Mandan News

Obituaries – January 26-February 1, 2013

Michelle Leingang

Michelle M. Leingang, 39, McLaughlin, S.D., died Jan. 22, 2013, at Spearfish, S.D.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, Jan. 26, at Weigel Funeral Home, Mandan, with burial at Mandan Union Cemetery following the service.

Michelle was born July 3, 1973, to John and Alma (LaFromboise) Leingang in Bismarck. She was raised and educated in Solen. Michelle had a fondness for the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. Known for her caring and kindness, she always had a smile on her face. Michelle also loved all animals, but especially loved dogs, often taking in strays.

Michelle will be deeply missed by her daughters, Landi Leingang, Mandan, and Brooke Martinez, Fort Yates; sister, Johnelle Leingang, Mandan; brothers, Rodney Leingang, Bismarck, George Leingang, Cannonball, and Richie Claymore, Fort Yates; nieces and nephews, Kelly and Dakota, Deserae and Paige; great-nieces, Tylee and Annabelle; great-nephew Tayvin; and special friend Keith Swalley, McLaughlin.

Michelle was preceded in death by her parents; and sisters, Lisa and Alyanna.

A special thank you to Aunt Diane and Aunt Linda Gullickson for all the care and comfort given to Michelle’s family.

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James McKenzie

James V. McKenzie, 85, Mandan, died Jan. 18, 2013, at St. Alexius Medical Center, Bismarck.

Services were held on Thursday, Jan. 24, at Messiah Lutheran Church, Mandan, with Rev. Mark Drews officiating. Burial was at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery with Military Honors by Mandan VFW Post No. 707 and American Legion Post No. 40.

James was born Oct. 25, 1927, to Homer and Esther Pearl (Mackrall) McKenzie in Paxton, S.D. Raised on the family farm James was educated and graduated from Gregory High School. In 1945, after joining the U.S. Navy, James was stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas, and remained there until 1947. Upon being honorably discharged James enrolled at South Dakota State University and graduated with a degree in wildlife management; this would lead him to a job in Ellendale, with the North Dakota State Game and Fish Department. Here, James met his beautiful wife Loretta Mintz and they were married on Dec. 27, 1957. Throughout his 44 years with the N.D. State Game & Fish Department the family resided in Dickinson and in Belfield, then settled in Mandan in 1963 and resided there ever since. An outdoor enthusiast, James loved hunting, fishing and gardening.

Family and friends were important to James. He especially cherished the special times he spent with them. Faith played a significant role in James’ life. He was very active in and loved his church, serving in many areas.

Left with fond memories of James and an example of a life well lived, are his wife of 55 years, Loretta, Mandan; children, James (Cindi) McKenzie, New Enterprise, Penn., Julie (Nils) Eldagsen, Mandan, Jodi (Doug) Gerving, Bismarck; grandchildren, Nick (Lindsay) Aune, Tessa Gerving, Breanna Gerving; great-grandchild, James Aune; son-in-law, Ken Aune, Jamestown; sisters, Maxine Moxen-Davis, Cottonwood, Ariz., Shirley (Clair) Turgeon, Winner, S.D.; brother, Kenneth McKenzie, Burke, S.D.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

James was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Jane Aune; and sister, Betty Jane.

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John Schmidt Sr.

John J. Schmidt Sr., 60, Mandan, died Jan. 24, 2013, at his home.

A funeral service was held on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at Buehler-Larson Funeral Home, Mandan, with Monsignor Chad Gion  officiating. Cremation has taken place.

John was born Feb. 6, 1952, in Mandan to Frank and Isabelle (Hatzenbuhler) Schmidt. Raised and educated in Center, he graduated from Center High School in 1970 and served six years in the Army Reserves. On Sept. 12, 1974, he married Joyce Dillmann in Mandan. They made their home west of Mandan and shared 38 years together.

John enjoyed the years he spent driving milk truck and always liked going fishing with family. An inventor and tinkerer, John loved to create things and was very handy. A talented wood craftsman, he built a beautiful dollhouse, bookcases, children’s table and chairs, cradle, and toy boxes for his family that they will always treasure. An appreciation for the outdoors, John could sit on his bench at home and listen and watch nature for hours. He had a soft spot for animals, especially cats. He always loved motorcycles and enjoyed riding his trike the past few years on his circle from Center to New Salem to the truck stop, and then home. He always had a radio on and each song had a meaning to him. His greatest pride and joy was his granddaughter, Julia, who’ll always remember watching Sponge Bob and Tom and Jerry with her Papa. An honest and caring man with a heart of gold, John will forever be remembered by those who knew and loved him. His passing leaves an emptiness that only love and happy memories can fill.

Blessed to have shared his life is his wife, Joyce Schmidt; son, Sonny Schmidt (girlfriend, Tara Skjeie); daughter, Jennifer (Jamie) Reinholt, all of Mandan; grandchildren, Julia and Brenden; brother, Larry (Ginger) Schmidt, Center; sisters, Julie (Donald) Osadchy, Max and Renae (James) Schenatzki, Mandan; many nieces and nephews and Joyce’s extended family; and special friend, Dale Kraft, Mandan.

John was preceded in death by his parents; daughter-in-law, Bobbie Jo Schmidt; and in-laws, Donna and Dale Gullickson and Jack Dillmann.

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Wallace Toepke

Wallace E. Toepke, 83, Mandan, died Jan. 20, 2012, at Medcenter One Hospital, Bismarck.

Cremation has taken place and a private family service was held. Burial was at Mandan Union Cemetery with full military honors.

Wallace was born April 21, 1928, in Judson to Emil and Millie (Kuller) Toepke. Raised and educated in Judson, he graduated from New Salem High School in 1948. In 1946 he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years. During his service he earned the WWII Victory Medal, Army Occupational Medal (Japan), Korean Service Medal with five Bronze Campaign Stars, United Nations Service Medal, and two Overseas Bars.

On Aug. 11, 1952 he married Dolores Kary. Wallace worked at Standard Oil-Amoco-BP, retiring in 1986. He was a member of the American Legion for 56 years and a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church. In his younger days, Wallace enjoyed the outdoors, especially hunting, fishing, and camping. In his retirement, he liked tinkering in the yard and garden and especially helping friends whenever he could.

Wallace is survived by his wife of 59 years, Dolores Toepke, Mandan; three sons, Pat, Jay, and Kirk Toepke; five grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Dorothy Friesz and Mardelle Holle.

Wallace was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Clarence and Chester; and two sisters, Mildred Gaebe and Lucille Webb.

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