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Thomas "Tom" Leckey

Thomas Leckey


- April 29, 2019

Thomas "Tom" Leckey, age 86, of Pierre, formerly of DeSmet, South Dakota, died on Monday, April 29, 2019 peacefully at his home in Pierre.

Memorial services will be held at 10:00 a.m. CST on Monday, May 6, at American Lutheran Church in DeSmet.

Interment with military honors will be held at the DeSmet Cemetery.

Thomas (Tom) George Leckey died on after a bout with bladder cancer. Tom was born on February 15, 1933 in DeSmet, South Dakota, the son of Thomas (Ted) Treavor Leckey and S. Marjorie (Moore) Leckey. He grew up in DeSmet and graduated from DeSmet High School in 1951.

Tom attended South Dakota State University majoring in Ag Economy. Tom met his future wife, Lucille (Lucy) Holmes, at a New Year's Eve dance in Huron, and they were later married at American Lutheran Church in DeSmet, South Dakota on February 22, 1953. They made their home in El Paso, Texas, where Tom was serving in the U.S. Army as a Twin 40mm gun artillery instructor on an M42 tank. Following Tom's discharge, they moved back to DeSmet where Tom worked on the family farm until moving to Sioux Falls to open a small business accounting firm. In 1962, the family moved to Madison, South Dakota. While in Madison, Tom and Lucy ran Chris's F&M Truck Stop, a catering business catering to events exceeding 10,000 attendees, and the College Inn. In 1966, Tom started as the sales manager for Midland Chemical, developing a nationwide sales organization. Eventually he became the plant manager and part owner of the Midland Chemical manufacturing plant. In 1973, the family moved back to DeSmet to help run the family farm when Tom's father had a heart attack. In 1987, Tom and Lucy moved to Pierre, South Dakota where Tom was appointed the Deputy Secretary of State which he held for 16 years until retirement in 2002.

Tom and Lucy continued to reside in Pierre after Tom's retirement. They were members of Faith Lutheran Church in Pierre. After Lucy suffered a debilitating stroke in 2007, Tom became her primary care giver until she passed away in 2015. Tom served as the Chairperson of the Kingsbury County Republican party, the Chairperson of the Hughes County Republican party, the founding President of South Dakota Literacy Council, served on the South Dakota Cares Board, was Chairperson for the South Dakota Lottery, and served as Treasurer for the state Republican party organization not to mention he served on several other local charitable organizations.

During Tom's checkered career, he had the opportunity to meet several well known people, too many to list them all here. A few of these encounters include: Meeting Joe Lewis the current World Heavyweight Boxing champion in Chicago at a mock fight. Tom was taken there by a man who had come pheasant hunting in DeSmet on the Leckey property. Through the catering business and Tom's Republican party work, Tom had the opportunity to meet and visit with three Presidents, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. Tex Ritter was a seatmate on an airline flight to Sioux Falls. The flight had been delayed and Tex was to do a concert at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. The band had to leave to go get set up in Mitchell. Tom offered to take Tex to Mitchell in his small aircraft which was waiting for him in Sioux Falls. Tex took him up on it and really appreciated the ride. While selling for Midland Chemical, Tom happened to be in Florida and had an afternoon to play cards with some friends. One of the friends brought Rocky Marceano to play cards with them. Tom was able to play Gin Rummy with the ex-heavy weight boxer all afternoon. Tom met Barbara Bush because of his work on the South Dakota Literacy program. He worked closely with her both remotely and he welcomed her to South Dakota for some meetings on the subject while he was Deputy Secretary of State.


Tom leaves behind his son, Kevin Leckey and his wife Delilah of Kennebec, South Dakota, and Kevin's children: Stephanie Ferris, Bobbi Jo Carter, Nicole Haase, and Delilah's children: Sandy LaCroix, Renee Peterson, Ronald Kenyon; his daughter Melanie Leckey of Clearwater, Minnesota; 17 great grandchildren and 7 great-great-grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Tom was preceded in death by his wife, Lucy on February 19, 2015; his parents, Ted and Marjorie Leckey; his brother Merwyn Leckey; and his sister Marlene Dubill.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Avera at Home Hospice of Pierre and the DeSmet Cemetery.

Arrangements are with Rush Funeral Home of Philip.



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