Leo Beranek 1942-2013

Posted November 4, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Leo Beranek 1942-2013

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Leo F. Beranek, age 71, passed away peacefully and in true Catholic fashion on All Souls’ Day, November 2, 2013, following a valiant fight with esophageal cancer.  Ever the optimist, Leo’s jovial spirits and positive outlook on life carried him with grace to his last day.

Leo was born on July 5, 1942 to Joseph and Mary Alice (Heenan) Beranek.  He was raised in South Hand and lived in Hand County throughout his life. Because of an introduction made by his mother, he met his soulmate, Mary Goodwin. They were married on November 3, 1962.

Leo took over and continued to operate the farmland homesteaded by his Grandfather James Beranek, where he taught most of his children to drive a tractor well before they turned 10 years old. The love of that land stayed with him and has been passed on to his children and grandchildren. Through his life he was a jack of many trades: cowboy, farmer, rancher, cattle broker, pig trader, carpenter, construction worker, but mostly an entrepreneur. He owned four businesses over the years in and around Miller, S.D.: The Sports Stop, The Ponderosa, Miller Livestock, and Midwestern Auction.  

Quick with a handshake and a warm greeting, to know Leo was to be his friend. He was happy and giving; brave and resilient; humble on his own behalf and wildly proud of his children. A man of deep Christian faith, Leo loved life and loved his family even more. 

He will be missed tremendously by his loving wife and best friend of 51 years, Mary Beranek; his seven children, John Beranek, Thomas (Robin) Beranek, Barbara (Gerald) Rounds, Timothy (Paula Molliconi) Beranek, James Beranek, Angela (Davin) Brandt, and Joseph (Kecia) Beranek; his 14 grandchildren, Brooke, Karleigh, Beau and Gunner Beranek; Austin, Garret, Isaac and Sarah Rounds; Bernadette and Mary Alice Beranek; John, Luke and Leo Brandt; and Lincoln Beranek. He is also survived by his sister Eileen Kusser and in-laws Simon Kusser, Carolyn Beranek, Lynette Buckley, John (Emily Rosenthal) Buckley, Jean (Kelsy Kuehn) Buckley; special cousin Linda O’Connell; as well as many nephews, nieces, cousins, and countless friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Mary Alice Beranek; his brother Marvin Beranek; father-in-law John Buckley; mother-in-law Elizabeth Miller; and brother-in-law Jim Buckley.

A celebration of Leo’s life will take place on Friday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. at St Ann’s Catholic Church, followed by a “Happy Hour” at the Beranek home, where everyone is welcome. Leo’s family asks that you bring your family branding irons to the wake or funeral to help create a special memory to be used at the Beranek ranch. 

A mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. at St Ann’s Catholic Church on Saturday, Nov. 9.  Burial will be at St Ann’s Catholic Cemetery.

In honor of the cattleman, a roast beef dinner will be served following the funeral at the Miller Armory. Leo would want all to come to a “celebration” of life.

Friends and family may sign Leo’s online register at www.remboldfuneralhome.com.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Rembold Funeral Home.