Milton Leefers, 79, of Unadilla

Milton Leefers, 79, of Unadilla, passed away peacefully on May 3, 2020. Milton was born on Aug. 12, 1940, to Harry Wilhelm and Nora Dreamer Leefers. Milton lived his entire life on the family farm outside Unadilla.

Milton attended Orchard Hill School No.102, approximately 5 miles north of Unadilla. There he attended 1st through 8th grade and was one of the many students taught by Alta Rhoten. He then went on to the Unadilla High School and was part of the class of 1958, the last graduating class of that high school.  He went on to join the family farm with his parents, where he farmed all his life.

On Nov. 5, 1967, he married Barbara Jean Stephenson in Fairmont. The couple moved to the Leefers family farm. From then on, “there was never a dull moment.” They were married for 52 years.

In 1971, they welcomed their first child into the world, Chad Milton. Then in 1975 they welcomed their second son, Doyle Leroy, to their family.

Around that time, Milton’s father suddenly passed away and Milton and family moved in to take care of his disabled mother, Nora. They would take care of his mother for the rest of her life.

The next brightest part of Milton’s life was the birth of his two grandsons, Lucas and Bryce. From then on Grandpa would do anything for his grandsons, if it was not teaching them how to shoot guns, working cattle and giving them advice, showing and teaching them lots of things, going to their baseball games and to their cattle shows all over.  He was most proud when he saw the Bryce and Lucas in the show ring.

Milton was an only child by birth, but he had a large group of cousins and friends that would become like brothers and sisters to him, as well as uncles and aunts to his children. He knew that he could call them anytime and they could call him.

One of the things many people were lucky to have him sing “Happy Birthday” to them on their birthdays, often times very, very early in the morning.

Milton had many passions in his life. On March 14, 1962, he joined Union Lodge 287 in Palmyra. He was a Mason for more than 55 years.

In 1981, under the sponsorship of his uncle, Leonard Dreamer, he joined the Shrine. This was something he was very proud of. He and Barbara would be members for the rest of his life, in working with the various Shrine Clubs, he found his ultimate passion. It was through the Arbor Shrine Club in Nebraska City, he was able to use his many talents to help others.

Whether it was selling large amounts of onions for their fundraising or selling novelties at the Shrine Circus each year, he put his whole heart into it.

After he and Barbara were married, they joined with local friends and neighbors and started a Pitch Card Club. They have played monthly for more than 40 years, with most of the members, only canceling for bad weather. It is safe to say that Milton never met a stranger no matter where he was at. He had this ability to sit down with someone and within 10 minutes he would have their life story.

Milton was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Nora Leefers, mother-in-law and father-in-law, Leslie and Elsie Stephenson and brother-in-law, James Stephenson.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Barbara Leefers, sons and daughter-in-law, Chad Leefers of Houston, Texas, Doyle and wife, Kristen Leefers of Smithville, Mo., and grandsons, Lucas and Bryce Leefers of Smithvile, Mo. Plus many extended family members and a host of friends.

The family will be having a private visitation on Friday, May 8. The funeral and burial will take place on Saturday, May 9 in Elmwood.

Memorials will be going to Leadin’ For A Cure. Leadin’ For A Cure is an all breeds cattle show that has teamed up with the Department of Philanthropy at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City to make a difference for kids suffering from Cancer and Crohns.

Please send memorials to Leadin’ For A Cure, attention Amy Cowan, 9407 N. Amoret Ave., Kansas City, MO 64154.