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Leon Reis, 81

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Leon Reis, 81

Leon Clarence Reis, 81, was called to that great “clubhouse in the sky” on August 27, 2013 after courageously fighting a prolonged illness.

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Leon was born in Roscoe, SD on May 17, 1932. Leo’s parents moved to Glenham, SD where the family farmed and Leo attended and graduated from high school. Leo was involved in sports during his school days and excelled in track and field, basketball and baseball.

In 1952, Leo joined the Army National Guard and upon entering the Army, served in the Pacific during the Korean War. During this time, America was testing several nuclear weapons in the Marshall Island area where Leo served as a cook.

Upon his release from the Army in 1954, Leo moved to Mobridge, SD where he met and married the “apple of his eye,” Bettie Zimmerman. In 1957, Leo attended college at Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD majoring in business and later graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business. He began his business career selling life insurance and then later in 1961 began a banking career with Citizen’s Bank of Mobridge, SD originating installment loans and selling insurance.

In 1967, Leo and his family moved to Enderlin, ND where Leo became part owner of People’s Insurance. In 1970, Leo began working full time for the People’s and Enderlin State Bank, which was owned by his friend and mentor, Frank Farrar. He later became the president of the bank in 1975.

During these early years in Enderlin, civic duty and responsibility were extremely important to Leo. In 1971, after Enderlin’s mayor stepped down, Leo was appointed to finish the term. In 1972, Leo was elected as Enderlin mayor and served until 1980. Leo was also very active in fraternal organizations, local charities and other civic organizations, such as the Enderlin Golf Club. Leo especially enjoyed the opportunity to work with high school students that were involved in the local chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America organization.

In 1987, Leo left Enderlin to work for Bremer Bank in Carrington, ND and later to Randall, MN as bank president for two years. In 1989, Leo returned to Enderlin, purchasing the insurance agency from People’s and Enderlin State Bank. He named it Reis Agency and ran it there until 1996, when he sold the agency to new owners. He continued to work as an agent there until his retirement in 2006.

Upon retirement, Leo and Bettie left Enderlin for Alexandria to be closer to family.

Leo is survived by his wife of 59 years, Bettie; two daughters, Paula Bergstrand (Paul) of Alexandria, Kari Janz (Steve) of Moose Lake; son, Chuck (Bonnie Beaton) of Meridian, Idaho; nine grandchildren, Haley Kalina (Pat), Mark, Ann, Ellie Bergstrand, Brittani Janz, Zachary Janz, Natalie Beckstrand (Jon), Taylor and Jordan Reis; seven great-grandchildren, Emma Janz, Carlos, Julian, Daymian, Nicolas Beckstrand, Sam and Millie Kalina; sister, Bernie Gunther; brother, Donald Reis; many nieces and nephews.

Leo was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Johanna Reis; brother, Charles; and sisters, Helen and Imogene.

The joys of Leo’s life were his family and in particular his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Leo loved to golf and enjoyed time spent with his golf buddies. Leo will always be remembered for his kind heart, warm smile and infectious laugh. He will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched.

Mass of Christian Burial was held Friday, August 30 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alexandria. Burial was at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.

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