Leo Stoner, age 88, of Philip, died Monday, April 2, at the Philip Nursing Home.
Leo Vern Stoner was born on December 13, 1929, in Alliance, Neb. to Orville and Amelia (Ross) Stoner and was the fourth of five sons. His family moved to South Dakota in 1936 when Leo was seven years old. He attended country school in Bennett County and high school in Martin, S.D. He attended summer school in Spearfish where he earned his teaching certificate and later taught in one room country schools in both Bennett and Haakon County.
While attending summer school, Leo met the love of his life, MaryAnne Beckwith, and they were united in marriage on July 9, 1950, in the Deep Creek Church. To this union three children were born: Amelia, Lois, and Kenny. They made their first home in Patricia, where they worked on his Dad’s ranch for the following two years. Following that they moved to Robbs Flat and ranched with MaryAnne’s father, Ralph Beckwith, until 1959 when they rented several ranches south of Philip. In 1975 they purchased some farm and ranch land near Pierre where they lived until 2012.
Leo was a member of the Lutheran Church. He served on the Farmer’s Union Board in Philip as a director for several years, and he also helped guide 4-H members by being a 4-H leader for many years. Leo was honored at the State Fair in 1986 in appreciation for his outstanding service to students in the state of South Dakota as a teacher in a one-teacher rural school.
Leo was a dedicated family man who loved farming and ranching. He truly enjoyed bringing in yearly crops, putting up hay, and checking on newborn calves. He was always there greeting people with his wonderful smile, contagious laugh, and the firmed handshake you could imagine. When he was not working you could find him reading a good book or outside tinkering in his shop where he could build or weld anything.
Survivors include his wife of 67 years, MaryAnne, Philip; a daughter Amelia Hurley and special companion Mike Livermont; a son Kenny Stoner and his wife Robin, Murdo; three granddaughters Cassie Wells and husband John, Guernsey, Wyo., Carrie Aarestad and husband Ben, Burns, Wyo., and Heather Stoner, Wall; one grandson Cole Stoner and wife Holley, Hermosa; four great-granddaughters, Maddy and Harper Aarestad and Paisley and Hatley Stoner; and a host of other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by one daughter Lois Beck, one son-in-law Warren Hurley, his parents, and four brothers Clinton, Alton, Dale, and Clark.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, at the Rush Funeral Home in Philip.
Interment will be at the Masonic Cemetery in Philip.
Arrangements are with Rush Funeral Home of Philip.