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Leo A. Blaha

    Leo A. Blaha, 90, of St. Paul, died Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at the Howard County Medical Center in St. Paul.       Services will be 10:30 a.m. Monday at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in St. Paul. The Rev. Ray Kosmicki will officiate. Burial will be in the St. Wenceslaus Catholic Cemetery west of St. Paul with graveside military honors by Carl Mogensen American Legion Post 119 of St. Paul.       Visitation will be Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. at the church, with a 5 p.m. vigil service.       Peters Funeral Home of St. Paul is in charge of the arrangements.       Mr. Blaha was born on June 26, 1923, at Elba, the son of Anton J. and Rosie (Novotny) Blaha.       He was united in marriage to Ruth H. Wiebelhaus on June 19, 1965, at Battle Creek. She preceded him in death on Dec. 10, 2002.       He is survived by two daughters and sons-in-law, Julie and Mike Koch of Yankton, SD and Jeanne and Chad Pinkman of Lincoln; and one sister, Evelyn Dvorak of St. Paul.       He also leaves to cherish his memory six grandchildren, Jordan Koch, Hunter Koch, Dylann and Rose Pinkman, Noah Pinkman, Chloe Pinkman and Leo Pinkman; and one great-grandson, Maximus Pinkman.       At the age of one year, Leo moved to the family farm near Elba and attended Howard County District No. 13 rural school and was a 1941 graduate of St. Paul High School. Upon completing his education he farmed with his father.       He served in the United States Army during World War II, from May 19, 1945 to Nov. 19, 1946. After completing his military service, he returned to farming in Howard County.       He and Ruth lived and farmed in the Midway area west of St. Paul their entire married life. He was also a certified seed grower for 30 years and an Archer Oil salesman for 40 years.       In 2007, he moved from the farm to the Parkside Plaza in St. Paul, where he lived the rest of his life.       Leo was a member of Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church. He was instrumental in forming the St. Wenceslaus Cemetery Board and was a longtime sexton of the cemetery and had served as president for a number of years. He had served on the elevator boards in Elba and St. Paul and was a former school board member of Dist. No. 13 and Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic School. He was also a longtime member of Carl Mogensen American Legion Post 119, member of the 40 & 8, Drum & Bugle Corp, Sons of American Legion, VFW Post 10752, and DAV, all of St. Paul. Leo was also very involved with the Howard County Historical Society and enjoyed his time as a “Study Buddy” with the St. Paul Public Schools.       Leo believed in the importance of education and his involvement with the former Sts. Peter & Paul School. He greatly loved music, history and kolaches and was a very patriotic man, that was proud of his service to his country. He was a very involved Grandpa, that traveled many miles to watch his grandchildren in their many school sports and activities.       In addition to his wife, Ruth, he was preceded in death by his parents.       In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Howard County Historical Society.        

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So sorry to hear about your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Ed & LeeAnn Pinkman Apr 5 2014 8:36 AM

Leo and Ruth were the best of neighbors. Their daughters were some of my best friends growing up and I can't imagine my childhood without the Blahas. Leo always took the time to talk to me. He made our shared history of Howard County come alive. That passion of history remains with me today. The roadtrip I took with the Blaha family to Yankton remains one of my fondest high school memories. I still cherish the Saint Christopher medal Leo and Ruth gave me for my car after my high school graduation. It has always been present in all of my cars. Thank you, Blaha family.

Ron Sack Apr 4 2014 4:37 PM

Leo was an integral part of St. Paul and of Howard County. The community of St. Paul has lost an icon, and the family of Leo has lost an outstanding member who will truly be missed by all who knew and loved him. My sincere sympathy on the loss of this great man.

Emma Trouba Apr 4 2014 2:48 PM