Andrew (Andy) H. Leep passed into the arms of his precious Savior, Jesus Christ, in the early morning hours at his home in Bozeman near Four Corners, March 11, 2013. Andy was born on Jan. 19, 1929, to Harry and Edith (Alberda) Leep in Bozeman – the oldest of 12 children. He graduated from the Little Holland Christian School in 1943.
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While working in a factory in Grand Rapids, Mich., Andy met Arla DeKock on a blind date. After a period of courtship, they were married on Nov. 27, 1951, in Jamestown, Mich. He was called to service for our country a few months before marriage so they began their life together in a small trailer on the army base at Camp Gordon in Augusta, Ga. Andy served in the Army there from 1951-1953 during the Korean Conflict.
After completing his time with the Army, Andy and Arla moved back to his extended family in the Manhattan area. He spent a couple years working on his Uncle Henry Alberda's dairy farm and later put a stint in working for Mountain Machinery in Bozeman. During these years, Andy also partnered with his lifetime friend, Harold VanderMolen in several sideline ventures including a hay grinding business, delivering liquid fertilizer, building hay loaders out of old trucks and operating a guiding service for out-of-state hunters.
In 1961, Andy and Arla decided to begin a farming endeavor of their own and moved to a rented farm on Catron Creek near Bozeman where North 19th Street goes through today. Later they had opportunity to move to the home farm near Bozeman Hot Springs. They have resided there since. In between farming work, Andy began a cattle-order-buying business and in doing so became acquainted with cattle ranchers and dealers all over the country. He loved nothing better than making a deal! As the years passed and the children grew, the farm increasingly became the main focus. Despite many setbacks including the loss of two children and a farm accident that cost him four fingers on his left hand, he and Arla persevered and continued to trust God's plan for their lives. This farm has since grown to include sons, grandsons and several hired hands.
Andy loved helping others and being with people. He and Arla participated with several mission teams providing disaster relief. He contributed to his community by serving on the boards of the Gallatin County Fairgrounds, Churchill Retirement Home, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC), and Love, Inc. He was a charter member of Bethel Christian Reformed Church and served as both Elder and Deacon. Andy's faith and walk with God were the underpinnings of his life and were instilled faithfully in his children and grandchildren.
Andy was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Carolyn; brother, David; daughter, Cynthia in 1964 and eldest son, Randall in 1989. He was also preceded in death by his sisters- and brother-in-law, Ade (John) Morren and Karen DeKock Broesma.
Andy is survived by his wife of 61 years, Arla; children, Debbie Aldworth (wife of deceased son, Randall), Sherwin (Tamara) Leep, Greg (Kara) Leep all of Bozeman, Jon (Kari) Leep of Fort Worth, Texas; 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; sisters, Claire Kimm of Manhattan, Arlene Blake of Mount Vernon, Wash., Betty Folkersma of Grand Rapids, Mich., Lois (Don) Morren of Jamestown, Mich., Mary Ann (Roger) VanDyken of Bozeman, Dorothy (John) Kinna of Fairfield; brothers, Willard (Fran) Leep of Allendale, Mich., Eldon (Sheri) Leep of Manhattan, and Jerry (Linda) Leep of Toston. His sisters- and brothers-in-law, Irma (William) Blok of Wyoming, Mich., Don (Judy) DeKock of Jamestown, Mich., and David (Margo) DeKock of Byron Center, Mich. and numerous other relatives and a host of friends also survive him.
Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, March 19 at Hills Cemetery. A memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. at Bethel Christian Reformed Church. Visitation hours will be held from 12 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, March 18 at Dokken-Nelson Sunset Chapel, the family will be present from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Should friends desire, memorials may be made to Love, Inc., PO Box, 7117, Bozeman, MT 59771-7117.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service, www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from Mar. 13 to Mar. 17, 2013