LeRoy Wellman, age 92, formerly of St. James, died on Sunday, January 5, 2020 at Mala Strana Assisted Living And Rehabilitation Center in New Prague, MN.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 11am, Friday, January 10, 2020 at St. James Catholic Church in St. James with Father Timothy Hall as celebrant.
Burial will be at Mt Hope Cemetery in St. James with military honors provided by the St. James Veterans Honor Guard.
Visitation will be at Sturm Funeral Home in St. James on Thursday from 4-7pm and at the church one hour before services on Friday.
LeRoy was born on June 9, 1927 on a farm west of St. James, Minnesota. He was the son of Gloyd Sr. and Lena Wellman and was the second of six children. LeRoy and his family later moved to a farm by Mountain Lake, Minnesota where he spent the remainder of his childhood. LeRoy loved life growing up on the farm surrounded by a loving family rooted in hard work. He would often speak of time spent milking the cows early in the morning and evenings spent with music and dance.
LeRoy was enlisted in the US Army and fought in the Korean War from 1952 – 1953. He became a Sergeant and although he never talked about the battles fought, he would often reference those he fought alongside and especially those that did not make it home.
After the war LeRoy was stationed in Fort Carson, Colorado. There he attended a dance one evening where he met the love of his life, Maria Vallejos. Their love for each other was strong even after he moved back to Minnesota. LeRoy bought a new car and drove to Colorado and proposed. LeRoy and Maria were united in marriage on August 21, 1954 in Vineland, Colorado.
Soon after the wedding LeRoy and Maria bought a farm two miles west of St James and there, they began their life together farming the land and raising livestock. LeRoy also spent time as a carpenter including building his wife’s dream home. As LeRoy and Maria had struggles early on with having children of their own, their farm became the place to visit by many nieces and nephews. As time went on they were finally blessed with four beautiful children. LeRoy raised his children as he was raised, to have respect for hard work and to love one another unconditionally.
LeRoy spent 52 years on the farm until the passing of his beloved wife Maria. He then moved into St James and lived at the Homestead Cooperative. In 2012 LeRoy moved to Mala Strana Assisted Living in New Prague, Minnesota where he spent the remainder of his years enjoying time spent with loved ones.
LeRoy was well known in St James as he was a very active member of St James Catholic Church, Legion and VFW. He was loved by all who knew him as he was one of the kindest men you would have ever met. He was progressive in his views, always supporting those that were oppressed wanting the best for everyone. LeRoy was also famous for his love of country and polka music as well as his dancing abilities. He would always talk about the night he met his wife and the importance of knowing how to dance. LeRoy’s love of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were most important to him. Most of all he will always be remembered for his beautiful and gentle soul. To have had him in our lives is truly a gift.
He is survived by his children; Jeffrey (Jill) Wellman of Isanti, Lisa (Augustine) Najera of St. James, Jody (Lisa) Wellman of Rochester, Lena (Jason) Balk of New Market, grandchildren; LeRoy Wellman, Nicole (Brett) Myhre, Alicia Najera, Merissa Wellman, Sam Wellman, A.J. Najera and fiancé America, Cole Wellman, Izabel Balk, Alexander Balk, great-granddaughter Rowin Myhre and 2 on the way, siblings; Joyce (Verald) Englin of Garner, IA, Leon (Marion) Wellman of Montevideo, Charles (Alice) Wellman of Comfrey, Phyllis (Harry) Peters of Brewster and Gloyd (Roxanne) Wellman, Jr of Darfur. He is preceded in death by his wife and parents.
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