Leon Svoboda, age 76, of Toronto, SD passed away Sunday, December 29, 2019 at his home in Toronto, SD. Visitation will be 3 – 5 p.m. with Sharing of Memories at 5 p.m. On Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at the Houseman Funeral Home, Birk Chapel in Canby, MN. Burial will be the Fairview Cemetery, White, SD at a later date. The Houseman Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangements.
Leon Lester Svoboda was born on May 12th, 1943 to Frances and Fern (Milton) Svoboda on a farm near Brandt, SD. His family moved to St. Paul, MN where he attended Ramsey county School. Following his education, he began working at Ford Motor Plant when he met and married the love of his life, Kathryn Payne on January 15th, 1965. After starting a family, they moved to Brandt, SD where Leon farmed and raised dairy cattle. Seeking adventure Leon and Kitty moved to Sleepy Eye, MN where he worked for a company called Skyline Mobile Homes for several years. Wanting to spend more time with his family and less time traveling Leon was offered a maintenance position at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD.
While working for SDSU, he was offered the opportunity to become the Head Caretaker at the Oak Lake Field Station near Astoria, SD. Leon was able to pursue many of his hobbies such as, fishing, gardening, farming, various building projects, working on tractors and being outdoors. His favorite pastimes were playing with the grandkids, caring for many animals, his robust vegetable garden and growing beautiful flowers. Due to growing health challenges Leon then moved into Toronto, SD where he spent the last several years until his passing. Leon will always be known for his love of sweets, saying wild and crazy things out of the blue and helping those in need.
Leon is survived by his three sons: Leon M. (Cindy) Svoboda, Brookings, SD, Thomas (B. Jean) Svoboda, Clear Lake, SD, and Richard Svoboda, Brookings, SD; two daughters: Jan (Francisco) Angel, Iowa and Amy (Dean) Lacek, Toronto, SD; brother, Larry (Maggie) Svoboda, Harvey, ND; sister, Loretta Nitsche, White Bear Lake, MN; 8 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Leon was preceded in death by his wife Kathryn (Payne) Svoboda; his parents, Frances and Fern (Milton) Svoboda; two brothers: Gene and Arlie Svoboda; brother-in-law, Ken Nitsche; and his grandson, Stephen Gawell.