Leo Gaspar

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Leo W. Gaspar

Leo Gaspar, 90, passed away on Sunday, February 24 at Good Samaritan in Lennox. Funeral services will begin at 2:00 pm on Friday, March 1 at St. Ann Catholic Church in Humboldt. Visitation will be from 9am-4pm on Thursday at Kinzley Funeral Home in Salem and will resume at 6 pm with family present at St. Ann with at 7 pm rosary and prayer service.

Leo Walter Gaspar was born on July 24, 1922, at the family farm east of Bridgewater, SD to Jacob and Ellen (Liveringhouse) Gaspar. He was the tenth of eleven children. He attended St. Stephen's Catholic Grade School and Bridgewater High School.

Leo married Elizabeth (Betty) Jane Huls on February 6, 1945, at Saint Patrick's Catholic Church in Montrose, SD. The couple moved to Humboldt, SD, on December 7, 1948, and lived there until very recently. They had six children: Dennis Leo and Sandy, Spearfish, SD; Terry James (deceased, 1964); Joyce Elizabeth and Bill (deceased, 2006) Herbst, Sioux Falls, SD; Steven Douglas and Patty, Sioux Falls, SD; Kathryn Mary and John Kirchner, Lennox, SD; and Stacey Jo and Les Heldenbrand, Hartford, SD.

Leo was a long time member of St. Ann's Catholic Church in Humboldt. He was also a member the Catholic Order of Foresters. Leo was veteran of World War II and a member of the W. H Crippen Post 62 American Legion in Humboldt. For over fifty years, he was a volunteer fireman for the Humboldt Volunteer Fire Department. An avid hunter, in 1955, Leo was among the very first to be recruited as an instructor in the HuntSAFE Program in South Dakota. In March, 2005, Leo was honored by South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Department for fifty years of service as a HuntSAFE Instructor, and, through Executive Proclamation, Governor Michael Rounds proclaimed March 18, 2005, as Leo Gaspar Day in South Dakota.

In addition to five children, Leo is survived by 14 grandchildren (Brian Herbst, Patrick Herbst, John Michael Kirchner, Jason Kirchner, Brian Gaspar, Sandra Herbst, Jeremy Kirchner, Anne Gaspar, Robert Herbst, Scott Gaspar, Joshua Kirchner, Kaisi Heldenbrand, Gregory Gaspar, Dylan Heldenbrand) and 11 great grandchildren. Leo is also survived by his beloved baby sister, Delores Gaspar Kolbeck, Salem, SD

Preceding Leo in death were his parents, Jacob and Ellen Gaspar; his five brothers (John, Art, Ed, Floyd, and Bernard); and four sisters (Helen Johnson, Mary Walker, Sister M. Cryilla, and—his twin—Leona Gaspar). Also preceding Leo in death were his wife of 67 years, Betty, and son, Terry. www.kinzleyfh.com

Published in The Argus Leader on Feb. 26, 2013
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