Leonard O. Nygaard, 85, of Ludlow, SD, passed away Dec. 25, 2020 after family goodbyes were said at the Fallon Medical Complex in Baker, MT.
Funeral services for Leonard Nygaard were held Jan. 2, 2021 at the Peace Lutheran Church in Scranton. Pastor Mary Wiggins officiated with burial to be held at a later date in the Bowman Cemetery.
Leonard Oscar Nygaard, son of Lars Oscar and Nina Mae (Downing) Nygaard, was born March 24, 1935 on the family ranch in NW Harding County, SD. Leonard attended Lanesboro country school, mostly riding a horse and later driving a tractor to school. He entered Buffalo High School in 1948, graduating in May 1952.
The fall of 1952 Leonard attended an agricultural course at SDSU in Brookings, SD. One weekend he gave a classmate a ride back to his home in Lakefield, MN and was introduced to LaVonne Echternach, his future bride, on a blind date. Leonard joined the Army October 1956, taking basic training at Fort Chaffee, AR and then advanced training for cargo helicopter maintenance at Fort Rucker, AL.
Leonard married LaVonne on May 12, 1957 at Lakefield, MN. Leonard then left to Mannheim, Germany followed by temporary duty to Munich, Germany. He received an honorable emergency discharge due to his fathers’ failing health September of 1958. Both he and LaVonne reported for duty to the family ranch that fall.
Leonard and LaVonne were blessed with not one but three daughters. Nancy Nina (1959), Kathy Marie (1961) and Lori LaVonne (1967). The girls were his boys, raised with love, pride and joy, playing and working with them by his side. Leonard was a good rancher, friend and neighbor. Loved raising Hereford cattle and was committed and passionate about conservation of land which he strived to practice.
Growing up on the family farm, Leonard helped his dad with the raising of small grains, hay and various livestock, including: beef, sheep, hogs, turkeys and poultry. However, during the late 30’s some cattle and sheep were sold off. In 1941 all the sheep were sold and more Hereford cattle were purchased.
Leonard was very active in many organizations throughout the community: Harding County Conservation District, Ludlow Volunteer Fire Department, ND & SD Stockgrowers Associations, Harding County Stockgrowers Association, American Hereford Association, Western Junior Livestock Association, SD Brand Inspector, Bowman Cenex Board, Harding County School Board, Harding County Fair Board, Lanesboro 4-H Club Leader, SD State 4-H Leaders Association, Sunrise Foundation, Sons of Norway, St. John’s Lutheran Church of Haley and Scranton Lions Club.
Leonard loved to hunt, play cards of any kind, visit, eat and tease whenever he could. He and Lavonne enjoyed bowling, then later joined a supper card club, which they thoroughly enjoyed for several years. The highlight of their many trips were two trips to Norway to see relatives. Lastly, Leonard volunteered to proofread the content for the making of the Harding County History Book.
Leonard and LaVonne retired off the ranch and moved to Sunrise Village September 2013. They enjoyed the slower pace, the local residents, and especially visits from family, grandkids and great grandkids, neighbors and friends for several years before moving into long term care at Fallon Medical Complex in Baker, November 2019.
Leonard was preceded in death by his older infant sister, his parents Lars and Nina, and his daughter Kathy Kolb.
Leonard Nygaard is survived by his wife, LaVonne of 63 years in Baker, MT; daughters Nancy Teigen (Russell Hehn-fiancee) of Bowman, ND; and Lori (Dean) Jenkins of Ludlow, SD.
Grandchildren Joshua (Alfahnique) Teigen of Gladstone, ND; Jory (Anna) Teigen of San Bernardino, CA; Jasmin (Joe) Kemp of Williston, ND; Justin (Katrina) Kolb of Belle Fourche, SD; Wil Kolb of Belle Fourche, SD; Dalton Jenkins and Sierra Jenkins both of Ludlow, SD.
Great-grandchildren: Jaceten Teigen, Joslen Teigen, Jaxden Teigen, and Owen Teigen.