July 16, 1922-Nov. 16, 2013
CLARKFIELD – Services for Leo O. Toft, 91, of Clarkfield will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Clarkfield Lutheran Church. Visitation is from 5-7 p.m. today at the church with a prayer service at 6 p.m. and also for one hour prior to the service on Sunday. Military rites by Clarkfield J. Ben Johnson Post 169 and Active Military Unit (St. Cloud).
He died Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, with his loving wife Phyllis at his side. Leo was a resident of the Clarkfield Care Center for five years where he received loving care.
Leo Toft was born July 16, 1922, to Olaf and Ragna (Hill) Toft in Balaton. He was the fourth of six children. He was baptized and confirmed in Balaton. He attended school in Balaton until the 10th grade. Leo joined the CC Camp program. He made $25/month and sent home $20 and kept $5 for himself. He farmed until he was 20 and then volunteered for the U.S. Army.
Leo and Phyllis (Ness) were married on Dec. 27, 1944, at the parsonage in Flandreau, S.D. Leo was home on furlough and they decided to get married before he was sent to Europe during WWII. Leo walked all the countries in the European Theatre. When he was discharged he and Phyllis started farming in Ruthton. Machinery was rationed after the war. Because he was in the service his name was moved to the top of the “list” which enabled him to buy his first John Deere A.
The Tofts farmed a few years in the Kenyon and West Concord area. Leo had a heart issue and was no longer able to farm. They came to Clarkfield and opened a Gamble Store. They had the Gamble Store until 1970. Leo then worked at the Clarkfield Elevator until he retired in 1984. He was active in the Cub Scouts, Clarkfield City Council and was a County Commissioner.
After retiring, he bought and restored John Deere tractors. The first tractor he restored was taken out of the Dennis and Mary Jo Haaland grove. Son, Daryle eventually became Leo’s John Deere partner. Leo also enjoyed woodworking and made various wood items for his family. He enjoyed fishing, cards, playing cribbage, going to auctions and most of all spending time with Phyllis and his family. He bragged about his family saying, “his are the best!”
Survivors include his wife Phyllis; children: daughter Sharon (Wes) Husby and their children Chad (Kristi) Husby, Kim (Joe) Flattum and Shelly (Todd) Larson; son Daryle (Sue) Toft and their children Sean (Jody) Toft and Nikki (Josh) Sakry; daughter Joyce (Pat) McCoy and their children Teresa Steffen, Katie (Joe) Meyer, Kristin (Todd) Broich and Dillon (Jess) McCoy. He is also survived by 22 great-grandchildren, sister Alma Scherbart and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Olaf and Ragna Toft, brothers Gordon and Kenny and sister Olga Cass and Alene Lindahl.