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Leota Mae Kajdas age 85, of Elsie, MI, passed away Friday, July 13, 2018, at her daughter's home.
Funeral Services will be held at Elsie United Methodist Church, Elsie, MI, on Monday, July 16, 2018 at 11:00 A.M., with Pastor Ava R. Williams officiating. Burial will take place at Riverside Cemetery, Elsie, MI. Visitation will be held on Sunday, July 15, 2018 from 2-8 P.M. with family present from 2-4 & 6-8 P.M. at Smith Family Funeral Homes, Elsie, MI.
Leota was born in Elsie, MI on May 8, 1933, the daughter of Asa and Bessie Elizabeth (Dunham) Stewart. She graduated from Elsie High School with the class of 1951. She went on to Michigan State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in education and masters degree in reading. She married Stanley Kajdas on September 15, 1951; Stan passed away June 14, 1997 after 44 years of marriage.
Leota taught at the Ovid-Elsie Area School District. Most of her years were spent at E.E. Knight Elementary teaching fourth grade. After retiring Leota was director of the Elsie Area Food Bank for 23 years. She was a member of the Elsie United Methodist Church and the Elsie Historical Society. She enjoyed family genealogy, quilting and attending quilting retreats. She also enjoyed square dancing and round dancing with her husband and became a square dance caller. Leota liked playing cards and was part of a card club for many years; she especially loved playing Pigs and Hogs with her family. Leota loved spending time with her family, and the time spent with her grandchildren and great grandchildren was very special to her.
She is survived by son Ronald Kajdas of Elsie, MI; daughters: Susan and Dr. Robert Peterson of Elsie, MI; Diane and Dr. Douglas Saylor of Bay City, MI; Dawn Kajdas of St. Johns, MI; grandchildren: Kristina and Dr. Ryan Brunworth of Spring Lake, MI; Kevin and Lisa Peterson of Rochester Hills, MI; Sara and Daniel Van Dewater of Las Vegas, NV; Paul Peterson of Las Vegas, NV; Erin Saylor and Matthew Ryan of Oak Park, IL; Douglas Saylor of Los Angeles, CA; Cory Sheldon of St. Johns, MI; great-grandchildren: Mason, Brady, and Logan Brunworth; Lauren and Kelsey Peterson; Connor and Emma Van Dewater, and Malin Ryan. She is also survived by nephew Robert and Catherine Warner of St. Johns, MI; great nieces: Nicole and Brandon Swinsick, Rachel Warner, Tammie (Johnston) and Tom Wolfe; great nephews: Jeffrey Johnston, Joseph and Jenny Johnston, great great nieces: Samantha and Melissa Wolfe, and great great niece and nephew Morgan and Finnegan Johnston. She is also survived by special friend RG Decker. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, siblings: Erma Warner, Charles and Doris Warner, Retha and George Day; half brother William Dewey and niece Barbara (Warner) and Joe Johnston.
In lieu of flowers, Leota asks that people do an act of kindness for someone else. Memorials may be made to the Elsie Area Food Bank, Capital Area Humane Society Spay and Neuter Clinic or Elsie United Methodist Church. Online condolences can be sent to www.smithfamilyfuneralhomes.com. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes, Elsie, MI.