Founder of Weidinger Chevrolet passes away

By Laura Schiermeier, Staff Writer
Posted 8/31/22

A long time Maries County community supporter and descendant of early Vienna settlers, Leonard “Peanuts” Weidinger,  passed away Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 at his home near Vienna. He …

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Founder of Weidinger Chevrolet passes away

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A long time Maries County community supporter and descendant of early Vienna settlers, Leonard “Peanuts” Weidinger,  passed away Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 at his home near Vienna. He was the founder and owner of Weidinger Chevrolet in Vienna. 

Weidinger’s family first came to America and settled Vienna in 1855 from Westenburg, Germany. His father was a local farmer and carpenter, Francis Joseph Weidinger, who married Kunda Gunda Koerber, a daughter of Henry Koerber, in Sept. 1913. Leonard Joseph was born on April 15, 1926, on a Maries County farm near Highway AA, according to information submitted by Weidinger for the A County/Family History Vol. II, a history book published by the Historical Society of Maries County in 1990.

Weidinger married Lucille Theresa Wansing on May 30, 1949, and four sons were born to this union. Lucille died Aug. 4, 1975.

Weidinger has been a lifelong resident of Vienna, except for the time he served in the US Army during World War II. He was in charge of the motor pool in Yokahama, Japan, and attained the rank of sergeant. He attended Bailey Technical School in St. Louis and acquired a mechanical background that was to serve him throughout his working career.

After working for John Struemph in the late 1940s as a heavy equipment operator, Weidinger and his new wife, Lucille, purchased the McKeever Standard Station at the junction of Highways 63 and 42 in Vienna in 1950. They expanded that business, later formulating the insurance agency, and finally acquiring the Chevrolet dealership within Vienna. The Weidinger Chevrolet dealership was operated by Weidinger, his family, and staff from 1961 until it closed in the spring of 2020. 

Weidinger Chevrolet employed many people and was the place to buy a car or a Chevy truck, buy new tires, get a vehicle repaired, and get a vehicle inspection. The dealership was well known throughout Mid-Missouri due to good business practices by Weidinger and his staff. Weidinger Chevrolet was a big supporter of the community efforts and organizations. 

Weidinger was active in the Vienna Lions Club, Visitation Catholic Church, and the school board. Leonard Weidinger will be missed in the community, and certainly will be remembered fondly. 

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