Cover photo for Leigh Patten's Obituary
Leigh Patten Profile Photo
1929 Leigh 2021

Leigh Patten

March 21, 1929 — January 25, 2021



Leigh E. Patten, age 91 of Belle Fourche, died Monday, January 25, 2021 at the Monument Health Spearfish Hospital.

Mass of Christian Burial will take place 10:30 am Thursday, January 28, 2021, at St. Paul Catholic Church in Belle Fourche.  At 10am the Rosary will be prayed.  A visitation will be held 5 to 7pm Wednesday at Leverington Funeral Home of the Northern Hills in Belle Fourche.  Inurnment will take place in Black Hills National Cemetery.

The Mass will be livestreamed online, on the funeral home’s website, on Leigh’s obituary page found at:

Leigh Earley was born March 21, 1929 in Mile City, Montana.  She was the daughter of Lester and Lillian (Haasel) Earley.  Leigh grew up in Powder River County Montana, on the Powder River.  She graduated from the Billings Senior High School in 1947 and attended St. Mary University in Leavenworth KS, obtaining an education degree.  Later in life she would earn a teaching degree from Black Hills State University.  In 1952, Leigh was married and that marriage would later end in divorce.  On June 3rd, 1965, Leigh was united in marriage to John Patten.  John and Leigh lived in Belle Fourche for many years while they raised 8 children.  Leigh was a school teacher in Newell and she also coached the track team in 1968 and 1969.  She also was a librarian at Black Hills State University, later in life.    John passed away in 2008 and since then, Leigh continued to live at home, and cared for her sheep and cows for the rest of her life.  For the past 4 years, LuKasey Dean-Hill made it possible for Leigh to stay at home, as her health declined.  She was always so grateful for that care.

Leigh’s life was all about her kids and family.  She loved rodeos, and what it had to offer her family.  She loved the western way of life.  She loved animals as well, and she was a fantastic cook who made home-made bread, jelly, apple butter, and all the rest.  For many years, Leigh was very active with the Miss Rodeo South Dakota pageant.  She enjoyed coaching young ladies and several of them became Miss Rodeo South Dakota and even Miss Rodeo America.  She was full of spirit and you could say she spent her entire life raising her children.  She will be greatly missed by them all.

Leigh is survived by her children: Ronny (Ann) Mackaben of Broadus MT, Kathleen Mackaben-Griffith of Decatur TX, Linda (Jeff Larson) Steward of Watertown MN, Barry Mackaben of Ocala FL, Diane (Dave) Reiter of Parker CO, Leslie (Andy) White of Helena MT, Sean (Glenna) Patten of Bozeman MT, Laura (Eric) Knothe of Meridian ID; 29 grandchildren; 26 great grandchildren; and sister, Ann and Margaret.  She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; infant son, Joseph; sisters, Helen, Kay, Betty; and brothers, Buck and John.


Mass of Christian Burial

10:30 A.M. – Thursday – January 28, 2021

St. Paul Catholic Church

Belle Fourche, South Dakota



Father Zane Pekron



Katie Hoffman, pianist



(All the Grandchildren)

Brad, Chad, Josh, Kacey, Boe, Austin, Willie, Callie, Nathan, Kore, Levi, Wyatt, Tate, Kara, John-Michael, Sarah, Allyson, Brittany, Paige, Zachary, Tace, Laine, Cille, Kieran, Trilby, Beckett, Kaelan, Seth, Caroline



Black Hills National Cemetery

Sturgis, South Dakota

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

5:00 - 7:00pm (Mountain time)

Leverington Funeral Home of the Northern Hills

715 National St, Belle Fourche, SD 57717

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Funeral Mass

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Starts at 10:30am (Mountain time)

St. Paul's Catholic Church

855 5th Ave, Belle Fourche, SD 57717

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