The Slade Funeral Home in Leon, Iowa began when Frank and Lyda Slade opened the business in October 1933, on West Fifth Street. In 1940, they purchased the home of Frank’s aunt, Lena Varga, the present brick Italianate building built in the late 1870’s, located on the corner of East Highway 2 and NE Mill Street. The contractor that built the Decatur County Court House in 1873, also built this house for himself. The Slades built on an addition for a chapel, music room, and family room.
Their son, Jim Slade, after high school graduation and serving four years in the United States Navy, attended Worsham Mortuary School in Chicago, Illinois. In April of 1956, he met Lois Veltman in Chicago, a student nurse from Winterset, Iowa. They were married October 12, 1956. Both of them were busy in the funeral home, running an ambulance service, and selling and setting monuments, while also raising their two children, Richard and Ruth. In 1964, an addition to the front of the building was added for a new casket display room, replacing the old casket room upstairs.
Jim took on more responsibility for managing the funeral home, especially when Frank and Lyda were in failing health. From 1974, to 1976, a partnership was formed and the funeral home was known as Slade & Soll Funeral Home for those two years. Their son, Richard Slade, joined the firm in September of 1980, after graduating from the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science in Dallas, Texas. This made three generations serving in the same Slade Funeral Home. Frank died in 1983, and Lyda in 1985.
The Slade & Duerr Funeral Home began in February 1984, when the two Leon funeral homes merged including a branch chapel in Lamoni, Iowa. An addition on the east side of the Leon building added a new double visitation room, new preparation room, and doubled the size of the family room with a new restroom attached. On November 3, 1989, Gail and Donna Duerr sold their share in the funeral home. Richard Slade, wife Connie, Ruth Slade O’Donnell, and husband, Bill, became the new owners to form the Slade – O’Donnell Funeral Home. Over the next several years, Jim and Lois, started stepping back, allowing the “kids” to take over. In May of 2014, Ruth O’Donnell retired with Bill O’Donnell following in January 2015. Richard and Connie Slade continue to operate the funeral home and serve the community with the same care and empathy as it was started with in 1933.
Slade-O'Donnell Funeral Home
Phone: (641) 446-6211
103 NE Mill Street, Leon, IA 50144