After fighting cancer several times over a span of many years, Leonard Stoddard of Broadus, Montana, passed away on March 29, 2018, in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. He resided at his ranch until just one week before his death.
Leonard was born October 1, 1934, in Crook County, Wyoming. He was the son of Florence (Fort) and Ray Stoddard and was delivered at the neighboring ranch a quarter mile north of Moore Hill Cemetery by WW I nurse Elsie Wolf. He joked that he never made it very far in life as he was born only a quarter mile from where he would be buried.
As a youngster, Leonard attended several country schools. He lived in a boarding house and the motel in Hulett, Wyoming, to complete the eighth grade and then went to work. He worked around Hulett and then moved to the Scottsbluff, Nebraska, area for a short time.
He married Cleo (Huffman) Johnson in Kimball, Nebraska, on June 18, 1953. Cleo had been widowed and brought two young sons into the marriage, Mike and Don Johnson. The family returned to the original ranch north of Hulett where two more children were born, Steve Stoddard and Cindy (Stoddard) Bauman. As a young man, Leonard cut logs for the Kaiser sawmill north of Hulett.
With an eighth grade education and a mountain of ambition, Leonard began what would be his life’s accomplishment as a rancher. He ranched in the Hulett area until the year 2000 when he bought a ranch near Hammond, Montana. His son Steve stocked the ranch with cattle and both he and Leonard lived on and ran the ranch together until Leonard’s death.
Leonard was an incredibly hard working man and was meticulous about doing things correctly. He fed cattle during the winters and in the summer he could usually be found on his four wheeler checking cattle, water and fences.
He had a fun sense of humor and enjoyed doing little things for others as evidenced by him always sharing the thermos jug of coffee and bag of candy bars that was always stashed on his four wheeler. Leonard had a great love for his family. Even the great grandchildren knew exactly where to go to get cookies.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Irene; his wife, Cleo and son, Don.
Survivors are his sons, Steve (Julie Emmons) Stoddard of Broadus and Mike (Sherry) Johnson of Laramie, Wyoming; daughter, Cindy Bauman of Rawlins, Wyoming; dear friend Shirley Page of Belle Fourche, South Dakota; grandchildren Carla (Shawn) Klies, Julie (Derick) Stoddard-Terrill, Joni (Tim) Draine, Jay (Jami) Johnson, Jodi (Dave) Johnson-Smith, Gynene Schultz, Kathi Driskill and Bobbi (JR) Butler; and 15 great grandchildren.
Graveside services will be held at Moore Hill Cemetery, Hulett, Tuesday, April 10 at 11 a.m. with a lunch following at the Civic Center in Hulett. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com.