John Marius Leys

John Marius Leys was born in the middle of the Great Depression on Aug. 8, 1930 to Marius and Dorothy (Fowler) Leys in Conrad.


Posted September 26, 2012

John Marius Leys was born in the middle of the Great Depression on Aug. 8, 1930 to Marius and Dorothy (Fowler) Leys in Conrad. He passed away peacefully after an accidental fall at home Aug. 20 at the age of 82.

His memorial service was held Aug. 27, 2012 at the Conrad Presbyterian Church followed by military honors and internment of his remains at the cemetery following the service.

John attended country schools for his first three years until they were closed, finishing his education in Conrad, where at the age of 16, he graduated in 1947. After graduation, he worked on the family farm until he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1950. After successful completion of the Navy’s Seabees’ Mechanic School, he was stationed on Guam for 17 months.

He began writing to Dixie Lee Biffle while in mechanic’s school. It was “Love Via the U.S. Mail”. John came home in December of 1952 and ten days after he and Dixie met in person for the first time, they were married Dec. 26, 1952 in the Conrad Presbyterian Church. Shortly after their marriage, his family received an emergency discharge for him to help on the family farm where John and Dixie made their home for 32 years.

After retiring from farming, he became a crop adjuster. John then moved on to managing apartment complexes until his first retirement at the age of 62. It was at this time he decided to pursue an associate degree in accounting. He enrolled in the program at MSU College of Technology. John applied his unique talents as a compliance specialist for Mountain View Coop until he retired for good in 2011.

John is survived by his wife of 59 years, Dixie; his sister, Shirley Shoemaker, of Falls Church, Va.; his children and their families: John and Vonya Leys and their children Shanna and John Yox, Taryn and Richard Anthony; Mark and Arlene Leys and their children Tracy and Adam Hemry (great-granddaughter Kelsi and great-grandson Tyson); Ralph Leys and Susie Zieske; Brittania Leys and Bronson Park; Zachariah and Krystal Leys (their child Carmen); Keith Leys, his daughter Deanna and Greg Wakkinen (great-granddaughters Miley and Callie), their son Sean and daughter Kelcey and Brandon Bich; Thomas Leys and his daughter DeDe Ryan.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Marius and Dorothy Leys.


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