American Veteran 01

Ronald A. Leighty

August 27, 1930 ~ November 11, 2022 (age 92)
Read more about the life story of Ronald and share your memories in the Tribute Book.    


Ronald A. Leighty, 92, of Aberdeen, SD, passed away Friday, November 11, 2022, at the Minneapolis Veterans Home.

Ronald A Krueger Leighty was born on August 27, 1930, to Elizabeth “Betty” Schmaltz and Albert Kreuger.  He was adopted by C. Harland Leighty when Betty remarried.

Growing up he attended St Mary’s where he had fond memories of being an altar boy and graduated from Aberdeen Central in 1948. He then started college at Northern State Teachers College, now NSU, receiving his degree in Business Administration in 1958.

Prior to starting his career as a small business owner and active community member, he joined the United States Air Force and was stationed in Royal Air Force Lakenheath in Suffolk, England, and Greenham Common in England with the 8th AFDS until 1954.

Ron married Marlene Lacher on the 26th of November 1955.  She passed away on June 3, 2021, at Angelhaus.

While proud of his service to his country, Ron’s first love was always baseball. After retiring from playing following a State Championship win, Ron spent the 1950 season umpiring professional baseball in the Longhorn League in Texas and the Northern League in the Midwest. He umpired the 1965 American Legion World Series in Aberdeen, was a proud Little League coach before and after his tour of duty, and was a lifelong fan of the Aberdeen Pheasants. 

After baseball, his second love was serving others. He served in the SD State Legislature from 1963-1966 and the Rapid City Planning Commission from 1968-1974. Combining his loves, he served on the American Legion Athletic Committee for 10 years until 1996 and as Vice President of Operations for the Aberdeen Pheasants baseball team.

Ron stayed active as a lifetime member of the American Legion Post #24 where he served as Commander. He was also Chef de Gare of the Forty et Eight Voiture #46.  He rounded out his time by also being a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and the Elks Club. Given his lifelong work with veterans’ groups, it seems appropriate that Ron passed on Veteran’s Day.

He is survived by his daughter, LeAnn Leighty Petersen; son-in-law, Leif Petersen; and grandchildren Britta and Kai, of which he was extremely proud.

Memories and condolences may be sent to LeAnn Petersen, 8 West Golden Lake Rd, Circle Pines MN 55014.

A joint service honoring both Ron and his late wife Marlene will be held at a later date in the spring.

Schriver’s Memorial Mortuary and Crematory, 414 5th Avenue NW, Aberdeen, is in charge of arrangements.  Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at

If you choose to send flowers, the family prefers plants as a lasting tribute due to a floral allergy. 

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


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In Loving Memory Of

Ronald Leighty

August 27, 1930-November 11, 2022

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