Kenneth John LeVasseur, 89, of Staples, Minnesota, died March 31, 2019 while in hospice care and with family at his bedside.
Ken was born in Minneapolis on November 2, 1929. He was the seventh of eight children born to Vina (Houle) and Thomas J. LeVasseur. He attended school at the St. Cloud Orphanage, Mora and Pierz public schools, and St. Cloud Cathedral High School before graduating in 1948 from Alexandria High School. A few months later he enlisted in the U.S. Army; he was injured and awarded the Purple Heart while serving as a paratrooper in Korea. Ken was a graduate of St. Cloud Teacher's College and earned a Master of Science Teaching at the University of Wisconsin, Superior. He taught several science and math classes during his thirty years at Staples-Motley High School, including Physics, 9th Grade Physical Science, and Aviation Ground School. When the Vo-Tech school needed someone to head their year-long ethanol research project, they called on Ken.
After his retirement in 1990, Ken took on more activities. He ran the VFW Club for several years and was active in the Rakkasans, a veterans' group for members of the 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment. He earned a private pilot license and built and piloted several aircraft. He was an expert wine maker, a part-time farmer, a life-long bird watcher, a hunter, and a fisherman.
Ken was married to Grace Engelhardt for nearly 50 years, until he was widowed in 2010. They raised three children: Diane (Mike) Sauer of Duluth; Susan (Bob) Rego of St. Michael; and David (DeAnna) LeVasseur of Watertown, S.D. A daughter, Nancy, died in infancy. He had six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Ken leaves behind a brother, Dr. Robert J. Greer, of Sandy, Utah; half-sisters Katherine LeVasseur and Sharon (LeVasseur) Morrow, both of Yakima, Washington, and Nancy (LeVasseur) Friend of Walla Walla, Washington; and many nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Country Manor in Sartell for their respectful care and support of Ken.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, April 13 at the Brenny Family Funeral Chapel in Staples. Visitation begins at 1 p.m. with the service at 2 p.m. Inurnment will be accompanied by an Honor Guard at Evergreen Hill Cemetery. A gathering of Ken's friends will be hosted by the family at The Cafe at Timberlake Hotel in Staples at 4:30 p.m. All are welcome.
Donations preferred to "The Ken & Grace LeVasseur Memorial Scholarship," administered by Dollars for Scholars.
Arrangements are entrusted to Brenny Family Funeral Chapel, Staples, MN.