Obituary of Leona Ann Bruner
Mitchell – Leona Ann Bruner, 93, went to her heavenly home Wednesday, August 9 at Edgewood Mitchell Memory Care Center from Alzheimers Disease. Funeral mass will be Monday, August 14 at 11:00 am, with visitation beginning at 10:00 am, at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Geddes. Arrangements by Koehn Bros. Funeral Home in Armour.
Leona Ann Slaba Bruner, oldest of three children, was born to Charlie and Rose (Tucek) Slaba on December 21, 1929. She loved her family, church, school and community and was very involved with multiple activities and events with these organizations. She attended school in Geddes and graduated high school in 1947. After graduation, she received her teaching certificate from Notre Dame in Mitchell, SD. It would be some years later after multiple summer school sessions that she received her teaching degree from Southern State Teachers College in Springfield, SD.
At her best with students, she was a teacher who wanted to share her passion for education and make school a positive experience for several generations of students in country school and the Geddes School District. “Mrs. Bruner” , or "Radar" (an endearing nickname given to her by her students) was a dedicated and committed teacher in her over 40 year teaching career and wanted to provide a fun, engaging, learning environment for her students and encourage each student to believe in his or her own abilities. Over the years, many Geddes students kept in touch with her through letters, cards and visits, always remembering a funny story or a special event or a “teaching moment” that helped shape that student’s life. She also enjoyed mentoring new young teachers coming in to the Geddes school system.
Leona married her high school sweetheart, Tom Bruner, on November 29th, 1950. Two children were born to this union, Tom Jr. and Diane. Tom and Leona lived their entire life in Geddes. Tom Sr. passed away suddenly on May 12, 2003.
Leona spent countless hours decorating and caring for St. Ann’s Catholic Church for Sunday services, special holidays and bazaars. She and Tom also built and decorated numerous floats for annual homecoming celebrations, community celebrations and class reunions. Leona was only a phone call away when organizations needed a volunteer. And she usually enlisted Tom to join these adventures. She was also active in the VFW Women’s Auxiliary, Geddes Civic Club, St. Ann’s Altar Society and Red Hat Society.
Tom and Leona spent many afternoons and evenings playing cards with their hometown friends and family, treasured their time together as dance partners and took short road trips for dinner and dancing. Her spicey personality resulted in a woman of strong character, tireless work ethic and a “get it done” attitude.
While the final chapter of her life with dementia and Alzheimers was very trying for her and her family, nothing will diminish the love, kindness and generosity she gave to others and her family.
Leona is survived by her son, Tom Jr. of Geddes and Diane (Don Edwards) Larson of Yankton. Her grandchildren Jennifer (Justin Dietrich) Larson of Yankton, Barry (Faith) Larson of Sioux Falls, SD, Brett Larson of Omaha, NE and Tom (Meredith) Bruner III of Eden Prairie, MN. Also great-grandchildren Max and Sienna Dietrich, Eliana, Barrett and Ashton Larson, and Gabriel Bruner, brother Charles Slaba, brother-in-law Ed and Betty Bruner, sister-in-law Rose Slaba and many nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death are her husband Tom Sr., son-in-law Barry Larson, brother Bob Slaba, in-laws Bob & Lorraine Bruner, Wilma Slaba and Rich & Sharon Bruner.
In lieu of flowers, please consider gifting backpacks/school supplies in memory of Mrs. Bruner’s teaching career. The family will distribute to students in the local school district.
In Loving Memory
1929 - 2023
821 Main St,
11 N. Main St.,
Lake Andes, SD
309 W. Main St.,
PO Box 928 Parkston, SD
218 Main St., Stickney, SD
125 S. Corse St., Corsica, SD
220 S. Main Ave., Geddes, SD