honors with a degree in civil engineering in 1950.
Following college, Leno began his career with the Wyoming Highway Department in Rawlins where, over the next 40 years, he traveled the state, accepting assignments in Rock Springs, Evanston, Basin, Sheridan and Cheyenne. Leno served as superintendent and chief engineer of the department for 14 years before retiring in 1990.
Leno was involved with numerous transportation agencies and served as president for both the American and Western Associations of State Highways and Transportation Officials (AASHTO/WASHTO). He was also a member of the Wyoming Engineering Society and was selected as the University of Wyoming's Engineer of the Year in 1980 and the President's Outstanding Engineer by the Wyoming Engineering Society in 2009. He was a 15-year volunteer for the St. Mary's/Seton Catholic School Board, a vice-chairman of the DePaul Hospital Board of Directors and a long-standing member of the Cheyenne Rotary Club.
Leno's legacy as a dedicated engineer is matched by his legacy as a loving husband and father. After the loss of his wife, Caroline, to cancer when their youngest child was only 3 years old, Leno with the help of his sister Ida, raised six children. Leno's life was truly centered around his family, both immediate and extended. He was actively involved in all facets of his children's lives, from their pursuit of academic excellence, community volunteerism or extracurricular activities. Leno was especially proud that all of his children graduated from the University of Wyoming. He also treasured every minute he spent with his grandchildren and took an active part in their lives, taking them on adventures and imparting on them his life's learnings. He was a strong role model to those close to him and gave back to the community in many ways.
Leno enjoyed life to the fullest and took every opportunity to learn and expand his horizons. He loved to play golf, hunt, fish, hike, attend Wyoming sporting events and travel the world with various members of his family, especially his brother, August. Leno enjoyed interacting with many diverse cultures around the globe and was equally at ease in China, Norway and Venezuela as he was in Rock Springs or Cheyenne. In addition to traveling, he spent 14 years volunteering at several local schools, sharing with a generation of first graders his passion for learning along with photographs, mementos and cherished artifacts from his travels.
He is survived by his six children, Paul M. Menghini and wife, Jorunn, of Astana, Kazakhstan; Mark L. Menghini, and wife, Nina, of Anchorage, Alaska; Karen M. Kent and husband, Moss, of Cheyenne, Wyo.; Gary M. Menghini and wife, Nancy, of Golden, Colo.; John R. Menghini and wife, Rose, of Reno, Nev.; Linda A. Buczynski and husband, Michael, of Chicago, Ill.; and eight grandchildren, Caroline Menghini-Baudens, Nicholas Menghini, Brian Menghini, Kellie Menghini, Matthew Kent, Moss Kent, Emily Buczynski and Lena Menghini.
Leno is preceded in death by his father, Egidio Menghini; his mother, Costantina Prevedel-Menghini, his loving wife, Caroline Trontel-Menghini, his sister, Ida Menghini-Balog and his brother, August Menghini
Visitation will be from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10 and a Vigil for the Deceased at 7 p.m. at Schrader Funeral Home in Cheyenne. A Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 11, at St. Mary's Cathedral with Father Carl Beavers as celebrant.
Interment service will follow in Olivet Cemetery. The family cordially invites all to attend a Celebration of Leno's Life at Little America beginning at noon Friday.
Expressions of sympathy in Leno's memory may be made to St. Mary's School or St. Joseph's Children's Home in Torrington, Wyo.
Condolences may be sent to the family online by going to www.schraderfuneral.com.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Schrader Funeral Home, Cheyenne.