Obituary: LeRoy R. Kantola


May 19, 2023

LeRoy Reuben Kantola, 80, of Proctor passed away May 11, 2023, under hospice care at his home. Nelson Funeral Care has been entrusted with arrangements. Inurnment will be at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 12 at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery–Duluth in Saginaw. A luncheon and celebration of life will follow at Thomson Township Hall in Esko.

LeRoy was born on Aug. 24, 1942, in Waukegan, Illinois to Reuben and Martha (Johnson) Kantola. He spent the majority of his childhood in Esko and graduated from Esko High School in 1960. LeRoy then began his education at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he was also a member of the football team. He paused his education to serve his country with the U.S. Air Force, doing several tours including Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. Following his honorable discharge, he completed his LPN certification at the former Vo-Tech college. LeRoy was reunited with Judy Kesti, whom he met while working on her family farm, and on Oct. 18, 1980, the two were united in marriage. LeRoy worked at the Moose Lake Hospital as a psychiatric LPN, and continued to work part-time as a nurse, even into his 70s. LeRoy loved to hunt and fish. He was an avid bowler for many years in both Cloquet and Duluth. He also served as a youth bowling coach. LeRoy will be remembered as a kind and genuine man.

LeRoy is survived by his wife, Judy; son, Todd (Stephanie); grandsons, Broden, Cullen,

Alden and Dalten; siblings, Ray, Donna (Lane) Townsend, Dale (Mary), Jim, Sharon (John)

Worlin and Ruth (Donald) Peters; and numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and good

friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and parents-in-law.

The family would like to thank his care team with Essentia Home Hospice, especially

Brandi, Krissy, Stephanie, Annie and Tim for their care, support and guidance through his



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