Leonard Votava

leonard votava
Leonard Votava, 91, passed away peacefully at Bethany Retirement Living on Friday, May 18th, 2018. Leonard L. Votava was born on January 21st 1927 to Frank and Barbara Votava. He was raised near Fordville, North Dakota where he went to school, helped on the family farm and began his passion for hunting. Leonard enlisted in the army at the young age of 17, joining his older brothers during WW II. He was stationed in the Pacific for most of his army career where he became a military police officer. Although, he did not talk about his time in the military often, he was extremely proud to have served his country. After returning from the war, Leonard moved to Grand Forks, ND. While bartending, he learned about several roads being built across North Dakota and Montana and that began his career in road construction. He worked in Grand Forks, eventually moving to Fargo to work for Collins Brothers Construction. He spent much of his career with Collins, where he created many lifelong friendships and memories. Leonard did maintenance work for many years, finally retiring in his early 80s. Leonard met Marlene Gunderson in Fargo and they eventually married. Their union lasted over 50 years, until Marlene’s passing in Oct 2017. Leonard devoted his life to Marlene and their two children Julie and Shelly. He stayed in the South Fargo home he and Marlene built until his stroke in 2015. Leonard enjoyed life and lived it to the fullest. Spending many weekends hunting with his brother and nephews in Minot. Later in life, Leonard spent most summer weekends at the lake with his family and could not wait to take his grandsons fishing. He proudly attended Zach and Ben’s football and hockey games. Leonard is survived by his two daughters, Julie (Kris) Condon Maple Grove, MN; Shelly (Charity) Votava Brooklyn Park, MN; 3 grandchildren: Zach and Ben Condon and Madison Schoephoerster; his sister Loretta Votava Richards Idaho and several nieces and nephew. He was preceded in death by his wife Marlene; his parents Frank and Barbara; his brothers, Frank, Stanley and Romane; sister Irene and several nieces and nephews. There will be a funeral service at 2:00 PM on Thursday, May 24, 2018 at Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center, Fargo with a visitation one hour prior.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Shelly, charity, Julie, & Kris and family. I miss coming home to visit both Marlene and Leonard, they were loved very much.
    I will miss getting a tomato or two from Leonard and our visits when I was home. Love and hugs too alll.

  2. Leonard worked for me for many years, I always enjoyed his positive personality and was always greeted with a smile. He was hard working, trustworthy and very productive during his career.

    Bill Collins

  3. My heart breaks for everyone. So much to love and Miss with his passing. I will truly miss the gardens that he and Marlene filled with vegetable, flowers and especially the love of it. I am so sorry I will not be able to attend his Celebration but I have my MD 20/20 and 7up ready. One last one for you Uncle Leonard.

  4. Selley, that was a beautiful story you wrote about your dad. I Met your Dad when we were in Fargo and he came down with your mom to see us.It was so nice having them both there to visit.I’m sorry for your loss and totally understand the feelings you are having. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  5. Shelley, The obituary you wrote about you Dad was so interesting..He sure had an interesting life. It is a sad loss when you loose a parent. The good memories are the best. Many thoughts and prayers are with you.

  6. Uncle Leonard was always my favorite uncle! I have many fond memories of time spent with him, especially a few years ago when I visited Loenard and Marlene in Fargo. I truly enjoyed Marlene taking me to the flower shop she worked at and sharing information about her flowers she loved, and Leonard showing me around Fargo and his special memories and interests. Time passes way to fast and Uncle Leonard was so dear, I have always missed not seeing him more often. What a beautiful obituary was written to share about his life. I so enjoyed reading it! I am sorry I will not be able to attend the services, but will continue to keep the family in my prayers and thoughts. Love and hugs to this special family!

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