Leo Elyea

1936 ~ 2022 (age 86)


Leo D Elyea was born as a twin in January of 1936 in Lyons County, WI, to Ted and Ann Elyea. He died in April 2022 at the age of 86 at North Memorial Hospital, Robbinsdale, MN from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle crash. His daughters, Samantha and Shannon remained by his side at North Memorial for 2 days. Many family members called and sent messages so he could hear and know how much he was loved. Some of his favorite songs were played and at the end they prayed with ICU Pastor Dan until he was welcomed into Heaven on his final day.

His family moved to Backus in the early 1940s where he attended school & graduated from Backus High School in 1954. He played football and basketball and made great friends and memories in Backus. In 1955 he went to Denver CO to join the Air Force.  He was invited to a football training camp for a team in Denver. He chose the Air Force over football. He would want to be remembered as a proud career military service member of the Air Force and Vietnam Veteran. He completed basic training in TX and survived 3 tours of Vietnam. He was stationed all around the USA in CO, ME, MI, OK, FL and around the globe in Okinawa, Greece, Belgium, Germany and Turkey. He retired in FL as a Master Sergeant.

In retirement he moved back to his childhood hometown, Backus, MN, and enjoyed golfing, hunting, fishing, gardening, attending WeFest, MCing at CornFest, starting an annual and ongoing 4H Fundraiser golf tournament, being an active member in the Backus and Hackensack Legions, visiting veterans in nursing homes, marching in parades representing veterans, delivering Sue’s cookies around the holidays and wintering in Orange Beach, AL, with Sue and friends they made over the 33 years they spent together.

He is survived by his twin brother, Lester (MN), and younger brother, Harold (WY); children: Mark (VA) Marilyn (NC) Shannon (MN) Samantha (MN) William (MN) and Toni (NC); close friends: Kash (WI), Tom (Canada) and Jerry (IA); 14 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by father Ted, mother, Ann, brother Ted, son Leroy, son Ted, wife Paula and wife Sue by 2 days. He also outlived 6 beloved Labrador Retrievers.

Funeral Services will be held at the Church of the Nazarene in Backus, MN on May 22, 2022 at 1pm. Interment at the Backus Cemetery with family will immediately follow the service. A Celebration of Life luncheon will be provided by the Backus and Hackensack Auxiliary right after the Funeral Services where all friends and family are welcome to congregate and reminisce at the Backus Legion. 

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