Leo Bede Olheiser, 79, Dickinson, died on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 at his home. Leo’s Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m., Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Dickinson with Fr. Keith Streifel as celebrant. Inurnment will take place at St. Pius Cemetery, Schefield. Visitation will be on Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Ladbury Funeral Service, Dickinson with a rosary and vigil at 5 p.m. with Deacon Al Schwindt presiding. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday.
Leo Bede Olheiser was born in New England on November 25, 1942 to Joseph and Eugenia (Selinger) Olheiser.
He married Jeanette Kilwein of Dickinson on August 10, 1965. Together they had seven children: Sheryl (Amro Khalil) Galindez, Renee (Cameron) Repetowski, Eric Olheiser, Julie (Guy) Lawhead, Sarah (Eric) Hauser, Ryan (Elizabeth) Olheiser, and Rachel (Tanner) Monroe. His grandchildren include: Evan Lawhead, Ella Hauser, Ethan and Emmitt Olheiser (who passed in infancy), Madison and Grant Olheiser, and Leo and Nova Monroe.
Leo attended the Assumption Abbey in Richardton through high school and graduated in 1961. In his words, “the Abbey was probably the best prep school in the state.” While attending the Abbey, he was active in football, wrestling, and track. He was a graduate of Dickinson State University in 1966 with a Degree in Mathematics. In his early career, he worked at Steffes Church Furniture. Leo’s Cabinetry was established in 1967 and he successfully ran it for over 50 years with the help of his son Eric and employee, Dave Frenzel. In 1976, he doubled the size of his building to accommodate his growing business. Together they built countless sets of kitchen cabinets, gun cabinets, china hutches, cedar chests, and many other custom requests. If you’ve ever seen his work, you would know that “Leo built that.” Along side work and family, Leo and Jeanette were some of the hardest working landlords in Dickinson. Duties included everyday maintenance like answering midnight phone calls and sucking up water in flooded basements.
Leo had a love for driving endless miles with Jeanette which allowed them to visit small town churches and memorize every dirt road and section line in southwest ND. As a faithful NDSU Bison fan, the pounding of his cane on the floor was a familiar sound especially during those close football games! He had a strong passion for politics and was always ready for a good, heated debate. Leo was also member of the Eagles Club, KC Club and St. Pius Verein. He loved spending time with his six grandchildren and they all loved their special time with Papa.
Leo was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Eugenia Olheiser; siblings, John (Dorothy) Olheiser, Mike Olheiser, Tillie (Joe) Messer, Agnes (Norbert) Job, Rosie Reicks, and Anna who passed away in infancy. Past in-laws include, Dorothy Olheiser, Cecilia Olheiser, Kasper Messer, Joe Messer, and Norbert Job. Grandchildren Ethan and Emmitt Olheiser who passed away in infancy.
Survived by his wife, Jeanette; seven children; six grandchildren; brother, Nick Olheiser; and sister, Veronica Messer. Surviving in-laws include Katie Hirsch and Virgil Reicks. Surviving in-laws on Jeanette’s side include Howard Lewis, Leona Moriarty, Roger and Ann Kilwein. Past in-laws include Frances (Syd) Aitchison, Mary Lewis, Peter (Marge) Kilwein, Betty (Carl) Birgenheier, and Steven (Judy) Kilwein.
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