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Leon Columbus

Leon "Shorty" Columbus "Anpetu Tawa" (Indian name), 70, of the Lower Sioux Community, died Saturday, Feb. 23, 2008, in the Seasons Hospice, Redwood Falls.

Leon Columbus was born June 17, 1937, in Pipestone, Minn., to Thomas and Eleanor (St. Clair) Columbus. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Cornelia's Episcopal Church. Leon was born again as a Christian in 1986 at Calvary Indian Church in Minneapolis. Leon attended school at Bishop Whipple School on the Lower Sioux Community, in Pipestone and in Flandreau, S.D. He later attended Vo-Tech in Arizona. Leon served in the United States Air Force, and was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. He served overseas in Italy. Leon made his home at the Lower Sioux Community. He was married to Barbara Clemons and Joann Pendleton before he was united in marriage to Mary Ann Chesley. Leon worked as a tailor, he did roofing construction and worked in refrigeration, heating and cooling. He loved the outdoors and owned and operated Dacotah lawn and snow removal business. In his younger years, he enjoyed boxing and was a member of Golden Gloves. Leon was a very generous man. He was always giving. He had a good sense of humor and enjoyed joking around. He enjoyed Dakota gospel music, going to Pow-wows and family gatherings. He especially enjoyed children, and loved spending time with his nieces and nephews.

Leon is survived by his siblings, Tim (Mary), San Diego, Roland (Fawn), Redwood Falls, Lillian Wilson, LaVonne (Dan) Swenson, Glenford (Violet), Sandra (Ray) Geshick, Marilyn His Day, Vincent, Dan Grey Eagle, Melissa (Christopher) Chee, all of the Lower Sioux, Christopher, Redwood Falls; Hunka sister Shirley Big Eagle, Mission, S.D.; stepchildren, Russell, Cathy, Carla, Jeff and Brian Pendleton, and many nieces, nephews.

Preceding him in death are his parents, brothers and sisters.

Funeral services were Tuesday, Feb. 26, at the Lower Sioux Community Center.

Interment is in the St. Cornelia's Episcopal Cemetery.

The Redwood Valley Funeral Home, Redwood Falls, is handling the arrangements. Condolences may be sent via e-mail at