GREAT FALLS, Mont. | Leonard D. Gidlow, 87, formerly of Rapid City, SD, passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 22, 2018 in Great Falls, MT.
Leonard was born June 18, 1931 in Rochester, NY to David and Edith (Morgan) Gidlow. He grew up in Rochester and graduated from James Monroe High School in 1949, where he was a multi-sport letter winner. On March 26, 1955, Leonard married Caroline Schaefer in Rapid City, SD where they settled. Leonard resided in Rapid City until February, 2014 when he relocated to Great Falls, MT to be near oldest son Arnie and reside in assisted living facilities.
Following high school, Leonard was invited to try out for the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball club, instead he enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1950. Leonard served from 1950 to 1954 and was honorably discharged July, 1954, achieving the rank of Airman First Class. Leonard served in air traffic control command during the Korean War and was stationed in southern Japan earning National Defense and Korean Service medals.
After his discharge from the Air Force, Leonard was employed by Barber Transportation Co. (Barber) of Rapid City. He briefly moved his growing family to Grayslake, IL, where he was employed by the Chicago Northwestern Railroad. In 1961 he and his family returned to Rapid City and Barber where he continued working for an additional 24 years until retiring as SVP–Traffic in 1985. Leonard served on many state and national transportation boards. Through these boards he testified before various committees of the U.S. Congress and South Dakota Legislature on transportation issues and was a key supporter of legislation allowing one tractor to pull two 45 foot trailers across South Dakota on I-90, saving fuel and wear on the highway.
Leonard was a longtime member of the Rapid City Cosmopolitan Club where he held many offices including President. He also served on the Executive Board of Baseball Parents Inc. (Post 22 Baseball). Leonard enjoyed hunting, fishing and was an avid rock hound, including making jewelry from various agates. Leonard was also a member of the Black Hills Antique Club and enjoyed “antiquing” across the Upper Midwest on his travels. At his time of death he was a member of Peace Lutheran Church in Great Falls, MT.
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Leonard is survived by his three sons, Leonard A. of Cascade, MT; Eric (Lisa) of Minneapolis, MN; and Bruce (Chris) of Aurora, IL; a daughter Cindy of Rapid City, SD; seven grandchildren, John and Adam (Justine) Shaneyfelt of Rapid City; Garrett, Carter, and Caroline of Minneapolis, MN; and Alex and Cameron of Aurora, IL; two great-grandchildren, Taiven and Avery of Rapid City, SD. Leonard was predeceased by his parents, David and Edith, and his wife of 31 years, Caroline, in 1986.
The family would like to thank all of the care facilities and staff in Rapid City, SD at (Holiday Hills and the Victorian) and in Great Falls, MT (Cambridge Court and Benefis) and his long-time companion while living in Rapid City, Regina Lewis.
A memorial service celebrating Leonard’s life will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 17, at Osheim & Schmidt Funeral Home in Rapid City, SD, with a gathering for family and friends prior, beginning at 11 a.m. Interment will be at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, SD, with military honors.
Friends may sign his online guest register at www.osheimschmidt.com.