LeRoy Curtis Malquist died in the early morning hours of Oct 11, 2019, in Alexandria, Minnesota. He survived on a diet of home cooking, A&W root beer, Ritz crackers, Jif creamy peanut butter, and Gunsmoke reruns.
Grandpa died with a stern, peaceful and weathered look on his face. He provided for his family with his extensive knowledge of horticulture, animal reproduction, veterinary services, mechanical maintenance, construction, and plumbing, through his work as a farmer and home builder in Kandiyohi and Douglas Counties.
They say that behind every good Norwegian man there’s a great Swedish woman, and LeRoy’s wife was no exception. At the age of 21, LeRoy fell in love with his little sister’s best friend, Helen, and for 63 years they stayed by each other’s side. Helen kept track of his car keys, wallet, and wild imagination. She brought a love of camping and exploring into his life.
Dad was an ardent believer in the “American Dream,” and felt that through grit and hard work, anyone could own a Cadillac. He always preferred to be socially engaged and eating lemon pie when not working. LeRoy and Sammi the cat found contentment in the last years of his life by smiling, telling jokes, and building positive relationships with the kaleidoscope of personalities at Diamond Willow Assisted Living.
These values and beliefs were perfectly reflected by the scars on his feet, the heft of his hands, and the windburned wrinkles on his face. LeRoy’s cat Sammi, daughters Colleen Hern and Mary Kokula, and his three grandkids now have the honor of sharing their favorite memories with the next generation of Malquists.
Services have been held. Memorials will be given to Itasca State Park for their native plant restoration.