LeRoy Norman Kvistad

May 25, 1924 - October 04, 2012

LeRoy Norman Kvistad

May 25, 1924 - October 04, 2012


LeRoy Norman Kvistad went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on October 4th, 2012. Born to Ole & Marie Kvistad on May 25, 1924 in Halstad, Minnesota, LeRoy was the youngest of five boys. The family moved to Bellingham in the 1930’s, where LeRoy and his brothers grew to manhood. LeRoy enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 during World War II, achieving the rate of Petty Officer Third Class before medical issues forced his early discharge. He held several jobs in his 20’s and 30’s, including employment as an Alaskan fisherman, U.S. Forestry Service worker, and Optician at Western Optical in Bellingham. He married Betty L. Badgley on February 21, 1953 in Bellingham, where the couple raised two daughters, Joanna and Laurie. Due to increasing service-related medical problems that began to affect his ability to provide a living for his family, LeRoy was granted 100% disability status by the Veteran’s Administration in 1967, relieving the family’s financial burden. LeRoy was a fighter, overcoming his disability with courage and determination.

During that time frame, LeRoy accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior after watching a televised Billy Graham crusade broadcast, becoming a faithful follower of the Lord up until his death. Family and friends knew LeRoy as a great story-teller who was proud of his family, country, military service, and his Norwegian heritage, visiting that country once to visit relatives. A gregarious person, LeRoy could talk to strangers and make them feel as though they had been best friends for years. He was also a man of his word; a simple handshake to him meant a bond. An avid self-taught woodworker and carpenter, LeRoy could be found in his beloved little workshop in the garage under the house, creating furniture and all manner of other practical knick-knacks. Not one to lie around twiddling his thumbs, LeRoy was always involved in either furniture-making or remodeling the family home, which he turned into a showpiece over almost 50 years.

LeRoy is survived by his bride of 59 years, Betty Kvistad, daughters Joanna (Grant) Wilson & Laurie (Bruce) Gentry, grandchildren Matthew Wilson, Nicole Jones, Sarah Gifford, Tyler Gentry, Andrew Wilson, and Nathan Wilson, and great-grandchildren Cyrus Gentry, Grace Wilson, Margaret Wilson, and Ayda Jones. He is preceded in death by his parents, Ole & Marie Kvistad, and brothers Oscar, Hetman, Robert, & Clark Kvistad.

A memorial service will be on Saturday, Oct. 13th, at Living Hope Fellowship on the Smith Road at 3:00 p.m. A private graveside service is being held at Geenacres Memorial Park

Please share your thoughts and memories of LeRoy by clicking view memorial and sign guest book.

Farewell Tribute Information

A memorial service will be held Saturday, October 13th, 3:00 p.m. at Living Hope Fellowship at 824 West Smith Road.

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3 responses to LeRoy Norman Kvistad

  1. Darlene Lake says:

    My fondest (and the funniest) memory of Leroy was when Jo and I were in high school and Leroy scared us nearly to death one night. Laurie, Jo and I watched one of the most terrifying movies of the early ’70s–“The Haunting of Hill House.” Leroy undoubtedly observed our reactions to the movie and plotted to play a trick on us. After the movie, we wanted to make popcorn balls, but the Kvistads were out of Karo syrup. So, even though it was after dark, Laurie, Jo and I traipsed over to the neighbor’s house to borrow a cup of Karo. Walking huddled together, clutching each other, we crossed Mill Ave. and started walking toward the arch covered with honeysuckle above the Kvistad’s house. When we got closer, we saw a figure draped in white with its arms outstretched toward us under the arch. It lurched toward us, and as it did, we all collapsed on the ground, screaming. Of course, it was Leroy, playing one of the greatest tricks ever played on three teenage girls. I have never forgotten that, and every time I think about it, I laugh like crazy. Oh, Leroy, your sense of humor was fabulous! I’ll never forget you –your kindness to me, your patience (I was always at your house!), and your sense of fun.

  2. Kathy Hill says:

    I never knew LeRoy, just met him once, but I do know Joanna and her husband and children and therefore am impressed with LeRoy’s life. The legacy he left through you his wonderful family makes both Jesus and LeRoy look good. I’m sure he is hearing “Well done.” from our Lord. Miss Sarah, I can’t believe how much you look like your Grandpa! Oh my..the eyes and the smile..I can see you. Love you all and please know you are in my prayers. Kathy

  3. Grant Wilson says:

    Dad, Just wanted to say how much I love and miss you. I have heard horror stories about sour relationships between father-in-laws and son-in-laws and am so thankful for the relationship that we shared. In you I have had a role model of what a real husband, father, and grandfather should be: I have observed you over the past almost 40 years and came to deeply appreciate the depth of love that you conveyed by your every thought and action. I now rejoice with you, knowing that you are now with the Jesus that you love so much. As much as I miss you, I also know that you are in a far better place, and will see you again soon. Grant “Sailor, rest your oar.”

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