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Leslie John Staufer
October 30, 1939 ~ October 12, 2023 (age 83) 83 Years Old
Leslie John Staufer, age 83, of Watertown, SD, passed away on Thursday, October 12, 2023 at his residence. Funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 14, 2023, at Immaculate Conception Church in Watertown. Father Shaun Haggerty will be celebrant.
Visitation will be at the Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel in Watertown on Friday from 5-7 p.m. A Rosary Service will be held at 7:00 p.m. at Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel.
Burial will be at St. Peter's Catholic Cemetery in rural Grover, SD. Military graveside honors will be performed by the Codington County Post #17 of the American Legion, Watertown, and the Military Funeral Honors Team of the SD Army National Guard. Active pallbearers will be Mark Staufer, Bruce Staufer, Drew Staufer, Aaron Polejewski, Sydney Schoening, Karley VanMoer, Kayla Polejewski, and Faith Peterson.
Leslie J. (Les) Staufer was born October 30, 1939, to Lenore (Witte) and Anton Staufer. He was the oldest of five children, his brothers David (Barbara), Richard (Rise’), James, and sister, Betty (Larry) Drobney. Les was born at home in Miller, SD, and attended the Staufer rural school through the 8th grade. He attended high school in Orient, SD, were he participated in basketball, baseball, Glee Club, and was selected as a Boys State Representative. He enrolled at Northern State College in Aberdeen, with the intent to be a teacher. He left college to work for Schull Construction and other contractors in Rapid City, SD and on a combine crew in Kansas. He enlisted in the Army in 1959, and was stationed in Germany for two and a half years attaining the rank of Buck Sergeant. He began employment for the Army Corps of Engineers, and later moved on to Fort Peck, Montana as an apprentice electrician. In 1969, the family moved to Watertown, SD, where Les began working for the Bureau of Reclamation and WAPA before retiring 35 years later.
Les married Lucille Pfeifer on June 18, 1963, at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Orient, SD. The early years of their married life had them traveling with Les’ job where they lived in Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and eventually returning to South Dakota. This June, they celebrated sixty years of marriage.
In May of 1970, Les and Lucy purchased a small acreage near Grover and began raising livestock, a family, and enjoying a life on the farm. Raising a variety of animals and having large gardens were pastimes that Les enjoyed along with hunting and fishing. He was a member of the St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Grover until its closing. After moving into Watertown in September of 2019, he became a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
Les is survived by his wife, Lucy; children Vonnie (Kevin) Carda of Yankton, SD, Mark Staufer, of Sioux Falls, SD, Gail (Jim) Polejewski, of Marshall, MN, Bruce Staufer, of Watertown, SD, and Stacey Peterson (Jason Gardener) of Garland, TX; grandchildren, Sydney (Creighton) Schoening, Aaron Polejewski, Karley (Ryan)VanMoer, and Kayla Polejewski, Drew Staufer, Faith Peterson, and Zack, Mariah, and Mackenzie Staufer; one sister Betty; and one brother Rick.
Les was preceded in death by his parents, brothers David and James, and grandsons Jacob Staufer and Austin Ingalls.
If you wish to make a donation in Les’s memory, please consider making a donation to the Prairie Lakes Healthcare Foundation.