Leona Fern Klinkner was born May 25, 1926 at her grandparent’s farm in Charles Mix County, SD to Joseph and Tillie (Merkwan) Trantina. She graduated from Scotland High School in 1944 and then attended Southern Normal College in Springfield for teaching. On May 14, 1945 she married George Harold Klinkner in Scotland. They moved to Oakland, CA, where George was stationed in the Navy. Leona worked at Montgomery Wards while in California. Following George’s discharge from the Navy they moved to Artesian and began farming. She began her 37 years of teaching at Kneen Country School, Argonne, Plano, Bradley Young and Longfellow Schools. She attended Northern State and Black Hills State Colleges, DSU in Madison, and earned her B.S. Degree from USD and Master’s Degree from SDSU in Brookings. After retirement she did substitute teaching for 20 years.
She was a member of St. Charles Catholic Church, where she taught religion and was a member of the Altar Society, Catholic Daughters, the 8 & 40, lifelong member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Delta Kappa Gamma, NEA, MEA, retired Teachers Association, Sanborn County Extension and SDEA.
She is survived by one son, Donald (Karen) Klinkner of Artesian; two daughters: Cheryl (Jerry) Toering of Chamberlain and Joanne (David) Munsell of Minooka, IL; 13 grandchildren, whom she watched for two weeks every summer holding grandma K’s summer camp and 23 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, George, daughter, Teresa Weisz, grandchild, Justin Munsell and brother, James.
Leona will be greatly missed.
She loved her family and they loved her.