Velma Irene Leichtenberg, 92, formerly of Iroquois and more recently of De Smet, passed away at Good Samaritan Society, De Smet, on Sat., April 10, 2021.
A family memorial gathering and burial of ashes at the Iroquois Cemetery will be held at a later date.
Velma was born Nov. 7, 1928, to W.G. (Bill) and Helena (Petersen) Doland in Yankton, S.D., where her father was employed. She attended Beadle County rural schools, McKinley School in Huron, Huron High School and Iroquois High School, where she graduated in 1947.
She married Perry Dean Snyder of Iroquois, and they had a daughter, Kathleen (Kathy).
In 1952, she married Robert E. (Bob) Leichtenberg of Iroquois, and they had three sons, Robert C. (Bob), Randall Scott and Steven P. (Sonny).
Velma was a stay-at-home mom while the children were young.
Her hobbies included sewing, collecting antiques, refinishing furniture and doing crafts, especially needlework.
In 1967, she and Bob bought Pete’s Home Store at Iroquois and renamed it Home Store. After Bob died unexpectedly in 1975, Velma and a partner, Tootie Flowers, opened Countryside Cafe, which became known for the Monster Burger, plate-size pancakes, homemade noon specials and lively conversation.
After closing the cafe, Velma opened an antiques and crafts shop, Red Cottage Gifts, in the same location on Highway 14. She gradually retired and devoted her time to reading, crossword puzzles, gardening and grandkids.
In 2019, after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she became a resident of the GSS nursing home at De Smet, where she enjoyed activities, especially painting, which was a special talent, until her health declined.
Velma is survived by her daughter, Kathy Nelson of Timber Lake; two sons, Sonny and his wife Donna of Iroquois and Bob (Angel) and his wife Diana of De Smet; four grandchildren, Brandon Leichtenberg of Watertown, Jay Leichtenberg and his wife Misty and their children Miles and Ivy of Castlewood, Kendall Leichtenberg and his wife Shayla of Vermillion and April Leichtenberg of Yankton; two sisters, Nancy Fenicle and her husband Eldon of Sioux Falls and Pearl Jepsen of California; a brother, Bill Doland and his wife Margaret of Lehigh Acres, Fla. and many nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death are her parents; her husband, Bob and a son, Scott.