Leo J. Gebhart, 95, passed away Sunday, March 10, 2013 at the United Living Center in Brookings, SD. Leo was born in Dell Rapids on October 20, 1917 to George and Margaret (Lanners) Gebhart. He was educated at Elkton St. Mary’s School. He worked as a farm hand for several farmers and then R.S. Sweetman Farms. Leo married Matilda Klein on January 25, 1944 at Dell Rapids, SD and they started farming at Dell Rapids. They moved to the Elkton area in 1952 and farmed until they moved in to Elkton in 1981. His wife preceded him in death on November 23, 2000. Leo was devoted to his wife, children, and family as well as the Elkton community. Leo moved to Edgewood Vista Assisted Living in September of 2011. He really enjoyed his assisted living family. Leo was a member of Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church at Elkton where he served as an usher and was a member of the church board. He was a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters, Elkton Knights of Columbus, NFO, Farmers Union, and served many years on the Alton Township Board. Leo loved farming, dancing, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a wonderful story teller and loved a good joke. Leo was a simple, common sense man who believed in playing fair and square with his neighbors and friends.
Leo is survived by his children, one son, John (Pat), Yankton, SD; 8 daughters, Mary (Bruce Moore), Beresford, SD; Rita (Bob Harming), Aurora, SD; Helen (Ron Beckwith), Midland, SD; Alice (Wayne Bramstedt), Harrisburg, SD; Grace (Marv Tofteland), Beaver Creek, MN; Rose (Allen Smit), Sioux Falls, SD; Monica (Ron Chase), Salem, SD; and Annette (Doug Stein), Aurora, SD; 37 grandchildren, 74 great-grandchildren, one sister, Isabelle Short, Brookings, SD; 2 brothers, George (Anastasia) Gebhart, Elkton, SD; Richard, Elkton, SD; and many nieces and nephews. Leo was preceded in death by his wife, Matilda; his parents, 3 sisters, 4 brothers, and one grandson, Andy Tofteland.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 am Friday, March 15, 2013 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, Elkton, with burial in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Visitation begins 4:00 pm Thursday at the church with a 7:00 pm scripture service.