LEO STEVE HILLARD was born on December 23, 1951 to Harris and Clara (Wittrock) Hillard in Pipestone, Minnesota. He was a lifelong resident of Pipestone, his only move was to a farm half a mile from where he was raised. During his childhood, Leo participated in the local 4-H program where he enjoyed working on wood-crafting projects, often with the help of his grandfather. Leo attended school in Verdi, Minnesota and graduated in 1970. He then began his farming career, and was very passionate about caring for his herd of cattle.
Leo and his friends enrolled in a ballroom dance class where he was introduced to Connie Lingen. The two had their first date on April 15, 1975 and were later united in marriage on June 5, 1976 at St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Woodstock, Minnesota. This union was blessed with two daughters and 42 happy years of marriage. On Sunday, November 4, 2018, Leo passed away at the Pipestone County Hospice House at the age of 66 years, 10 months, and 11 days.
Leo served on the Altona Township Board for 30 years. He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus and St. Leo Catholic Church in Pipestone. He enjoyed cooking, whether it was at home, at the church fish fries, or at other events. Leo loved being outdoors and also helped out with mowing at the cemetery. His grandchildren were the true light of his life, he was always willing to drop everything in order to help them with 4-H projects or attend their events. Leo was a happy-go-lucky man who enjoyed visiting with anyone and everyone, he could always make time for them. He was a treasured member of both his family and the community.
Leo will be remembered by his wife, Connie of Pipestone; his daughters, Stacy Hillard (and special friend, David Bubolz) of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Heather (Kyle) De Wilde of Ruthton, Minnesota; grandchildren, Bailey, Trevin, and Makenley De Wilde; and siblings, Irene (Roy) Tirrel of Pipestone, Sharon Blom of Holland, Minnesota, Tom (Eldonna) Hillard of Ward, South Dakota, and Larry Hillard of Pipestone and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harris and Clara Hillard, and his daughter, Kristy.