Oliver LeRoy Oleson, age 88 of Camp Crook, went home to heaven on Thursday, August 26, 2021 at his home with his loving wife by his side.
The funeral service will be held 11am Wednesday, September 1, 2021 at the Camp Crook Community Hall, with Pastor Mike Smith officiating. Visitation will be held 5 to 7pm Tuesday at Leverington Funeral Home of the Northern Hills in Belle Fourche.
Leroy was born on April 5, 1933, to Oliver and Aino Oleson in Camp Crook, SD. Leroy attended school in Belle Fourche, SD where he graduated at the age of 18. After high school Leroy enlisted in the United States Army where he served four years in Okinawa, Japan. Upon completion of his tour, Leroy came back to help his parents on their ranch. It was during this time that his love for aviation was born. His love for flying showed in the planes he had during his life a Cessna and Piper Cub. Later his wife would joke that she was in competition with his planes. Leroy spent his days working sunup to sundown on the ranch and learning to fly his plane. In July 1978 his entire life changed when he met the love of his life Maria Ester Balderas. Love at first site is all that it could be described as because in six short months the two were married. Not only did he marry Ester, but he took on the role being a dad for Ester’s two children (Tami and Donny). Leroy then had a family of his own. He spent his early days of marriage working during the day for neighbors and during the night on their ranch. This hard work was not limited to pitching hay by hand with Donny until they were able to afford a tractor. Leroy’s love for numbers and tenacity allowed for the beautiful home of Ester’s dreams to come to fruition. Leroy’s continuous hard work and drive built a beautiful ranch for all his family to enjoy.
Leroy lived a very accomplished life and could be considered a pillar to the community. He served as County Commissioner for eight years and served on the Board of Directors of the REA for 17 years. Leroy was a member of the Masonic Cedar Branch Lodge #179 for 59 years, Worshipful Master in 1971 and an Eastern Star for 40 years. He was also a member of Shriner’s Organization where you could see him dressed as a clown during their events. Leroy committed much of his time to helping others. During hard winters he would use his plane to drop mail to the local ranchers and even flew people to the Billings Hospital when they were in need. His commitment to the community was a large part of his life but the biggest part was the love and time he spent with Ester and her two children. Tami blessed Leroy and Ester with two grandchildren (Jacob and Jared) and Donny blessed them with five grandchildren (Skye, Kimberly, Amy, Nikki and Zion). There was nothing that made Leroy smile more than hearing his grandchildren call him Grandpa. His love for his family and his wife Ester could be spotted from a mile away.
Leroy was a caring, hard-working man that dedicated his time to generously helping others. His family and friends will miss his easy-going smile, smart wits, and love for jokes and puzzles. His family rests easy knowing he was able to spend his final days on his ranch he had built from the ground up with the love of his life.
Leroy is survived by his wife, Ester of Camp Crook, SD; daughter, Tami White of Camp Crook, SD; son, Donny (Jenny) Powell of Buffalo, SD; seven grandchildren, Jacob Russell, Jared Stenerson, Skye Rodriguez, Kimberly Powell, Amy Powell, Nikki Rodriguez and Zion Powell; brother, Charlie (Ella) Oleson; nephews, Gerald Oleson and George Oleson; brother-in-laws, Ruben Balderas and Terry Balderas; nephews, Jesse Pierce, Ruben Pierce, Troy Pierce, Craig Saiz, Ace Saiz, Nicolas Balderas, and Rafe Balderas; niece, Jessica Gutierrez and many great nieces and great nephews.
Leroy was proceeded in death by his parents, Oliver and Aino Oleson; father-in-law, Jimmy Balderas; mother-in-law, Modesta Balderas; brother-in-laws, Junior Balderas, Ernest Balderas and Jesse Balderas; sister-in-law, Rafaela Balderas.
Celebration of Life
11:00 A.M. – Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Camp Crook Community Hall
Camp Crook, South Dakota
Pastor Mike Smith
“Amazing Grace”, I Have Seen the Light”,
“You’re Still the One”
George Oleson Jesse Pierce
Nicolas Balderas Alex Moncur
Rafe Balderas Ty Moncur
Cory Kotek Ryan Moncur
Ernie Melum Zion Powell
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