Leslie Dean "Les" Pfau, 82, Upham died Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, in a Minot hospital.
Leslie was born June 10, 1930, in Rugby, to Oscar and Adeline (Thompson) Pfau. Leslie was raised on his parents' and grandparents' farms in the Upham area. He attended rural school through eighth grade and then Upham High School, graduating in 1949. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith and remained a lifelong member of the Lutheran Church (New Hope Lutheran Church, Upham). Les served several terms on the church council. He also served many years on the Little Deep Township Board, the Little Deep Cemetery Board, was a member of the Moose Lodge in Minot, and the Little Deep Club. He disliked meetings but attended when necessary.
Les joined the National Guard unit based in Bottineau and was called to active duty in 1950 at the time of the Korean Conflict. He was stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash., and then sent to Nevada for atomic bomb testing at Camp Desert Rock. He returned to Fort Lewis, and in 1952, he was honorably discharged and returned to North Dakota. He kept his ties with his 231st engineer buddies- never missing a reunion. He had been a lifelong member of the Earl T. Nermoe Post #269 American Legion in Upham.
On Nov. 4, 1950, Leslie married his high school sweetheart, Josie Hannesson, at Olympia, Wash. They would soon have celebrated 62 years of marriage. After a number of childless years, God blessed them with four children and later six grandchildren.
Les and Josie rented a farm near his parents' farm for five years. During that time, they milked cows, raised herd cattle, had chickens and pigs, and farmed the land. Les also raised horses, which he really enjoyed. During those years, Josie taught in several rural schools and Les helped by taking her to school in wintery weather and starting fires in the furnace. In 1957, they purchased a farm in Little Deep Township, where they had since resided. The last several years they had spent the winter months in a condo in Minot. Recently, they sold the condo and bought a new house in Edgewood Village in Minot. Les was given the privilege of spending one night in the new home.
The farm was still really the place where Les' heart was. Although retired, he enjoyed driving around and seeing the crops grow and harvest take place.
Les wore many hats as a worker. As well as being a meticulous farmer, he worked as a truck driver, heavy equipment operator, and spent 12 winters at the Minot Air Force Base, removing snow from the runways. Again, his work was always done to perfection. He often received recognition for jobs well done.
He enjoyed sporting events, hunting, and fishing, especially when the grandchildren arrived on the scene. Both he and Josie loved to dance and could do a pretty mean polka. He also enjoyed the "Chicken Dance" with the grandkids. His kids and grandkids were his greatest pride and he bragged about their many accomplishments to the point that he would sometimes embarrass Josie.
He was a man of few words but showed his love in various ways: by helping, rocking, hugging, and of course teasing. Les was a friendly, happy guy who enjoyed life and lived it to the fullest. He will be sorely missed by his family and large circle of friends.
God will keep Leslie in His care and we will keep his memory in our hearts forever.
Leslie's loving family includes: his wife, Alice "Josie" Pfau; children, Loren (Annette) Pfau, of Evergreen, Colo., Melanie (William) Stillwell, of Williston, Michelle (Stuart) Dolan, of Ray, and Renae (Bret) Linstrom, of Towner; grandchildren, Kelsey and Lukkas Pfau, Ryland Stillwell, Paige and Maari Dolan and Andy Linstrom; sisters, Elaine (Fred) Brandt, of Upham, and Dorothy Holen, of Minot; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Leslie was preceded in death by his parents; grandson, William Stillwell; sister, Corrine Bender; and brother-in-law, Larry Slatta.
Funeral service: Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at 2 p.m., in New Hope Lutheran Church, Upham.
Interment: Little Deep Cemetery, rural Upham.
Visitation: Wednesday, Oct. 17, from 5 to 9 p.m., in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot. There will be no reviewal at the church prior to the service.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to the Upham Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Services or an organization of the donor's choice, or plants.
Those wishing to sign the online memorial register or share memories and condolences are invited to use the expressions of sympathy section at (www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com).