LeRoy George Backhaus, 82, of Vermillion passed away on Friday, Sept. 30, 2011 at Sanford Vermillion Care Center.
Funeral service was on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. at Concordia Lutheran Church in Vermillion with Rev. Samuel Needham officiating. Burial was in BluffView Cemetery following the service, with military graveside rites held by Vermillion VFW #3061. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Kober Funeral Home in Vermillion, with a prayer service and video tribute to begin at 7:30 p.m.
LeRoy was born on Nov. 2, 1928 in Emmons County, ND to George and Vera (Yeater) Backhaus. He attended school in Pollock, and later joined the Army. While in Germany, he served in the constabulary during WWII. He married Donna Mae Geigle on Feb. 15, 1952 in Herreid. LeRoy and Donna were married for 59 years and were blessed to have five children. They moved and settled in Vermillion in 1961.
LeRoy worked at the Vermillion Wastewater Treatment Plant from 1966 until 1990, and he was the first superintendent of the facility. He was also the South Dakota president of the Water and Wastewater Association from 1973-1975. He was a hard worker and was privileged to have been named the Outstanding Wastewater Works Operator, as well as receiving the Izaak Walton League Award in 1973 and the Water Pollution Control Federation William D. Hatfield Award in 1975. LeRoy was appointed city alderman from 1993-1999.
LeRoy enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. He and Donna traveled all over the country on their motorcycle. He loved to ride motorcycle, spending time on the Missouri River – especially boating and fishing, laughing and having a fun time with his family and friends. LeRoy was a member of the Concordia Lutheran Church in Vermillion, and the VFW. LeRoy truly believed in the importance of faith, family and community, and it played a very active role in his daily life.
LeRoy is survived by his wife, Donna M. Backhaus of Vermillion; children, Norrine (Leland) Ritter of Mobridge, Jordon Backhaus of Gardena, CA, Candy (Harry) O'Connor of Burbank, John Backhaus of Vermillion and Danielle (Jason) Jacobs of Merrillan, WI; brothers, Gordon (Jean) Backhaus of Rapid City, and Dallas (Donna) Backhaus of Rochester, MN; sisters, Donna (K.O.) Kinson of Neosho, MO and Joyce Matheny of Mobridge; and 10 grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by parents, George and Vera Backhaus; grandson, Michael O'Connor; and brother Russell Backhaus.
LeRoy has gone to be with his grandson Michael forever.
Condolences may be posted online at www.koberfuneralhome.com.