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Leonard W. Carlson

Leonard W. Carlson, age 88, of Kadoka, S.D., died Monday, September 13, 2010, at his residence in Kadoka, following an illness that had only slowed him down for a very short time.

Leonard was born to Charles F. and Esther (Johnson) Carlson on June 23, 1922, on the homestead at Indian Creek. His life began as the youngest of two children, when he was just four years old his father passed away leaving his mother to raise him and his sister Ila during very rough years on the prairie.

Leonard attended grade school at Indian Creek Elementary and graduated from Philip High School in 1940. On weekdays during his high school years, Leonard lived at the dorm in Philip and spent the weekends helping at the Tom Pokenhorn Ranch or helping his mother at the homestead. Leonard's younger years were spent learning the value of hard work and the value of a hard earned dollar.

In 1943, Leonard was riding his beloved motorcycle and spooked the pretty neighbor girl's horse. This was how he met the love of his life, Lillian Erickson. In June of 1944, they were united in marriage at Sioux Falls, S.D. The next year Leonard was drafted to the United States Army. He and Lillian spent their first two years at Camp Hood, Texas, while Leonard served his country as a surgical technician during World War II. With an honorable discharge they were happy to return to his birthplace on Indian Creek, returning to his life of raising livestock and farming.

Leonard loved the farm and spent all but two of his entire life of 88 years on the home place. In the late 1940s, they began their years of raising children, they had 10 children of their own but many times you could find extra children at their dinner table. Leonard was helpful to the neighbors and anyone who may have needed a helping hand. Never was a dollar wasted and if it wasn't on sale he usually would not buy it. He looked forward to classified ads, free meals, and farm sales for both the bargains and the socializing. Leonard had a friendly smile and appeared not to have a worry in the world.

Leonard is survived by his wife of 66 years, Lillian; eight children, Larry Carlson (Robin) of Pierre, Charlie Carlson (Kathleen) of Kadoka, Glenda Carlson of Kadoka, Marlene Perault (Mike) of Belvidere, Lavonne Leonard (Joe) of Cades, S.C., Mark Carlson (Tammy) of Kadoka, Lesa Addison (Sid) of Tuthill, and James Carlson of Kadoka; 34 grandchildren; 61 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Leonard was preceded in death by two sons, Lenus Carlson and Lonny Carlson; two granddaughters, Memory and Laura Rodgers; his parents; and a sister, Ila Nowlin.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 16, with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m., all at the Kadoka City Auditorium.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, September 17, at the Kadoka City Auditorium with Pastor Art Weitschat and Pastor Gus Craven officiating.

Music will be provided by Boyd Porch, Carl Baumann and John Kaiser. Ushers are Jeff Konst and Scott Walker. Pallbearers are Larry, Charlie, Mark, James, Colter and Luke Carlson.

Interment with military honors will be in the Kadoka Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial is established to the Concordia Lutheran Church of Kadoka.

Arrangements are with the Rush Funeral Chapel of Kadoka. An online guestbook is available at www.rushfuneralhome.com