LeRoy grew up in Clear Lake, Minnesota, where he was a member of St. Marcus Catholic Church.
I’ll never forget as a teenage boy helping lay concrete blocks for a new basement under the church when the priest came one day with a case of beer and said, “Those boys can have some too. They work like men, they can have a drink, too.” That never happened here at Zion when I helped paint walls, etc..
After high school, he spent two years in the Army and then four years in the Air Force.
Having mostly driven truck in the service, I then went to work for a trucking company. After some time, I thought I’d invest in my own trucking business, and did so in 1975 in Litchfield, MN. The most challenging part of my faith journey was when I lost my business in a fire in 1991. I really struggled with which direction I should take in life. It was really hard to get motivated and continue on, but I went back to working for Fitzsimmons Railroad Salvage in Montrose. Not only was I still driving truck, but also cleaning up railroad derailments, reloading train cars, etc..
LeRoy married Judy in 2001, and they made their home in Buffalo. He acquired two step-daughters, and now they have five grandchildren.
Since I retired in 2004, I have kept myself busy continuing to work part-time as a truck driver, doing yard work, volunteering, and, as my wife says, I putz. I also like to spend my summer weekends camping and fishing.
At Zion, LeRoy serves with his wife at funeral lunches and the Lutefisk Supper, and he helps with a variety of woodworking projects for ministries at Zion and beyond.
I got involved with Zion’s Vacation Bible School at least ten years ago. The VBS woodworking team has helped with many different creations during that time. One project included some scrollwork, and at that time, I got involved with the Community Center Toy Workshop, taking charge after Erv Schmidt passed away. It’s been a good feeling working with wood and making new things all the time. Twenty years ago I would never have thought of doing such a thing.
Harvest of Hands has benefited from LeRoy’s woodworking talents, both in silent auction items, and as parts of craft projects including Dala horses, wooden Christmas trees, wooden nativity sets, and Scandinavian style candle holders. The Harvest of Hands coordinators appreciate LeRoy’s willingness to make things for them and his expertise in doing so. He has also made bean bag toss games for Zion events and groups.