BEMIDJI - Leroy S. Crackel, 73, of Bemidji died Nov. 24, 2008, at Neilson Place in Bemidji.
It was Leroy's wish that his body be donated to the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Grand Forks, ND. A memorial service and time of sharing for family and friends will be held on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 1 pm in the community room of Nymore Evergreen Acres, 1500 Roosevelt Road Southeast, Bemidji. Cease Family Funeral Home of Bemidji assisted the family with arrangments.
He was born March 4, 1935, in Miller, S.D. to Elroy and Anna (Blaseg) Crackel, the youngest of nine children. He moved with his family to a farm near Nimrod, in 1936. He graduated from Pine River High School and upon graduation joined the Army Reserves and was at Fort Lewis, Washington on alert during the Berlin Call Up. Leroy worked the ore boats on The Great Lakes prior to returning to the family farm after his father's death.
Leroy graduated from Pine River High School and upon graduation joined the Army Reserves and was at Fort Lewis, Washington on alert during the Berlin Call Up.
He and his brother, Warren ran the family farm together near Nimrod turning it into a successful beef and crop producing operation. Leroy was a singer and piano player in a dance band called the Hi-Lites with his sister Christine, brothers Warren and Lynn and friend Ole Sumption. The Hi-Lites were the house band at Moonlight Bay in Cross Lake in the 1960s and Leroy also successfully managed the Spotlight Club in Nisswa. He and Warren later played together as the Crackel Brothers, enjoying a large following of fans in the Wadena, Nisswa, Walker and Bemidji areas.
After selling their farm, Leroy and his brother Warren owned a lodge in Beaver Bay on the North Shore for a period before selling it and moving to Laporte. He was married to Cheri Roberts. He lived on Kabekona Lake at Laporte and was employed for many years at Ah-Gwah-Ching in Walker. Leroy had many life-long friends. He moved to Bemidji in 200 where he made many new friends and enjoyed fishing, gardening and other activities in the area. Leroy was a member of the Bemidji Eagles Club and PFLAG of Bemidji.
He is survived by one sister, Evelyn Olson (Borstner) of Stewart, Minn., and two brothers, Warren (and Jan) of Willmar and Lynn (and Myrta) of Brainerd; Brother-in-law Earl Hutchinson of Bemidji; sister-in-law Mayme Crackel of Monticello; former wife Cheri Roberts and stepson Mike of Arkansas; many nieces and nephews; and many friends including special friend Dennis Dorr. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Herbert and Wilbur and sisters Katherine Mantyla, Eleanore Synstad and Christine Hutchinson.
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