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Leah Guenthner

1917 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Leah Guenthner Obituary
Leah Guenthner

Leah R. Guenthner, 98, of Le Mars, passed away on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at the Brentwood Good Samaritan Village in Le Mars. A graveside service will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 31, 2015 at the Bridgewater Cemetery in Bridgewater, South Dakota. Rev. Dr. Jean Ziettlow of St. John's Lutheran Church in Le Mars will officiate. The Mauer - Johnson Funeral Home in Le Mars is assisting Leah's family with funeral arrangements. Expressions of sympathy may be directed through

Leah Rosina Guenthner was born on September 12, 1917 at the home of her parents Henry and Rosina Baer Guenthner of Bridgewater, South Dakota. She was one of ten children born to Henry and Rosina who were farmers in the Bridgewater area. Leah was the last living survivor of the immediate family with her brothers Oscar, Herman, Leonard and Emmanuel along with her sisters Ruth, Martha, Clara, Aileen and Ann all passing before her.

She attended grade school through the eighth grade in Bridgewater and then stayed home in the 1930's to help on the farm. She moved to the Kansas City, Missouri area in the late 1940's where she was employed for several years at various jobs.

During the late 1950's Leah moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota where she worked for the Minnesota Newspaper Association until her retirement in 1982. Leah was a very proud, self- sufficient person given the fact that she never owned or drove a car. She relied on her ability to walk long distances frequently walking to work in downtown Minneapolis or using the public transportation system.

Leah corresponded frequently by letter and was faithful as long as she was able in sending to her relative's birthday and anniversary cards, etc.

She and her younger sister Aileen often traveled together to Europe and across the United States visiting places of interest and acquaintances that they had made over time.

Leah had a great interest in the history of the Guenthner - Baer family and was considered to be the genealogist of the family collecting and cataloging information dating back to 1612. She was particularly proud of the fact that her grandmother, her mother and her mother's sister had immigrated to the United States from the Crimea (Black Sea) area of Russia in 1875 by ship from Hamburg, Germany to Ellis Island where they boarded a train that took them to Yankton, South Dakota the end of the rail line.

From there they eventually walked northwest of Yankton for 300 miles and homesteaded on 160 acres nine miles north of Hoven, South Dakota. They built a sod home and farmed the ground while awaiting the arrival of her grandmother's husband five years later. He had been conscripted to the Russian Army immigrating after he completed his service.

Leah was a faithful member of the Lutheran Church having spent the majority of her church life as a member of Central Lutheran Church of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

She had been a resident of the Good Samaritan Home in Le Mars, Iowa since 2009 having moved to Le Mars in 2004 to be closer to her nephew and his wife, Jack E. and Ernestine M. Guenthner.

She is survived by many nieces and nephews as well as grandnieces and grandnephews who live across the United States.

May Leah rest in peace - she was a good and faithful servant - a friend to all that she touched during her lifetime.

Memorials may be directed to Zion Lutheran Church, 811 N Main Ave, Bridgewater, SD 57319.

Published in The Argus Leader on Oct. 29, 2015
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