LeRoy Joseph Schwartz


LeRoy Joseph Schwartz, 85, of Belle Plaine died peacefully March 7, 2019 in Yuma,
Mass of Christian Burial will be on Saturday, May 25, at 10:30 AM at Our Lady of the
Prairie Catholic Church in Belle Plaine. A two-hour visitation will be held from 8:30 AM to 10:30
AM in the OLP gathering space. Lunch and a life celebration will follow in the church hall.
Family burial later in St. Anne’s Cemetery in LeSueur.
LeRoy was born October 20, 1933, in St. Paul, Minnesota to Mahlon and Edna
(Turnquist) Schwartz of Ottowa, MN and later the family moved to a farm in Blakeley Twp.
where he grew up. He graduated from LeSueur High School and the College of St. Thomas in St.
Paul, MN.
He then joined the United States Air Force and trained to be a fighter pilot,
subsequently earning several awards for marksmanship and flying skills. LeRoy’s first
permanent assignment was to Etain AB in France for two years and then to Spangdahlem AB in
Germany for one year. While in Germany, he met and married his wife, Pat, who he was
married to for 58 + years. LeRoy was transferred to Nellis AFB, Nevada, in 1960 as a bombing
instructor and then resigned his commission in 1962 and returned to Blakeley Twp. to begin his
life-long farming career.
His farming endeavors covered a broad spectrum of agricultural activities including feed
grain crops, factory (canning) crops for Green Giant, cultured sod, putting together components
for a six- row sweet corn picker which was later adopted by Green Giant, an early cooperator
working closely with chemical and seed companies providing seed plots and assisting with
research, etc.
LeRoy also found time for family trips which they all enjoyed. Later in life, he and Pat
had opportunities for some more extensive traveling. LeRoy loved family and was like a magnet
to children. He had a way of winking with a twinkle in his eye that could melt your heart. To
know LeRoy was to have a friend.
LeRoy and Pat raised six children and one foster son. He is survived by his wife, Pat,
sons, Mike (Carolyn), Dave (Cindy), Terry (Melissa), Kevin and daughters, Cathy (Tim) Elness and
Julie (Dale) Tesch, fourteen grandchildren and five great grandchildren, sisters, Ann Louise
Distel, Corinne Good and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Janet Laughlin, and foster son, Steve
(Jayne) Dumas.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to donor’s choice.


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