Leroy Victor Kudrna, 72, died after a courageous battle with lung cancer, on Monday, June 18, 2012, at RiverStone Hospice Center in Billings, Mont.
Leroy Victor Kudrna was born on Oct. 18, 1939, in Dickinson, N.D., the oldest son of Victor H. and Dorothy M. (Semerad) Kudrna.
He was raised on the family farm southeast of South Heart, where he attended school in South Heart, graduating as valedictorian as well as class president, in the Class of 1957. Upon graduation, Leroy attended and graduated from Northwest Schools of Airline Careers in Portland, Ore. In 1958, he began his career working for Farmers Union Oil Company in Dickinson.
On April 6, 1959, Leroy married the love of his life, lsabel Jahner. Together they raised seven children — six girls and one boy. They resided in Dickinson until 1968 when Leroy accepted the position of general manager for Farmers Union Oil Company in Regent, N.D. In 1973, he and Isabel moved their family to Havre, Mont., to manage North Central Co-op. He and Isabel traveled to many wonderful locations, such as Cancun, New Orleans, the Bahamas, Florida, Alaska and Israel. In 1984, Leroy accepted a position as a risk management consultant with the Cenex Insurance Agency of St. Paul, Minn., thus moving to Billings. He loved traveling throughout the Northwest, knowing every town, every highway/road number, and every Montanan license plate county code. Who needed a GPS system when you had Dad around? He thoroughly enjoyed meeting the workers and the people in all the communities he traveled through. It was an even better road trip if Dad could somehow find a partner to play a few rounds of golf. Retirement came on Jan 1, 2006, after 47 years of hard work and dedication.
Leroy was a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus, serving as grand knight and district deputy. He was also a fourth-degree member. He was a member of St. Bernard's Parish in Billings, where he volunteered many hours. Leroy enjoyed traveling, golfing, bowling, playing the piano and the accordion, and listening to old-time music. His number one priority, however, was spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren. He truly loved his family, driving to as many of the children’s and grandchildren's events as he and Isabel could manage.
Leroy was a wonderful and loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend. He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Isabel of Billings; his only son, Bruce Kudrna of Havre; his daughters, Cindy (Barry) Turner of Irrigon, Ore., Wanda (Terry) Kangas of Great Falls, Jacinta (Kevin) Treece of Kalispell, Jeri (Mike) Beck of Great Falls, Lou Ann (Bryan) Wood of Laurel, Lana (Kent) Sanchez of Billings; in addition to his 18 grandchildren; and four great-grandsons. He is also survived by brothers: Ronald (Shirley) of Mandan, N.D., Eugene (Monika) of Dickinson, David (Joan) of Dickinson; a sister, Daphne (Floyd) Duttenhefer of Bismarck, N.D. ; mother-in-law, Martha Jahner of Dickinson; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Victor and Dorothy Kudrna, and his father-in-law, Kasper Jahner.
A vigil service will be held 6 p. m. Sunday, at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Billings. The funeral Mass will be held 10 a. m. Monday, June 25, 2012, at St. Bernard’s. A luncheon will immediately follow the funeral service, followed by the Rite of Committal at Holy Cross Cemetery at 2 p. m. Memorials may be made to St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, 226 Wicks Lane, Billings, MT 59105, or Frontier Cancer Research, 1315 Golden Valley Circle, Billings, MT 59102. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlfuneralchapel.com