LE MARS -- Leslie J. Murphy, 85, of Le Mars, formerly of Luverne, Minn., died Sunday, Aug. 24, 2003, at the Brentwood Good Samaritan Center in Le Mars.
Leslie J. Murphy was born on March 25, 1918, at Sheldon to Dan and Ella (Wilson) Murphy. He attended country school near Matlock and graduated from Sheldon High School in 1938.
Les enlisted in the United States Air Force on May 20, 1942. He served as a helicopter pilot instructor and was stationed in Washington and Ardmore, Okla. While in the service he married Betsy Olson in California. Les received his honorable discharge on Nov. 30, 1945, having attained the rank of Staff Sergeant.
Following the war the couple made their home in Spirit Lake, where Les managed a Council Oaks Grocery Store. He was transferred to Le Mars to manage the local store.
Les and his family moved to Flandreau, So. Dak., where he owned and operated a grocery store. He later formed a partnership with his brother-in-law Donald Gintert and they operated the Piggly Wiggley store in Luverne, Minn.
Betsy passed away in March of 1981.
Les and Genevieve were married June 4, 1983, at Luverne. The couple lived in Luverne until moving to Arnolds Park in 1995, and later to Le Mars in 1996.
Les was a private pilot and enjoyed fishing and golfing.
He was a member of the Dell Hogan Post #123 of the American Legion in Luverne.
Survivors include his wife Genevieve of Le Mars; a daughter Jeanne Watson of Richmond, Va.; a son William Murphy of Appleton, Minn.; five grandchildren Misty, Robin and Patricia Madtson, Shawn and Michael Murphy; a brother Roy and his wife Loretta of Sheldon; three sisters Ruth Elliot and her husband Larry and Maxine Gintert, all of Le Mars, and Dorothy Wright of Iowa Falls.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister Helen Haakinson; and two brothers-in-law Don Gintert and Bert Wright.
Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars. Fr. Andrew Hoffman will officiate. Burial will follow at 2:30 p.m. at St. Catherine's Catholic Cemetery in Luverne, Minn. Visitation will begin at 4 p.m. today, Tuesday, at the Mauer-Johnson Funeral Home in Le Mars. The family will be present from 6-8 p.m. with a scriptural prayer service at 7 p.m.