Leslie J. Beyer -- Rochester
Leslie James Beyer was 90 years young when he passed away Saturday, Feb. 2, at Saint Marys Hospital in the town he called home for most of his life.
Born March 29, in Millville, to Carl and Bertha (Schmidt) Beyer, Les had three brothers, Vincent, Richard and Ronald “Bud.” Les grew up, went to school, played sports, found work and raised his family in Rochester. He was so deeply attached to this town and his loyal friends that no other place could draw him away.
Les graduated from Rochester High School (now John Marshall) with the Class of ’46 — who, at the time of this article, still meet once a month to enjoy breakfast and conversation.
Les served in Korea, where a part of his day-to-day role was to ensure telephone communication lines were functional. When he was injured, falling from a pole in this line of duty, he was sent to a rehab hospital in Hawaii, where he decided to use his good arm to master champion table tennis techniques — which were undeniably lethal.
Back home, he returned to work at Waters Conley, a local company that made phonographs and later hearing aids and headsets for airline pilots, as Telex Communications.
By this time, Les had the good sense to find Elaine Tecla Cierzan of Winona and convince her to marry him. They were happily together 60 years and had five children. In retirement, Les and Elaine moved near Willow Creek, where they loved to golf and watch the eagles that shared their cul de sac.
Even into his 80s, Les continued to enjoy the other pastimes he loved, including fishing, flirting, volunteering, crosswords, bowling, bridge, 500 and of course, cribbage. TV brought his favorite teams and game shows. He still traveled for special outings. His senior wolfpack visited regularly with treats and ensured he got to their Homestead poker game every other Thursday. At Shorewood Assisted Living, his influence changed Western Wednesdays to an occasional Thursday and he encouraged the Knights of the Roundtable (his dining companions) to “live a little” and try new cuisines. Cold Mango Soup was a revelation.
When you have the positive attitude of Les Beyer, it is hard to be stopped. Heart issues, years of dialysis, a leg amputation — and the recent amputation of his second leg, were all faced with the same resolve to keep moving forward.
He wanted to be around to enjoy every moment in the company of his family. Although, he lost Elaine too soon, as well as children, Ellen Jane, Charles William and most recently, Andrew James, he spent a wealth of time with daughters, Beth and Susan; sons-in-law, Mike (Nahlovsky, of Shakopee) and Al (Lopez, of NYC); and granddaughters, Mya Elaine, Haley Anne and Alicia Leslie.
It was a great run. It’s a Wonderful Life.
A celebration of life for all friends and family will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, in the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home, with the Rev. Lester Horntvedt officiating. Visitation will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, in the River Park Chapel and one hour prior to the memorial service. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery in Rochester. Military honors will be provided by American Legion Post #92.
The family suggests that donations to the Ability Building Center (ABC), the National Eagle Center of Wabasha, the Veteran’s Association of America or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society would be very appropriate.
Online condolences are welcome at www.mackenfuneralhome.com.