Maxine Leraas, 91, formerly of the Colman and Brookings area, died Thursday, August 27, 2009 at the Frazee Care Center, Frazee, MN. Maxine, daughter of Andrew and Mary (Thompson) Hovda, was born May 6, 1918 in Sioux City, IA. She was raised on their farm near Letcher, SD along with her younger brother, Alden. Maxine was baptized on December 1, 1918 and also confirmed at Trinity Lutheran near Storla, SD. She began her education at Christopher Country School and later attended Letcher High School. She graduated from high school through a correspondence school in 1934. She grew up being active in her church and her faith continued and grew. Maxine and her parents moved to California to be near Alden who was in the US Navy. She worked along with her parents to promote the success of WWII. Maxine and her family returned to their farm near Letcher and November 11, 1948 Maxine married Russell Leraas at her parent’s home. They farmed near Colman, SD where they raised their two children, Mary Ann and Carleton Eugene. She was an active member of Midway Lutheran Church, a half mile away from their home. Maxine began doing day care, which she dearly loved, in the 1960’s. In 1967, Russell and Maxine moved to Brookings where she continued to do day care until Russell’s death on September 10, 1988. She moved to Buffalo, MN to be near her daughter’s family. She spent the school year attending the grandchildren’s school events and never missed an opportunity to cheer on the teams. In the summer months, she stayed at her cabin at Lake Poinsett in South Dakota where Carleton’s children visited often. Oh how she loved the South Dakota grandkids visits! In 2004 she moved to Vergas, MN where her daughter now lived. Her health failed her so she moved to the Frazee Care Center in 2008 where she was active in all their activities. She was an accomplished pianist using her skills in her church and VFW Auxiliary and for her family’s enjoyment. Maxine was an active member in the Brookings Post 2118 VFW Auxiliary until 1988. She loved her adopted parish, Calvary Lutheran in Perham, MN and on August 27, 2009 she went to be with the Lord.
Maxine is survived by her loving family: Mary Ann (Jim) Kath, Dent, MN; Carleton (Deb) Leraas, Colman, 11 grandchildren, Michael (Melody) Kath, Victoria Kath, Nicholas (Wanda) Kath, Michelle (Joe) Wright, Susan (Keith) Lommel, James, Jr. (Sarah) Kath, Edward Kath, Russell (Angie) Kath, Danny (Becky) Leraas, Mandi (Travis) Prinsen, Amber (Jason) Janousek and 15 great-grandchildren. Maxine’s spirit of unconditional love and support lives on through her survivors. She is preceded in death by her husband, parents, sisters-in-law, Joanne Hovda and Dorothy Erinberg, and brother-in-law, Glen Leraas.
Funeral services will be Monday, August 31, 2009 at 11;00 am at Midway Lutheran Church, rural Colman, with burial in the church cemetery. Visitation is from 3:00 – 5:00 pm Sunday at Skroch Funeral Chapel, Flandreau.