Leonard was born on October 6th, 1920 on a farm near Selby, South Dakota. Eldest son of Herman Raether and Margaret (Bruckner) Raether. He attended elementary school in Sanborn County followed by high school in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Graduated 1937 from Aberdeen Central. Upon graduation Leonard returned home to farm with his parents near Esmond, South Dakota. There he met Vera Lorenz, daughter of Paul Lorenz and Emma (Weitzel) Lorenz. Leonard and Vera married November 29th, 1945 in New Ulm, Minnesota. After a couple of years of working in Huron and farming with his parents, Leonard and Vera began their own farming career near Iroquois, South Dakota where they farmed and raised two children, Jerry Raether and Cheryl (Raether) Rockwood. In 1988, they retired and moved to De Smet, South Dakota.
Leonard is survived by his wife of 71 years, Vera (Lorenz) Raether; his son, Jerry Raether (Jane), Ogallala, Nebraska; and his daughter, Cheryl (Raether) Rockwood (Stephen), Poway, California; his grandchildren, Todd Raether (Jennifer), Gordon, Nebraska; Joel Raether (Kim), Denver, Colorado; and Michael Bryant, Lakewood, Colorado; his sister, Margaret (Raether) Heavirland, Vancouver, Washington; his step-brother, Dale Raether (Sue), Belen, New Mexico; his step-sisters, Betty (Raether) Schafer, Carmichael, California, and Darlene (Raether) Knouse, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; his sister-in-law, Faye (Lorenz) Fisher, New Brighton, Minnesota; his one step-grandchild, six great-step-grandchildren, three step-great-great grandchildren. And, his many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his step-mother, Mary (Bruckner) Raether; his brother, Herbert Raether; his sister, Florence (Raether) Ruby; his step-brothers, Herman, Jr. Raether and Leander Raether; his in-laws; his brother-in-laws, Kenneth Heavirland, Danny Knouse, Adrian Ruby, Stu Shafer, William Cronin, Harry DeJong, Wayne Fisher, Clarence Lorenz, and Jabe Lorenz; his sister-in-laws, Betty Raether, Pat Raether, Lucille (Lorenz) DeJong, and Fern (Lorenz) Cronin; and one step-grandchild.
Visitation will be held at the Osthus Funeral Home in De Smet from 5 to 7PM on August 21st. Memorial services will be held on August 22nd at the American Lutheran Church in De Smet at 10:30 AM with fellowship to follow. A private family burial will be held the following day at the Restlawn Memory Gardens in Huron, SD.
Leonard was a proud farmer and father who worked from dawn to dusk to provide a home for his family. Never once did a chore go undone. He taught conservative values and was a determined man who didn’t expect others to do for him. Baseball, country dancing, golf and hunting were his passions. He served as a Board Member of the Kingsbury County, CC. Leonard and Vera are members of the American Lutheran Church, De Smet, South Dakota.
In lieu of flowers, memorials should be given to the De Smet Good Samaritan Center.