Leonard Smith, 89, Madelia

Published 9:18 am Friday, August 23, 2013

Leonard William Smith was born July 15, 1924, to Frank P. and Lavina (Kappes) Smith in Madelia, the third of nine children. He grew up on their farm southeast of Madelia. Leonard entered the Marine Corps on Jan. 30, 1943, serving until the end of  World War II. After boot camp in San Diego, Calif., he completed amphibian tractor training in Florida and then served with C Co. 3rd Amphib Tractor Battalion on South Pacific Islands from Guam to Iwo Jima. Leonard participated in the invasion of  Iwo Jima, hauling men and supplies to the beach under heavy shelling. He later trained in Hawaii for the pending invasion of Japan. Pfc. Leonard Smith was honorably discharged Dec. 7, 1945. After the war, Leonard farmed for 19 years with his brother, Paul.

Leonard married Norma Louise Wandersee on June 22, 1949, and she joined him on the farm. In December 1964 they moved into the town of Madelia where Leonard purchased the Madelia Black Smith Shop from John Mayr. In 1974 he built a new shop outside of Madelia where he worked until he retired. Leonard was active in the Madelia VFW and American Legion, serving as past commander. He was also a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Leonard was never too busy to attend an auction and never came home empty handed.

He is survived by his wife, Norma; son, David; daughters, Barbara (special friend Nathan Thompson) and Jean (Glenn) Hansen; grandchildren, Keri (Cory) Slegh, Joseph Reed, Emily Reed, Jane (Mark) Borgen, Stephen (Maria) Hansen and Elizabeth Hansen; five great-grandchildren; siblings, Robert Smith SJ, Marvin Smith, Marie Smith SSND; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, five brothers; one daughter; and one great-granddaughter.

Email newsletter signup