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Ronald David Leeper
Ronald Leeper, age 61, of Yankton, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at the Avera Sacred Heart Hospital. A Celebration of Ron’s Life will be at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, April 17, 2021 at Goglin Funeral Home of Yankton, South Dakota. Visitation will be from Noon until 1:00 p.m., Saturday, April 17, 2021, at the Goglin Funeral Home of Yankton, South Dakota.
Ronald David Leeper was born May 28, 1959 to Melvin and Helen (Hays) Leeper in Lincoln, Nebraska. He completed two years of school at Yankton College. In 2003 he met and married Janis L. Huber.
Ron worked for Gurney Seed and Nursery, the Human Services Center and as a cook at the Quarry Restaurant. He settled into his 20-year career as a talk show host and news director for KYNT radio where he was known as David Leonard. Ron loved being live on the air. While on the mic he radiated a true energy and vibe like no other. As a radio show personality he received various awards over the years including An Outstanding Coverage Award for Bucks Wrestling in 2008, South Dakota AP Broadcasting Honorable Mention for a Documentary Series in 2008 and a Certificate of Completion for Citizens Police Academy in 2013. Although Ron didn’t make a big deal out of such things, he was gratified and pleased to be recognized professionally. Ron had recently retired and had plans to really expand his crypto currency investments as his “new” day job and go fishing in a new round boat he was excited about buying so he could bring home some bass and perch suppers.
Ron was an excellent cook. He specialized in Cajun cooking and nothing brought him more pleasure than to make a big pot of Étouffée or stuffed crawfish bisque to bring to family dinners or to have friends over for a meal. It was always a special occasion and a treat for anyone who got to taste Ron’s cooking.
Ron also loved to read. His favorite authors were Charles Bukowski, Robert E. Howard, HP Lovecraft and Jim Thompson. These are intense authors who write deep and sometimes dark but always fascinating stories, which Ron was drawn to. He had hundreds of books on his bookshelves, some since childhood. Ron was also a rocker. Not only did he like to play guitar, which he owned at least three of, but attended many concerts with his wife. A few of his favorites were ACDC, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Robin Trower, Stevie Ray Vaughn and ZZ Top. Ron’s old school Pioneer stereo was always blasting on any given weekend usually too loud but he always said, “Jan, rock has to be loud.”
Ron was an intense, private person. He was ornery, stubborn and the most wonderful guy she could have married according to his wife. He’s the only guy who quoted Shakespeare that his wife ever met. He loved “The Bard” and served on the Shakespeare Festival Board every summer.
Survivors include his wife Janis Leeper of Yankton; his black lab Luke; his brother Donald and Dawn Leeper of Bellevue, NE; his sister Pam and Bill Cross of Perry, OK; eight nephews; six nieces; one great-niece and 5 great-nephews.
Ron was preceded in death by his older brother, Thomas and his parents, Melvin and Helen.
I too worked with Ron many years ago at HSC. He had a wonderful sense of humor and could defuse situations with his calm professional manner. He also had a wicked wit! My sympathies to his family.
Kay Hansen Apr 15 2021 1:00 AM
So Sorry for your loss. Prayers to Don and Pam during this time. Being neighbors as kids growing up we spent lots of time in each others yards--great memories!
Colette (Bucholz) Palmer Apr 12 2021 4:02 PM
I was fortunate to work closely with Ron from 2012-2015 as his news assistant at KYNT. He was truly a professional, and his example taught me how to be accurate and dedicated to doing a good job. My memories of him are vivid, I think, because he lived his life according to who he was at heart. He loved his wife, his dog, home cooking, blues music, and enjoying good times. A man who knew how to enjoy life and people every day. I send my love to his Spirit and all those who are hurting in his absence. Love you Ron.
Jacob Fokken Apr 12 2021 3:03 PM
Sorry to hear about your loss. Hope to see guys soon.
Steve Hicks Apr 10 2021 11:43 PM
I worked with Ron many years ago at HSC. We worked on Kyle 2 which was the alcohol treatment unit. He was so good with the patients, they respected him. One winter evening I was leaving work and it was very icy, he met me at the door going out. He actually surprised me, he said he wanted to make sure his nurse made it to the car, but dont tell anyone, then laughed. My condolences to Rons family he will be missed.
Linda Nickles Apr 10 2021 1:52 AM
My deepest sympathy to David's family on his passing. I very much appreciated David as a person and reporter. He reported with integrity and passion. His Alive at 5:00 show was a favorite of mine. David was easy to visit with when he interviewed me and was always complimentary of the school district. I appreciated his concern for students and his understanding for the importance of providing a high quality education to children. He was kind and caring person. I will certainly miss our visits. Peace and blessings to David's family.
Wayne Kindle Apr 6 2021 6:03 PM
So Sorry For Your Families' Loss! Too young and too nice a neighbor to be gone. He always had a hearty wave when driving by. Our family will be praying for the family he left behind!
The Lambertz Family Apr 6 2021 2:32 PM
Many good times with Ron back in the day with him and Frankie !! My condolences to Ron's family. He was always friendly and had a smile. Always had time to stop and chat. R.I.P. Ron
James Carter Apr 4 2021 11:07 PM
You will be missed by all. Ron we all loved you. Now up with Jesus.
Kenneth L Stiles Apr 3 2021 4:07 AM
Ron was my brother from another mother for over 30 years. Thankfully the statute of limitations has expired on most of our adventures. Words dont describe the hole left with your passing.
Joel Held Apr 2 2021 8:40 PM