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Big Rapids Daily News

Reverend Leonard J. Skodak Sr., age 94 of Big Rapids, went to be with his Lord Thursday, August 4, 2016.  He was born October 20, 1921 in Mauston, Wisconsin, the son of Joseph and Katherine (Lipar) Skodak.  Leonard quit school after the 8th grade to work on the family farm.  He then enlisted in the United States Navy and was stationed in Providence, Rhode Island where he met his future wife, Mildred Marshall.  Leonard and Mildred married on December 5, 1942 after five short weeks of dating and were blessed with nearly 60 years of marriage and four children.  Leonard was honorably discharged after serving during World War II.    


Together their family moved to Bourbonnais, Illinois where he attended Olivet Nazarene University and achieved his bachelor degree in ministerial studies.  Leonard and his family relocated to Wisconsin where he was ordained as a reverend of the Church of the Nazarene.  He began his pastoral career in Portage and Laona, Wisconsin before they made Big Rapids their permanent home in 1966.  There, Leonard pastored at the First Church of the Nazarene and was the Director of the Nazarene Daycare with Mildred.  Leonard also started the Fremont Church of the Nazarene, where they stayed for nearly eight years.  Most recently he was a member of the Reed City Church of the Nazarene. 


He is survived by his four children, Leonard J. (Mary) Skodak Jr. of Oklahoma City, OK., Joyce E. (Paul Jr.) Hutchings of Smyrna, GA, Edward John (Marlene) Skodak of Reed City, and Juanita J. (Duane) Smith of Forrest, IL.; nine grandchildren, Leonard J. “Lee” Skodak, Loren J. (Bridgett) Skodak, Nicholas Hutchings, Kendra Sue (Joseph) Quales, Aaron Joseph Skodak, Carrie Ann (Ryan) Rafferty, Jennifer Lynn (Justin) Snell, Aaron Jesse Smith, and Joshua Joseph (Kirsten) Smith; nine great-grandchildren, Tyler, Megan and Owen Rafferty, Kaya and Thomas Coleman, Toby Snell, Brailynn Smith, Braydon Quales, and Jacob Christian Skodak; sister, Elsie Webster of Twin Lakes, WI; and numerous nieces and nephews.  


Leonard was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mildred on January 4, 2002; brother, Edward John Skodak while serving during World War II; sister, Evelyn Bradley; and an infant sister.


Funeral services will take place 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at the Reed City Church of the Nazarene with Pastor Austin Hill and Pastor Harold Gilkerson officiating.  The family will greet friends from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Monday, August 8th at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids and one hour prior to the service on Tuesday at the Church.  Leonard will be laid to rest at Mauston Cemetery in Mauston, Wisconsin.


Memorial contributions may be made in Leonard’s name to the Nazarene Compassionate Ministry.  Make checks payable to Global Treasurer and mail them to Global Treasury Services, Church of the Nazarene, P.O. Box 843116, Kansas City, MO 64184-3116. 


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