BELLA VISTA, Ark. —
Donald “Don” Leak, 81, of Bella Vista, Ark., and formerly of Oskaloosa, died Friday evening, May 3, 2013, at the Circle of Life Hospice in Bentonville, Ark.
Donald Eugene Leak, son of Bernard “Sandy” and Lillian (Kabe) Leak, was born Aug.16, 1931, in Canton, S.D. As a youngster, his family moved to Minnesota Lake, Minn., where he was a graduate of Minnesota Lake High School. He furthered his education at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., before entering the Air Force during the Korean War; serving from 1950 – 1954. Upon his return from the military, Don was employed in his father’s business, Sandy’s Culligan Soft Water, where he learned the trade of plumbing. Don was united in marriage to Karen Ann Tolzmann, Aug. 30, 1957, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Minnesota Lake. He and Karen moved to Mount Rose, Minn., where he worked in the plumbing and heating trade. Don later was employed as an assistant manager with Gambles-Skogmo Hardware Store, first in Mitchell, S.D., and then in Cherokee. After being injured in an auto accident in the 1950s, Don was confronted with finding a job that required less physical activity. While undergoing treatment at Mayo Clinic, it was suggested he look into nurse anesthesiology. Don returned to school and received his nursing degree from The Methodist School of Nursing in Sioux City and then attended Southwest School of Anesthesia in Springfield,Mo., where he received his education to qualify him as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. After completing his education, Don worked as an anesthetist in numerous Iowa towns including, Postville, Leon, and Webster City. He settled in Oskaloosa in 1970 and worked at Mahaska County Hospital until his retirement in 1995. Don and Karen moved to Arkansas in 2002. Don was a member of St. John Lutheran Church in Oskaloosa for many years and he was a current member of Bella Vista Lutheran Church in Arkansas. Don loved adventure and entrepreneurship; his job as an anesthetist gave him enough free time to allow him to pursue many different enterprises, namely: The Black Angus Cattle Farm, Big Daddy’s Worm Farm, Del’s Auction Lunch Service and KADE Wholesale Electrical Supply. He also enjoyed many other activities including: working in his shop, collecting, attending auctions, horseback riding, fishing in Canada, hunting prairie dogs in South Dakota and elk and bear hunting in Wyoming. After ill health limited his activity level, Don continued to enjoy adventure through the escapades of the “American Pickers” and “Pawn Stars” on the History Channel.