Obit: Smith, Leona M. (1933 – 2015)


Surnames: Smith, Middlestead, Schruam, , Campbell, Serchen, Carlisle, Jennerman, Siedler, Chaltry, Weber, Hendrickson, Forgein, Gburek, Markstrum, Loutt, Schlauch, Speidel, Dobber, Raul

----Source: Tribune/Record/Gleaner (Abbotsford, Wis.) 29 Apr 2015

Smith, Leona M. (29 OCT 1933 – 14 APR 2015)

Leona M. Smith, 81, Greenwood, passed away peacefully, with her children at her side, on Tuesday, April, 14 2015, at Stoney River Facility of Marshfield. Funeral services were held at 11 a.m., on Saturday, April 18, at the Gesche Funeral Home in Neillsville.

Leona Middlestead was born on Oct. 29, 1933, in Dickey County, N.D., to Adolph and Elizabeth (nee Schruam) Middlestead. She was raised and graduated from school in Monago, N.D. During her teenage years she had worked as a candy striper at the Ellendale Hospital/Nursing Home. Leona married Kenneth E. Smith on June 9, 1953, in North Dakota. They moved to the Neillsville area in 1954 and then worked alongside each other farming for many years. From 1966-72 she also enjoyed being an Avon representative. In 1972 they relocated to Ladysmith, where they owned and managed Lamar’s Fashion Shop, and she offered seamstress services. In 1974 they returned to farming in the Greenwood area. Later, Leona was employed as a cook for Lamar Schmitt’s café in Neillsville. In 1978 she started working as fryer/baker at Mallegni’s Food’s of Neillsville. Leona continued working there, through various owners, including United Foods, Steve Bell, Burnstads, and more than 25 years with Marty’s Food’s, retiring at the age of 78. Leona appreciated participating in the Christie area Ladies Sewing Circle. Crocheting, fabric painting and drawing were some of her other interests. She also took pleasure in horseback riding, and especially with one of her favorite Shetland ponies, Prince. In her later years, Leona found delight with her miniature horses. Dining out with family and friends was one of her chosen enjoyments.

She will be remembered by her three children, Mary Ellen Campbell, Neillsville, Elizabeth A. (Dave) Serchen, Marshfield, and Charles E. (Sue Carlisle) Smith, Merrillan; her grandchildren, Michael J. Campbell, Cypress, Texas, Jason E. (Jody) Jennerman, Pickett, Clifford H. (Peggy Siedler) Jennerman, Marshfield, and Darrell (Kimberly) Chaltry, Marshfield; her great-grandchildren, Austin and Abby Jennerman and Lily and Riley Chaltry; her honorary daughter, Kathy Weber, Houston, Texas; her honorary granddaughters, Patty Hendrickson, Marathon, and Krissy Hendrickson, Houston, Texas; her sister, Mabel (Art) Forgein, Jamestown, N.D.; and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.

Leona was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth; Dave Serchen, Sue Carlisle and good friends Norm Gburek and Peter Markstrum; her parents; her sisters, Emily (Walter) Loutt, Matilda (Otto) Schlauch, Ida (Chris) Speidel, Esther (George) Dobber, Edna (John) Dobber, and Evelyn (Maynard) Raul; and her brothers, Alfred (Murial) Middlestead, Adolph Middlestead, Walter (Edna) Middlestead, Oscar (Annette) Middlestead and Jacob Middlestead.

Online condolences may be made at

The Gesche Funeral Home, Neillsville, assisted the family with arrangements.



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