LeRoy Leonard Samuelson was born May 24, 1937, at home in New York Mills, Minnesota.
LeRoy graduated from high school in 1955 and soon thereafter married Mildred Bajumpaa who was the love of his life. They were soul mates for 61 years. They made a great team as LeRoy would come up with ideas and Millie would make them happen.
LeRoy worked for 21 years as a truck driver in the metro area. He sometimes worked up to three jobs to satisfy the family needs. LeRoy and Millie later moved to Pine City to allow for his four children to be able to participate and excel in sports. While commuting to work, LeRoy picked up athletic gear for Pine City families. In 1973, LeRoy decided to open his own sporting goods store. With Millie’s help it has grown to what it is today.
LeRoy was an avid sportsman. He participated in many other sporting events. LeRoy promoted softball for many years. He was inducted into the ASA Softball Hall of Fame. He even came up with attaching suction cups from a bath mat on the bottom of his tennis shoes for gripping the ice in order to play broomball.
LeRoy would often pick up and help strangers in need. An extra chair was always available at his home in the event someone needed a warm meal or a warm bed to stay.
LeRoy and Millie retired to Martin Lake where their home was built from the wood off of the property. This was their sanctuary in the woods.
LeRoy was always promoting. When a church needed a fundraiser for its expansion, LeRoy made sure “Elvis was in the building” to create revenue for the church. He also helped bring Ruby’s Pantry to northern Minnesota.
Grandpa LeRoy loved his family. He loved giving his grandkids rides in his pickup truck through the woods. Many a tree would not survive the adventure through the woods. One trip to the Duluth zoo to meet Grandpa LeRoy’s other family “Burley and Brownie,” everyone was surprised when he called out to the two bears and they waved back at him.
LeRoy had a sweet tooth and loved “whipped cream.” His mountain of whipped cream would surpass the size of any piece of pie.
LeRoy had many ways of entertaining people. He loved to ask people if they needed a “little money” to which he had these tiny coins that made everyone laugh. Also the “dime on pin” for the ladies always brought a smile. There was also “Squeeky”and “Lone Star Harry,” the pet puppets that brought out the best in him. LeRoy also had a creative horse that he brought out to participate in the Brookston Fourth of July parade. LeRoy loved to share his jokes and stories. The deer hunting pantomime and Finnish trailer topped the list.
He lived life to the fullest. He always had a big smile on his face and a hearty laugh. He wanted to spread joy to all and make them laugh.
LeRoy passed away on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, in Pine City at the age of 81.
Thanks Dad. You will be missed by all.
LeRoy is survived by his children Loren (Carole) Samuelson, Yvonne (Gary) Louden, Jonathan (Tamera) Samuelson and Bradley (Julie) Samuelson; grandchildren Aaron (Marcy) Samuelson, Holly (Rob) Dahlen, Nicholas (Andrea) Louden, Brittany (Grant) Nicoll, Josh Louden, Brooke (Austin) Otterness, Nicole (Mauricio) Trujillo, Jonathan (Laura) Samuelson, Benjamin (Kate) Samuelson and Anthony (Mandy) Samuelson; 21 great- grandchildren; sisters Jean (LeRoy) Salo, Karol (Dave) Andreason; brother Melvin (Margaret) Samuelson; and many wonderful friends and relatives.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 61 years Mildred; parents Leonard and Alma Samuelson; great-granddaughter Payton Samuelson; sister Louella Wiitala; brother Wilfred Samuelson.
A memorial service was held Saturday, April 6, 2019, at the Hope Lutheran Church in Floodwood, Minnesota. The interment was in Arrowhead Cemetery in Brookston, Minnesota.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to: Funeral and Cremation Service of Pine City, Swanson Chapel. www.FuneralAndCremationService.com