American Patriotic 10


Francis John Kallas

August 6, 1926 ~ October 25, 2018 (age 92)

Click here to view Francis' Mass of Christian Burial.

Francis John Kallas, 92, of Aberdeen, and formerly of Leola, SD, passed away Thursday, October 25, 2018, at Aberdeen Health and Rehab.

Mass of Christian burial will be 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, October 31, 2018, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 409 2nd Avenue NE, Aberdeen, with Father Michael Griffin as celebrant.

Burial, with military rites, will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Aberdeen.

Schriver’s Memorial Mortuary and Crematory, 414 5th Avenue NW, Aberdeen is in charge of arrangements.

Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday.

Family and friends may sign Francis’ online guestbook and also view his service via the live stream service link at

Francis John Kallas was born August 6, 1926, the first child born to John and Barbara (Hartman) Kallas. He was baptized at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Leola, SD. Francis received his education through 8th grade at Willow #3 Rural School. After that, he worked on their farm near Wetonka, SD with his parents.

Francis was inducted into the Army during the Korean War on December 12, 1950. He went through Basic Training at Ft. Carson, CO, and Diesel Mechanic Training at Ft. Balvoir, Washington, DC. He was transferred to Yuma, AZ, to build roads, including a two-mile race track, to test Army equipment. He was transferred to Ft. Roberts, CA, where he drilled water wells on the night shift. While in California, he was able to attend the Rose Bowl Parade. He was discharged from the Army on December 12, 1952, and returned to farming near Leola.

In 1953, he met the love of his life, LaVere (Lacher) Schiltz at a dance in Leola. They were married on October 27, 1954, at St. Mary Parish in Aberdeen. They lived on the farm where they raised small grains, livestock, and operated a dairy farm until 1990, when he and LaVere retired in Leola. Francis was a lifetime member of the Roy S. Hickman Legion Post in Leola, an active member of the Leola Heritage Museum, and the Leola Threshing Bee.

After his retirement, Francis enjoyed spending time in his workshop where he restored a 1947 Ford tractor, welded plant stands, yard snipes, car and farm trailers, and name signs.  

Francis and LaVere moved to Aberdeen in 2011. LaVere moved to Aberdeen Health and Rehab in 2016 and Francis moved to be with her in February 2017. LaVere passed away on January 1, 2018.

Francis and LaVere began making cord rosaries for missions in 1995. Francis continued making rosaries until a short time before his death, completing over 65,000 rosaries that were sent all over the world. 

Francis enjoyed calling Bingo, coffee time, attending Sunday Mass followed by breakfast at the Airport Café, watching “Family Feud”, “Wheel of Fortune” and the Minnesota Twins on TV. He served as a Rosary Leader at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Leola and at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Aberdeen. 

Francis is survived by his children:  Linda (Jon) Fleming, Katy, TX, Carol Mitchell, Baton Rouge, LA, Mary (Jerry) Kaul, Dallas, TX, Leona (Dennis) Pfeifle, Eureka, SD, Shirley (Rodney) Joachim, Eureka, SD, Larry (Cindy) Kallas, Brooklyn Park, MN, Wendell (Chantell) Kallas, Rapid City, SD, Melvin (Marian) Kallas, Wetonka, SD, David (Valeri) Kallas, Renner, SD, Paulette Steinmann, Shoreview, MN, Philip (Kathie) Kallas, Neola, IA, and Anna (Kallas) Weisser, Aberdeen, SD; 21 grandchildren:  Eric Serfoss, Joel Serfoss, Brandon (Bonnie) Griess, Sarah (Shawn) Person, Amber (Todd) Weber, Laura (David) Melius, Amanda (Vince) Koenig, Ben Kallas, Daniel (Natalie) Kallas, Kevin (Christine) Kallas, Cailee Cuny, John Steinmann, Adam Steinmann, Alaina (Nathan Wingert) Kallas, Logan Kallas, Nicole McDonald, Derek Weisser, Jared Weisser, McKennah Weisser, Allison Weisser, and Mason Weisser; 14 great-grandchildren:  Lauren and Ava Serfoss, Raylan and Liesl Griess, Devin and Jordin Weber, Landen, Nathan, Teresa and Rachel Melius, Gabriel Koenig, Mia Kallas, Caleb and Alison Kallas: his sisters: Mildred Marg and Lorraine Redig, both of  Winona, MN; brother-in-law, John Schloegel, Lewiston, MN; and sister-in-law, Lorraine Lanphere, Aberdeen, SD.

     Francis was preceded in death by LaVere, his wife of 63 years; his parents, John and Barbara Kallas; his sisters, Marie Schloegel and Rita Schloegel; brother, Jerome Kallas; son-in-law, Edward “Sonny” Mitchell; daughter-in-law, Arlene Kallas; and brothers-in-law, Eugene Marg and Arthur Redig.



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