Clem R. Leier, 86, Velva, passed away peacefully on Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, at Trinity Hospital in Minot, with his loving family by his side.
Clement R. "Clem" Leier was born June 19, 1926, the son of Michael and Barbara (Meyer) Leier, in Rugby. He was raised on the family farm located near Orrin and attended rural school in Blumenfeld, near Orrin. He moved with his family to Karlsruhe and graduated from Karlsruhe High School in 1944.
Clem enlisted in the Army on Aug. 21, 1944. He proudly served his country during World War II. He was the youngest master sergeant in the Pacific Theater and was awarded the Philippine-Liberation Service Medal with one Bronze Service Star, the Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the Victory Medal. He was honorably discharged Aug. 17, 1946.
Following his honorable discharge, he returned home to Karlsruhe, where he met and married Shirley Abel May 31, 1948, at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Karlsruhe. They made their home in Velva, where they owned and operated Leier Brothers Red Owl of Velva and Karlsruhe. He then went to Standard Oil and drove a bulk gas truck. He then sold insurance before becoming an automotive accessory salesman for Westland Oil Co., which later became Flying J, followed by OK Automotive. He retired from OK Automotive after 30 plus years of service. He was awarded the Salesman of the Year in 1977 by the Minot Association of Professional Salesmen. During his many years in the Velva community, he served many organizations for the betterment of Velva.
He volunteered countless hours at the Norsk Hostfest for several years, as well as hospice, fundraising for the Velva Golf Course, Velva Library, and Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, and was a self-appointed volunteer driver for anyone who needed a ride to their doctor appointments in Minot, to the bus, train, or plane, day or night.
He enjoyed spending time with family and friends, gardening, hunting, fishing, old-time music, German music, cooking, bargain beer, casino trips, camping, painting, photography, crafts, lunch out, grocery shopping, cribbage, and shot glass collecting. He was a proud supporter of the Velva Aggies.
Clem was a member of St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Velva, where he served as a CCD teacher and a choir leader, and served on the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery Board. He was also a member of the Elks Lodge, Knights of Columbus and was a 4th Degree Knight, and was a member of the Velva Volunteer Fire Department, the Velva School Board, Velva City Council, Velva Clinic Board, the Velva American Legion Post #39, and the McHenry County Planning Commission.
His loving family includes: wife of 64 years, Shirley, Velva; daughters, Laura (Joe) Schwan, Minot, and Lisa (Ray) Zerr, Garrison; sons, Mark Leier, Minneapolis, and John Leier, San Diego; grandchildren, Angie (Blaine) and their children, Kaitlyn, Karlee, Kelsey, Kendra, Kiara, Kimm and McKenna; Amy (Jeris) and their children, Lily and Jed; Michael (Angela) and their children, Aiden and Danica; Sara (Craig) and their children, Jayden, Haley and Faith; Luke (Jill) and their children, Kooper and Berklee; Kate (Matt) and their children, Jacob and Nicholas; and Tammy (Derek) and their children, Davis, Dylan and Dallas; sister, Catherine (Raymond) Walter, Velva; sisters-in-law, Marie Leier, Minot, and Regina Binfet, Rugby; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Clem was preceded in death by his parents; infant daughter, Lou Ann; infant son, Michael; brothers, Nick Leier, Joseph Leier and Mike Binfet; sisters, Blanche Binfet, Sister Borromeo Binfet, Anne Merck, Mary Hoffart, Christine Volk, Francis Boechler and Magdelena Volk.
Mass of Christian Burial: Saturday, Sept. 15, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, Velva.
Interment: Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, Velva.
Visitation: Friday, Sept. 14, from 4 to 7 p.m. at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, Velva.
Vigil prayer service: Friday at 7 p.m. at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, Velva.
Memorials: Are preferred to Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, and Souris Valley Care Center, both Velva, and Trinity Hospice, Minot.
Those wishing to sign the online register and share memories may access the online obituaries section at (www.thompsonlarson.com).
(Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Velva)