Leland (Lee) Brown, 63, Sioux Falls, S.D., died on July 18, 2020 from cancer. He was born Oct. 15, 1956, to Wallace and Betty (Phelps) Brown of Oldham, S.D. He grew up on the family farm and attended the Drakola Congregational Country Church and the Drakola Common (one room) Country School until they both closed in the late 60s, and then attended Oldham Public where he graduated from high school. He was also a graduate of the University of South Dakota with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
His career working in the government relations and political consulting fields began in South Dakota and lasted for many years before moving to Denver, Colo., to live and work near the Rocky Mountains that he so enjoyed. A few years later, he moved down the road to Santa Fe, N.M., in the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) Mountains, the southern subrange of the Rockies, to work from there for years. He also spent a year in Florida on a government relations project before returning to South Dakota several years ago to live with his sister, Judy, who then suffered a spinal cord injury. After her death, he returned to his beloved Santa Fe but came back to South Dakota in late 2018, and it was then that his battle with cancer began.
Brown is survived by one sister, Lou Ann (Greg) Zerfas of Sioux Falls and a brother, Rodney, of Seattle, Wash. He is also survived by nephews and a niece; Scott (Stacey), Nikki (Sven) and Christopher (Blair) Zerfas, and his great nieces, Robyn and Willow Zerfas. He was preceded in death by his parents, Wallace and Betty, and sister, Judy.
At Leland’s request, there will be no memorial service. A private, immediate family only ceremony will be held at a later date, where his ashes will be spread at his favorite spot on the farmland where he was born and raised. The family will honor his firm requests on these matters and keep it all simple as he asked. Please direct any financial memorials to the Avera McKennan Foundation in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Condolences may be sent to the family through www.rudesfuneralhome.com