Leslie “Butch” Kaas, age 73 of Lake Benton and formerly of Minneota, MN passed away on Monday, January 11, 2021 at the Sanford Canby Medical Center. Memorial service will be held at 1:00p.m. on Saturday, January 16th at the Veterans Memorial Park in Minneota, MN. Burial will be at a later date at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN. Houseman Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangements.  A public memorial service will take place at Veterans Park in Minneota on January 16 at 1:00pm followed by a reception at the Sportsmans Club in Minneota until 5:00pm. An official service, with military honors, and interment will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery on a date to be determined.

Butch was born on September 20, 1947 in Tyler, MN to William and Lois (Christensen) Kaas. He attended Minneota High School prior to enlisting in the United States Air Force in March of 1966. Butch completed basic training in Texas at Lackland Air Force Base then on to Grand Forks, ND where he finished training as a tactical aircraft mechanic. From there, Butch received orders to Tourane Air Base in Da Nang, Vietnam where he served during the onset of the Tet Offensive until his separation from active duty in July of 1968. In April of 1974, Butch crossed service by re-enlisting and serving in the Minnesota Army National Guard until July 1980.  Following duty in Vietnam, Butch married Sheryl Hovland on December 6, 1969 at Hope Lutheran Church in Minneota. The couple was blessed with four children as he began his career as a truck driver in the late 60’s. He drove for numerous companies through the years, occasionally working in other trades, but his heart was on the road where he drove professionally for nearly forty years until disabilities from Agent Orange exposure during the Vietnam War forced him into retirement in 2008. Post-retirement, Butch’s commitment to veterans and veteran organizations became his new passion. He proudly and honorable served as the VFW 3rd District Commander in southwest Minnesota and Post Commander of VFW Post 5334 in Minneota.  When not running up and down the highway, Butch enjoyed fishing, hunting, watching sports, and “shootin’ the breeze” with countless friends and acquaintances. He was one of those guys who could, and would, approach and talk to anyone.  Butch was a brave and loyal airman, a patriot through-and through; a faithful husband, a loving dad, and typical grandpa.

Leslie Steven “Butch” Kaas, died peacefully on January 11, 2021 at Sanford Health Sylvan Court in Canby, MN.

He is survived by his wife, Sheryl (Hovland) Kaas of Lake Benton; son, Steven and Rebecca (Higgins) Kaas of Russell; son, Scott and Brooke (Gilman) Kaas of Cedar Rapids, IA; daughter, Staci and Jason Carstens of Canby; and son, Shawn Kaas of Slayton; grandchildren Mathew and Sarah Kaas of Cedar Rapids; Baily Kaas of Minneota; Will Weber of Watertown, SD; and Ryan Siedschlag of Canby; brothers and sisters, Keith Kaas of Fayetteville, GA; Cleila “Sis” (and Paul) Fonteyn of Minneota; Arlyce “Kay” (and Ron) Gillund of Cary, IL; Vicky Kaas of Sioux Falls, SD; Kevin Kaas of Lynd; Roger Kaas of Minneota; Twyla (and Greg) Hennen of Ghent; Kathy (and Curt) Ireland of Diamondhead, MS; Rose (and Gordy) Van Uden of Minneota; Darla (and Kurt) Vaughn of Amhurst, NH; Kristi (and Mel) Breyfogle of Minneota; aunt, Val Donna “Donnie” Jensen of Nevis, MN; numerous nieces and nephews; and brothers-in-law, Lennis (and Arlyss) Hovland of Marshall; Tom Hovland of Minneota; and Mark Hovland of Minneota.  Butch was preceded in death by his father, William Kaas; mother, Lois (Christensen) Gossen; grandchildren, Jacob and Jordan Kaas, who died in infancy; mother and father-in-law, Alvin and Edna Hovland; sister-in-law, Jeanette Hovland; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, fellow serviceman and childhood best friend, Tom Bradley of Minneota, who was killed-in-action in Vietnam; local veterans, and many, many close friends.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Butch’s name to the Wounded Warrior Project. https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/donate