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Leroy S. Crackel

Leroy S. Crackel, 73, of Bemidji, died Monday, Nov. 24, 2008 at Neilson Place in Bemidji. He was born March 4, 1935 in Miller, S.D. to Elroy and Anna (Blaseg) Crackel. He moved with his family to a farm near Nimrod in 1936. He graduated from Pine...

Leroy S. Crackel, 73, of Bemidji, died Monday, Nov. 24, 2008 at Neilson Place in Bemidji.

He was born March 4, 1935 in Miller, S.D. to Elroy and Anna (Blaseg) Crackel. He moved with his family to a farm near Nimrod in 1936. He graduated from Pine River High School and upon graduation joined the U.S. Army Reserves. He was at Fort Lewis, Wash. on alert during the Berlin call-up. He worked the ore boats on the Great Lakes prior to returning to the family farm after his father's death.

He and his brother, Warren, ran the family farm together near Nimrod and turned 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. He also managed the Spotlight Club in Nisswa. He and Warren later played together as the Crackel Brothers, with a following in the Wadena, Nisswa, Walker and Bemidji areas.

After selling their farm, he and his brother Warren owned a lodge in Beaver Bay on the North Shore for a while before selling it and moving to Laporte.

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He married Cheri Roberts. He lived on Kabekona Lake at Laporte and was employed for many years at Ah-Gwah-Ching in Walker.

He moved to Bemidji in 2001. He was a member of the Bemidji Eagles Club and PFLAG of Bemidji.

It was his 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, N.D.

He is survived by one sister, Evelyn Olson (Borstner), of Stewart; and two brothers: Warren (Jan) of Willmar and Lynn (Myrta) of Brainerd; brother-in-law Earl Hutchinson, of Bemidji; sister-in-law Mayme, of Monticello; former wife Cheri Roberts and stepson Mike of Arkansas; many nieces and nephews; and special friend Dennis Dorr.

He was preceded in death by brothers: Herbert and Wilbur; and sisters: Katherine Mantyla, Eleanore Synstad and Christine Hutchinson.

Memorial service: 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7 in the community room of Nymore Evergreen Acres, 1500 Roosevelt Road SE, Bemidji.

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