Leonard Anthony Thibodeau, age 87, of Buffalo, died Friday, Feb. 18, 2011, at Park View Care Center in Buffalo.
He was born June 1, 1923, in Rockford, the son of Alexander and Katherine Bokusky Thibodeau. Leonard’s father tragically drowned in Lake Rebecca when Leonard was very young. His mother could not take care of all the children in the family, so Leonard’s grandparents raised him on their farm outside of Rockford.
Leonard left school after the seventh grade so he could take care of the farm for his mother.
He served in the Army for two years in Saipan, Okinawa, and then as part of the occupying forces in Japan.
Leonard married Evelyn Jan. 18, 1947. God blessed their marriage with six children: Bruce, Diane, Keith, Craig, Wendy, and Cindy.
Leonard’s favorite part of farming was his team of horses, and he took good care of them. He worked very hard on the farm, with 30 cows and a bull, milking morning and evening.
One of the things Leonard was proudest of doing was recovering from a stroke. He worked very hard for many months in therapy to learn to walk, talk, and use his left hand again.
Leonard was raised Catholic, but became Lutheran when he married. He went to church every Sunday, and enjoyed spending time in prayer. His favorite Scripture passage was The Lord’s Prayer, and two of his favorite hymns were “The Old Rugged Cross” and “Amazing Grace.”
Leonard is survived by his children: Bruce (Linda) Thibodeau of Buffalo, their children, Brandon Thibodeau and special friend Karina, Brooke and Jen Thibodeau, and great-grandchildren Carson, Teagon, and Brianna Thedens; Diane (Dale) Lay of Buffalo, their children, Traci Lay and Chad and Jennifer Lay, and great-grandchild Raven Lay; Keith Thibodeau of Rockford, his children, Dennis and Shannon Thibodeau, Patrick and Amy Thibodeau, Mickael Taylor and Angel and Cory Maish, and great-grandchildren Isabelle Thibodeau, Aiden Thibodeau, Tre and Austin Taylor, and Julius and Keaton Maish; Craig (Lisa) Thibodeau of Clearwater, their children, Lara and Jordan Feyma, Jordan and Tiffanie Thibodeau, Drew Thibodeau and fiancée Kristina Ihrke, Beauregard Thibodeau and Shennon Thibodeau, and great-grandchildren Tristan Thibodeau and Omar Feyma; Wendy Thibodeau of Glencoe, her daughter, Ashley and Matthew Maiers, and great-grandchild Jude Maiers; and Cindy Summers of Waverly.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Adeline DesMarais and Betty (Edward) Glunz Kippley; and former wife Evelyn Thibodeau.
Funeral services took place Thursday, Feb. 24 at 10 a.m. at the Peterson Chapel in Buffalo with Pastor Highland Goodman officiating. Congregational hymns were “Onward Christian Soldiers” and “Children of the Heavenly Father.” Interment with military rites followed at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
Visitation was Wednesday, Feb. 23 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Peterson Chapel in Buffalo.
Honorary casket bearers were Brandon Thibodeau, Patrick Thibodeau, Jordan Thibodeau, Shennon Thibodeau, Beauregard Thibodeau, and Mickael Taylor.
Casket bearers were Chad Lay, Brooke Thibodeau, Drew Thibodeau, Jordan Feyma, Dennis Thibodeau, and Ashley Maiers.
The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo served the family. Online condolences may be made to www.thepetersonchapel.com.