Leonard Kaspersma

04_obit_leonard-kaspersmaLeonard Kaspersma was born on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 1928, in Conrad. He was one of four children born to John and Maggie (Forewolf) Kaspersma. His father was of Dutch descent and was an early homesteader in the Conrad community.

Leonard grew up on a farm east of Conrad and received his formal education there. He lived in the area throughout his adult life and farmed with his brother, Howard. In 1979 Leonard retired and made his home in Conrad.

In 1996, Leonard met a Choteau area woman, Debra Kim Curtin, who was related to several of his local friends. Leonard and Debra became special friends and companions in the years that followed. They enjoyed spending time together and caring for each other, so they married on Sept. 26, 2004 in Conrad. In 2007 they moved to Rudyard, where they raised Chihuahua puppies and enjoyed a peaceful life together. Although Debra suffered from a seizure disorder and other medical problems, it was a heart breaker to Leonard when she died July 17, 2009. Leonard’s health was also fragile at that time, but he chose to stay in his home at Rudyard. Special care was provided to him by his good friends and neighbors, the Laney family. During the past year Leonard’s health had steadily improved and he was able to get out-and-about in the community.

Unfortunately, he fell about six weeks ago and was admitted to the Northern Montana Hospital in Havre, where he had hip surgery. He was recently discharged and returned to his Rudyard home, where he died peacefully in his sleep on the early morning of May 14. Leonard was 82 years old.

During his years in Conrad, Leonard was a member of the Dutch Reform Church. After moving to Rudyard, the Kaspersma’s attended the Calvary Evangelical Church. Leonard also enjoyed fellowship at the Rudyard Senior Center; he especially looked forward to Chef Bobby’s fish lunches on Fridays.

Leonard loved his life as a Montana farmer. He was essentially a self-educated man who learned a lot of “simple wisdom” through life’s experiences. In his quiet time at home he enjoyed building jigsaw puzzles, solving word games, listening to the “oldies” on the radio, and watching good comedies on television. Leonard especially liked Adam Sandler movies. He also enjoyed the companionship and affection of his pet Chihuahuas. Leonard’s friends will remember him as a “gentle soul” with a strong Christian faith.

He was preceded in death not only by his wife and parents, but also by his 3 siblings, Howard, John Jr. and Dora. Leonard has no immediate survivors other than Debra’s extended family.

Funeral services will be held on May 20 at 11 a.m., at the Calvary Church in Rudyard. A reception will follow at the church. Graveside services will be held at 2:30 p.m. at the Hillside Cemetery in Conrad, where Leonard will be buried in the Kaspersma family plot. Arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel in Chester.