Thomas Leisinger, 83, of Hartford, died October 19, 2022, at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls
Thomas Leisinger, born 1938 to Arthur and Veronica Leisinger in Wentworth and Madison areas of South Dakota respectively, passed away October 19, 2022 at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls at age 83. His mother began digging graves manually to help fund her children’s college education costs as an extra source of income.
Early Life and Education
Thomas Leisinger was born in 1938 and passed away October 19, 2011 at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls. He was the son of Arthur and Veronica Leisinger and worked both as a farmer and bacteriologist; his research focused on degradative pathways for organic compounds in nature, as well as carbon cycling processes. Thomas earned his Ph.D from ETH Zurich Institute of Microbiology in Switzerland.
His mother worked as a grave digger in Wentworth and Madison, South Dakota for 26 years as an extra source of income to cover the expenses associated with raising 11 children. Additionally, she mow lawns for additional income. While her work was hard, it provided valuable benefits for both herself and her family and she was immensely proud of what she achieved – his work at National Archives made this family even closer together.
Tom Leisinger began his career with the US Department of Agriculture. Initially as a bacteriologist, later becoming an adjunct professor at ETH Zurich’s Institute of Microbiology until retiring as professor.
He published over one hundred scientific papers and received numerous awards for his groundbreaking research into the diversity of degradative pathways for organic compounds found in nature, helping to further our understanding of carbon cycling processes and maintaining biodiversity within ecosystems.
He currently works at Ovation Fertility as an off-site laboratory director and has experience with vitrification techniques as well as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) for preimplantation genetic testing.
Achievement and Honors
Thomas Leisinger was an internationally recognized expert in microbiology, known for his groundbreaking research pertaining to organic degradative pathways found throughout nature. Additionally, he served on multiple editorial boards of international publications as well as commissions.
The University of Central Lancashire recognizes its Fellows with special distinction in recognition of their achievements and contributions to society. We bestow this distinction only upon those individuals with strong connections to Central Lancashire or who reflect its values and represent it faithfully.
Tom Leisinger leaves behind his wife Carol; two sons Jerry and Mark Leisinger; daughter-in-laws Terri and Tammy Leisinger; grandchildren Brittany, Lauren, Haley Leisinger Tyler Dalton Hunter Leisinger Eric Jamison Sister Shirley Van Dam of Colman (Dennis Van Dam); brothers Arthur Jim Leisinger of Hartford (Arthur and Jim), Bob and Dave Leisinger both of Wentworth.
Thomas Leisinger led an eventful life both professionally and personally. He deeply valued his time with family and friends and was known to help anyone in need if asked. Additionally, Thomas had an infectious sense of humor – making others laugh with his jokes or “Seanisms.”
He is survived by one daughter, Susan Jamison of Marana, Arizona; two sons Jerry (Lisa) from Hartford and Mark from Wentworth; 11 grandchildren: Brittany, Lauren and Haley Leisinger as well as Tyler Cody Keaton Leisinger plus Kamrie Jordyn Nolan Heine as well as three great-grandchildren Berkley Hadley Ridge as well as his sister Shirley Van Dam from Colman; Arthur was predeceased by both of his parents Arthur and Veronica Van Dam.
Tom was an active member of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, serving on their Church Council and ushering. Additionally, he held memberships on Lake County AG Board and SD Coin and Stamp Associations.
Thomas Leisinger was estimated to be worth an estimated net worth of more than $1 billion, having served on several private boards of directors, such as Thermo-Fisher Scientific and Monsanto Company; serving on University of South Dakota Trustee Board; owning multiple real estate properties and running his private investment firm Leisinger & Sons; marrying Carol Wold of Madison; having three children: Terri (Don) Meister, Tammy Blasberg and Janelle Heine as well as eleven grandchildren including Kamrie Jackson Jordyn and Bentley Heine; passed away October 19 at Sanford Hospital Sioux Falls