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Leon Schliesman, age 87, of Milbank, SD, died on April 29, 2019, at Milbank Area Hospital – Avera Health.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, May 3, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Milbank. Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 2, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the church with a prayer service to begin at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue at the church one hour prior to the Mass. Father Gary DeRouchey will celebrate the Mass, and burial will be at St. Lawrence Catholic Cemetery in Milbank.
Leon Paul Schliesman was born on March 19, 1932, in Roberts County, SD. He was the son of Michael and Catherine (Giessinger) Schliesman. Leon’s younger years were spent in Roberts County and Grant County. He attended St. Lawrence Catholic Grade School and graduated from Milbank High School in 1950.
After graduation Leon farmed with his father, Mike, for two years. On August 25, 1952, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Leon married Kathryn Helen Johns on July 13, 1953, in Colorado Springs, CO. They were blessed with 65 years of marriage and six children: Brian, Diane, Teresa, Mary, Carla, and Alan.
Leon was honorably discharged as an Army Corporal on August 25, 1954. He then returned to Milbank and operated Schliesman Farm until 1976. He worked at Bill’s Super Valu as a produce manager from 1976 to 1982. He later worked as a supervisor at FOK Hardware Distribution Center/Hardware Hank until his retirement in 1997. In 2002, Leon and Kathy moved to Milbank.
Leon was very analytical and logical, yet his emotional side showed his love for people. He was a natural teacher, especially to his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed the annual family Thanksgiving celebration and served as the official pie judge. He was a competitive card player and an avid, lifelong Twins and Vikings fan. He enjoyed bowling and participated in leagues and national tournaments. He was an Honorary Knight of Columbus and served as the Grand Knight. Leon was a member of Grant County Senior Citizens.
Leon was a faithful member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church. He and Kathy taught religious education and marriage preparation classes for over 22 years. His family was honored as the “KC Family of the Year.” He enjoyed serving the parish as Lector, Eucharistic Minister, Sacristan, and as an usher. He was part of the Koinonia retreat program, traveling to many states and the Bahamas. He was also a Cojourner with the Presentation Sisters.
Leon is survived by his wife, Kathryn; children: Brian Schliesman of Irving, TX; Diane (Bill) Hartman of Ortonville, MN; Teresa (Don) Boe of Ft. Pierre, SD; Mary (Paul) Titze of Pierre, SD; Carla (Charles) Hansen of Crystal, MN; and Alan (Keri) Schliesman of Milbank, SD; sisters: Doris (George) Alberts of Groton, SD; and Nancy (Dick) Stump of Boise, ID; brothers-in-law: Larry (Carol) Johns of Homer Grove, IL; and Joel (Linda) Johns of Watertown, SD; sister-in-law, Marge Johns of Sioux Falls, SD; 21 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; infant brother, Robert Michael; sister, Annabelle Leahy; granddaughter, Katie Marie Schliesman; daughter-in-law, Debi Schliesman; and brother-in-law, James Johns.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to It Only Takes A Spark – Cancer Walk, P.O. Box 105, Milbank SD, 57252.
It Only Takes a Spark - Cancer Walk
PO Box 105, Milbank SD 57252