Leona Hill

September 23, 1926 - October 13, 2017


Visitation: Visitation will be Thursday from 2-8 p.m., with family present from 5-7 p.m., at Canton Lutheran Church.
Service: Funeral services will begin at 10:30 a.m. Friday, October 20 at Canton Lutheran Church.

Leona Hill crop       “Have you eaten? What can I make you?  You need to eat. Just eat this.” Leona Wiebe Hill may have uttered these words over a trillion times to her family, friends & friends of friends of friends. Born September 23rd, 1926 in George, IA to William & Marie Wiebe & later moving to Beloit, IA with her 4 sisters & 3 brothers, Leona was witness to the little food that era often saw & pledged that would not happen on her watch.

          In 1945, the spunky red head, while working at the local café, was artfully negotiating with her brother Eddie to get a new coat, when a dapper young lad, Manfred Hill, was clearly impressed & offered to buy her the coat. The rest, folks, is history. Married May 6th, 1945, the two went on to have 5 beautiful children. Manfred & Leona farmed & raised seed corn in and around Canton, SD. They were also part owners of First American Bank in Canton, Leona was the cute little “Grandma” standing on a box so everyone could see her beautiful smile.

          Leona was known for the extensive meals she would prepare for all-nothing short of a thanksgiving meal each & every day. Giving & doing for others was second nature, a treasured characteristic. Her energy was boundless & whether she was walking or bustling down a country road on four wheels, her five foot nothing stature was getting the job done & doing it Leona style-fast, efficient & with a side of wit.

          The Hill duo had 15 grandchildren in a 15-year span. A lesser grandma may have struggled with making them each feel as if they were the one & only handpicked grand baby, but not Grandma Onie (her name to many), the intense love, concern & admiration she had for her grandkids was extraordinary & immeasurable. Her kitchen stayed warm as she prepared meals-thanksgiving style-each day for her lucky grand kiddos & their friends of friends of friends of friends as they took turns passing through the junior high & high school years. The tradition continued as the years faded to her great-grandchildren. There would be no way to count the number of mouths fed by Grandma Onie & the love extended in each of those meals.

          Manfred & Leona traveled extensively to Norway for many years making heaps of friendships that they treasured. They spent winters in Mesa, AZ & were blessed with a loving community of friends & family there. Their countless friends visited so often that their home was coined the Hill Hotel & Limo.

          Leona is survived by her adoring husband Manfred, their 5 children, Paulette Vetos(Stan), Richard(Linda), Randy Hill, Karla Hill, Carla Bass(Tom) & Renee Johnson, 15 grandchildren, 40 great-grandchildren & 1 great-great-grandchild as well her sister Rosie Stensland(Art) & brother Willie Wiebe and numerous nieces & nephews.

        She was preceded in death by her parents,  William & Marie Wiebe, siblings & spouses, Bena (Lowell) Harmon, Esther (Ernie) Twedt, Edgar Wiebe, Ozzie (Joyce) Wiebe, Mary Ann (Truman) Monen and Arlys Wiebe.

          Heavens gates welcomed a fearless red headed angel late October 13th, 2017. She will be greatly missed & we all feel so blessed to have felt her bold love.  Her funeral service will begin at 10:30 a.m. Friday, October 20 at Canton Lutheran Church.  Visitation will be Thursday from 2-8 p.m., with family present from 5-7 p.m., at Canton Lutheran Church.

          Instead of flowers, the family request that you make a meal-thanksgiving style- for your family, friends & friends of friends of friends of friends in Leona’s honor-the memories will last far longer.

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17 condolences have been left

  1. Manfred and family. I just heard about Leona and you have my deepest sympathies. The obituary is right the world will miss her smile.

    Craig and Tom Sanderson

  2. Dear Manfred,

    I am so sorry to hear of Leona’s passing. From reading about her, she sounds like such a wonderful person. I wish I had a chance to meet her.
    My thoughts are with with you and your family.

  3. Manfred and family, so sorry for your loss. She was always a kind and caring person. Always so friendly and thoughtful person. As mentioned in another condolence, it was a great obituary that said it all. Hugs to all.

  4. Thoughts and prayers to your family. I never met Leona, but I want to thank you for sharing “her story” through the obituary in the newspaper. Reading about her love for family and friends has inspired me to be more mindful of what is really important in life and the legacy we leave. I am so grateful.

  5. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family Manfred may you find peace in leona passing and may we all prepare for when we cross over to find her waiting for us all with a big smile and a even larger lunch for the family and friends. bonnie, joleen, jenny and pat.

  6. I worked in the treasures office with Sally Asper, Grace Skie and Leona in 1961-1963. Leona was five feet of energy and so fun to work with. One day she brought in a family picture that was professionally taken and gave it to me. I still have that picture. She was proud of her family. I saw Leona and Manfred this spring and visited with them. Leona had just had her hair done and she looked beautiful just like I remembered her. Sending prayers for the family. Janice Roberts Mundt

  7. Dear Manfred and Family! On behalf of my brother Knut, myself and our families here in Norway, I’m sending our condolences.

    Arve Skiaker

  8. My sincere sympathy to your family, prayers and thoughts to Paulette and Stan and others.

  9. The Hill Families- What a blessing we all experienced through the gentle loving hands of one of the best. So many fond memories that it is difficult to choose just one…My tears are tears of joy in the wonderful memories we can all hold close to our hearts and in our minds forever. Thank you Leona for providing the McMurry family with so many cherished times which we may reflect on as we continue to do God’s work through the many things we learned from you. You are loved- I know dad opened his loving arms to you when you floated up to the Pearly Gates of Heaven-
    Rachel McMurry
    John and Catherine McMurry
    Carla and Doug McMurry-Kozak Ben and Emily Kozak
    Diane McMurry
    Brent and Suzanne McMurry Christopher, Jonathan, and Patrick McMurry
    Renee and Brit McMurry-Gilman Moriah and Jordan Gilman

  10. Renee and family!
    Awesome obituary! There is so much to miss and mourn with such an integral part of your family leaving her earthly home! Prayers for comfort as you celebrate your mom’s life!
    Brenda Jervik Johnson

  11. We are sad to hear about Leona’s passing. She will be missed by many friends and family. We will keep you and your family in our prayers.

  12. Richard and I are so sorry for your loss. we are sending alot of prayers for comforting for all of your family

  13. Thoughts & prayers in the loss of Leona. She was a sweet lady. Cherish your memories.
    Mick Vanden Bosch, Laura Pruett & Patty Haak

  14. Dear Manfred,and everyone in your wonderful family!
    We’ re so sorry to hear that grandma Leona has passed away!
    She really was the most loving person💞
    We think about the good memories we have from the times we met,
    both in Canton and Norway.
    You’re in our thoughts, Manfred, especially through the funeral service on Friday.
    Would so much have liked to be there with you🌹
    All our love,
    and best regards from
    Ole, Frøydis,
    Julie Pan, Ola Chai and Mai Wan❤️

  15. So sorry to hear of “grandma’s” passing. Years ago a friend was with me one day when I seen Leona, I said “hi grandma” the friend asked is that your grandma” I said “no” but she feels like everyones grandma. That’s the feeling you got from her. If there was a framed picture & it needed a photo describing what classy was, it would have Leona’s picture. My thoughts & prayers are with you all, may the beautiful memories she made with each of you of give you comfort.

  16. Dear Hill family
    I am so sorry to hear about Leona. She was such a sweet lady and she will be missed. My prayers are with you and may God grant you comfort and peace during this difficult time. God Bless.