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Leslie A. Nelson, 85, of Baudette, MN, formally from Williams, MN, passed away at LakeWood Hospital in Baudette on Saturday, July 24th, after suffering a stroke in May.

Leslie was born in Warroad, MN, to Marvin and Catherine (Ramiller) Nelson on June 9, 1936. Leslie attended school in Williams and during which time he played High School hockey as well as baseball. He graduated from High School in 1954.

Leslie left for Spokane, WA, where he served 4 years at Fairchild Air Force Base as an MP guarding the military planes. On August 3, 1955, Leslie married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Robberstad at the Air Force Base in Spokane, WA. After his military service, Les and his family moved to Bemidji where he attended Bemidji State University to study teaching. Les’ first teaching job was in Warroad, MN, where he was also hired as the assistant hockey coach for the Warroad Warriors. Henty Boucha was a member of that team that year. Les made his final move to Baudette to teach high school science, chemistry and physics for the next 31 years.

Les enjoyed golf and was instrumental in the construction of the Oak Harbor Golf Club. Les, Barb and family were avid golfers and enjoyed many tournament wins over the years. Les was the greens keeper at the club for several years since he had summers off from teaching which he loved. Also during this time, Les and Barb moved to the family farm in Williams where Les farmed while also teaching school.

Leslie was an active member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Baudette and later St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Williams. He was a member of the Nights of Columbus, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Les read the long list of names of fallen soldiers each year at the Memorial Day service in Williams.

Les and Barb moved to a home on the Rainy River in Baudette in 2015. It was a perfect spot because Les loved to fish in the summer as well as the winter. On a cold winter day you’d find Les in his fish house in front of his home. Les loved all of his river friends he’d see while fishing.

Les is survived by his daughter, Kathy of Bemidji, his sons, Tom (Shelly) of Baudette and Terry (Janice) also of Baudette; his grandchildren, Kristen, Garrett, Cole (Maddi), Whitney, Kelli (Zack), Cody, Kaydee and great grandson, Wyatt.

Les was preceded in death by his parents, Marvin and Catherine, his wife, Barbara, son Tracy, sisters, Janice and Kay, brother, Jim, and several aunts and uncles.   

A visitation will be held on Friday, July 30, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Helgeson Funeral Home in Baudette. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Williams, MN on Saturday, July 31, at 10:30 a.m. Private interment will be held at St. Joseph’s cemetery in Williams, MN, at a later date.

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