Leo Anthony Vetter
July 26th, 1932 – Mar. 9, 2017
Leo Anthony Vetter, the son of Joseph Jr. and Amelia (Weninger) Vetter was born on July 26, 1932 in rural Esmond, North Dakota in the home of his parents. He died at the age of 84 years on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at the Heart of America Medical Center in Rugby, North Dakota.
Leo was raised in the rural home of his parents and was baptized and confirmed at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Esmond, where he served as an altar boy while growing up. He attended school in Esmond, graduating from Esmond High School class of 1950. Leo farmed with his Dad until 1963 when his Dad retired. While farming he also worked for the Signal Department of the Great Northern Railroad from 1955 to 1961. Leo was united in marriage to Barbara Focke on April 3, 1961 in Noonan, North Dakota. They resided in Minot until August, 1961 when they moved to Esmond. He continued to farm and began work as a lineman with Baker Electric Cooperative of Cando in 1962. In 1963, they moved to Cando. In 1964, they moved to Rugby where he worked on the maintenance crew until health reasons forced his retirement.
Leo and his family joined Little Flower Catholic Church in Rugby. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council #4136, serving as Grand Knight during 1978-1979. He was named Knight of the Year for 1970-71. Later he became a 4th Degree Knight in the John F. Kennedy Assembly of the KC. He also served on the parish council and was a Eucharistic Minister. Leo enjoyed a social membership in the Clarence Larson Post # 23 of the American Legion and a member of the Rugby Eagles where he spent many an afternoon playing pinochle.
He enjoyed his retirement spending 28 summers at Devils Lake fishing, watching the sunsets from the deck of the trailer and riding around the campground on his golf cart visiting the “lake friends”. At home, on First Street, he enjoyed keeping up on the happenings on the “north side of the tracks” on his three-wheeled scooter. The time spent “lawn chair patrolling” with his special friends Butch and Don, was very precious to him.
Leo’s family was very dear to him, he loved them very much and appreciated the fact that when he was no longer able to work, they took very good care of him. When forced to retire, he sold some of his land so his children could each receive a college education. He was very proud of the fact that the Kallenbach’s of Esmond began to farm his land in 1975 and continue to do so to this day. Leo and Barb enjoyed many years traveling south and west during the winter to visit children.
Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Barbara; 3 daughters, Karen (Kent) Gebhardt of Arlington, Texas, Nancy Vetter of Bend, Oregon and Sally (Steve) Diehl of St. Louis Park, Minnesota; one son, Gary (Jeanne) Vetter of Bismarck; 6 grandchildren, Allison (Michael) Rice, Rachel Gebhardt, Alex and Grace Mockaitis, Joseph and Bishop Vetter; one sister, Helen Eberle of Silverdale, Washington; two brothers, Francis (Doreen) Vetter of Minot and James (Rose) Vetter of Velva; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by one sister, Irene Hegseth;2 brothers-in-law; and his parents.
Mass of Christian Burial was held at 4:00 p.m. Monday, March 13th at the Little Flower Catholic Church in Rugby with spring burial in the church cemetery. Fr. Tom Graner, Celebrant.
Organist: Glenda Mack
Vocal Leader/Cantor: Jacinta Schmaltz
Casket Bearers: Patrick Wolf, Daniel Vetter, Steve Diehl, JackKallenbach, Richard Volk & Alex Mockaitis
Honorary Bearers: The 4th and 3rd Degree Knights of Columbus.
Arrangements with the Anderson Funeral Home of Rugby. Online registry: www.funeralsbyanderson.com
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