Joseph James Leiphon, 85, Minot, and formerly of Devils Lake, died Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, in a Minot hospital.
Joseph was born Nov. 12, 1927, in Devils Lake, to Joseph and Frances (Kosson) Leiphon. He was raised and educated in Devils Lake and graduated from St. Mary's High School there. As a young adult he was employed by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad prior to serving the Army. His military service included the occupation of Japan and time spent on the Army baseball team as a pitcher. Following his honorable discharge he returned to St. Paul, Minn., and then Devils Lake where he continued his employment with the BNSF Railroad.
Joe married Mary Lou Mahanna on July 16, 1953, in Devils Lake. They made their home in Minot where he continued his employment with the railroad. During one winter he attended Brown Institute in St. Paul, where he received specialized training in transportation management. He returned to Minot and his job on the railroad retiring in 1992 as a conductor following 43 years of employment.
Joe was a member of St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, American Legion Post #26, VFW, Knights of Columbus and Chamber Chorale, all in Minot. He especially enjoyed golfing, fishing, camping, bowling and music.
Joe's loving family includes: his wife of 59 years, Mary Lou; daughter, Joan Leiphon, of Minot; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and longtime family friends, Greg and Nancy Fjeld and their family, and Debbie Bossert. A canine companion, Bailey, also survives.
Joe was preceded in death by: his parents; son, Paul; infant granddaughter, Lindsay; sisters, Dorothy Togstad, Pauline Bergley, Lavina DeVier, Annie Leiphon and Delores Leiphon; and brothers, John and Ahart Leiphon.
Celebration of the Life of Joseph Leiphon: Friday, Nov. 30, at 2 p.m. in St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, Minot.
Interment will be in Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot.
Visitation: Today, Thursday, from 2 to 7 p.m., in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
Memorials: In lieu of plants and flowers, memorials are preferred to the Wee Links Golf Course, Minot, or the Minot Chamber Chorale.
Those wishing to sign the online memorial register or share memories are invited to use the expressions of sympathy section at (www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com).