Mass of Christian Burial for Leon Van Den Broeke, 91, of Marshall, will be at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, October 3, 2022, at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Marshall. Visitation will be Sunday from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m., with a rosary at 4:00 p.m. and a prayer service at 6:45 p.m., at the Horvath Remembrance Center in Marshall. Visitation will continue Monday from 8:30 until 9:30 a.m. at the Remembrance Center. Interment will follow the service at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Marshall.
Leon Edward Van Den Broeke, age 91, was born on July 8, 1931, in Green Valley, MN to John and Aldea (Dandurand) Van Den Broeke. The fifth of seven children, Leon spent his childhood attending school in Marshall and Minneota, as well as working on the family farm. Leon married Marian Thooft on September 16, 1952, at St. Eloi Catholic Church in Ghent, MN. They were blessed to recently celebrate 70 years of marriage. Leon and Marian initially made their home on the farm before moving to Marshall in 1963 when Leon began working for Schwans. They spent 13 years living on Donita Street with their nine children before moving to Silvervine Drive in 1976 and then to Hill Street Place in 2013. In 1968 Leon joined the Marshall Police Department, working as an officer and detective until elected to serve as the Lyon County Sheriff from 1979 through 1983. Over the years he drove semi trucks for Floyd Wild, Schwans, Lyon County Co-Op, Quicky Transport, and others. He lived nearly his entire life in Lyon County. Leon was a devout Catholic. He lived his faith in all his activities. Known as a talented woodworker, Leon enjoyed building cabinets, crafts for Marian to paint, little chairs for all his grandchildren, and intricate dollhouses for his granddaughters that have been passed down to great-granddaughters. Leon loved trains and built an entire room for an electric train set, complete with miniature towns, rivers, and mountains. His grandchildren loved to blow the whistle. Leon enjoyed keeping pigeons as pets; and he would build squirrel feeders but also come up with ingenious ways to keep the squirrels out of the bird feeders. An avid fisherman, Leon’s favorite place was out on the boat. He taught all his kids and some of the grandkids how to fish, and truly enjoyed spending time with family and friends dropping a line. He always had a fish story to share. He will be remembered for his strong faith, smile, laugh, stories, and trademark suspenders.
Leon died on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, at his residence in Marshall.
Leon is survived by his wife of 70 years, Marian, and their nine children: Patricia (Frank Wille) of Colorado Springs, CO; Robert (Julia) of Chaska, MN; Ronald of Custer, SD; Judy (David) Kuhlman of Brookings, SD; Susan (Charles) DeVetter of Council Bluffs, IA; Kathy (Rick) Schwantes of Wilmar, MN; Fran Hussong of New Braunfels, TX; Sharon Bossert of Omaha, NE; and Leon Jr. (Linda) of Elkhorn, NE; in addition to 25 grandchildren, their spouses, and 25 great-grandchildren.
Leon is preceded in death by his parents, John and Aldea; sister Louise Serreyn; brothers Bernard, Henry, Earl, Edgar and Loyd Van Den Broeke; daughter-in-law Gloria Van Den Broeke; and grandchildren Anthony and Allison Van Den Broeke and Alexander Bossert.