Dr. Leslie ‘Les’ Hemmingson

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Dr. Leslie “Les” Hemmingson, 82, of Le Mars, died Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023, at Good Samaritan Society in Le Mars.

Leslie was born on April 3, 1940, on the farm of his grandparents (Carl and Clara Taute) near Kadoka, South Dakota, to parents Elbert Orlando and Hattie Frances Ella (Taute) Hemmingson. He moved with his parents from near Kadoka to just south of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where his father was a hired man tending sheep. In 1943, they rented a farm southwest of Canton, South Dakota.

Les attended grade school at Lantaff School #26 and Curley School #23. He graduated from Canton High School, playing tackle football, was an FFA member, and earned academic honors. Les attended South Dakota State University for three years where he studied botany. He then attended the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University for four years where he graduated in 1965.

Leslie married Iris Saltou on Feb. 27, 1965, at Deer Creek Lutheran Church, rural Carpenter, and moved to Le Mars later that year. Two daughters were born to this marriage, Kaaren and Marta.

Les practiced with Dr. John Conley for 12 years. In 1977, he began practicing at the Le Mars Veterinary Clinic with Dr. Charles Holz. Les practiced veterinary medicine in Le Mars for 42 years before retiring in 2007. During those years, he was active in and served as president of the Le Mars Lions Club and served as a deacon and president of the congregation for St. John’s Lutheran Church. He served as a board member at Life Skills, the Christian Needs Center, and the Good Samaritan Society. He also served as commissioner and treasurer of the Plymouth County Soil Conservation Service.

Les was appointed to the Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine and served on the Executive Board of the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association, acting as president in his final year. His professional organizations included the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Bovine Practitioners, American Association of Swine Practitioners, and the Siouxland Veterinary Association where he also served as president.

His retirement years were spent gardening, traveling, fishing and reading.

Leslie is survived by his wife, Iris of Le Mars; his daughters, Kaaren Eide of Rochester, Minnesota, and Dr. Marta (Dr. Grant) Van Beek of Iowa City; five grandchildren, Tyrone (Ellen) Simpson, Tyhesia Simpson-Van Beek, Nathan (Kristy) Eide, Daniel Eide and Ana Van Beek; great-grandchildren, Goldie and Roman Simpson; a sister, LaVonne Carlson (Dave) Yoder; a brother, Terry (Charlene) Hemmingson; three sisters-in-law, Andrea (Robert) Wrage, Susan Saltou, Valerie Saltou; nine nephews and four nieces.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Vernon; and his son-in-law, Curtis Eide.

Funeral services will take place at 11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 21, at St. John’s Lutheran in Le Mars. The Rev. Christian Meier will officiate. Visitation will begin at 2 p.m., Friday, Jan. 20, at the Mauer – Johnson Funeral Home in Le Mars. The family will be present from 5-7 p.m., with a prayer service at 7 p.m. There will also be one hour of visitation at the church prior to the funeral service on Saturday.

The family has donated Les’ body to the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Interment will be at a later date in Memorial Cemetery in Le Mars.

Memorials may be directed to St. John’s Lutheran Church (Le Mars), Le Mars Lions Club for SightFirst, and the American Parkinson Disease Association Iowa Chapter.

Arrangements are with the Mauer - Johnson Funeral Home in Le Mars.

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to mauerjohnsonfh.com.