LeRoy J. Malsam passed away in the early hours on June 27, 2020 at the age of 77. He faded peacefully away at Benefis Hospital in Great Falls, Mont. His wife, Leslie, sons, Toby and Jay, daughter-in-law, Jody, and grandkids, Jackson, McKenna and Lacie were all by his side as he passed. His other daughter-in-law, Shannon, was traveling back to Great Falls so was not present at the time of his passing.
A friends and family celebration will be held on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at The Sting Outdoor Patio. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the LeRoy J. Malsam Memorial Fund at Prairie Mountain Bank in Great Falls, Mont.
He never complained. Most people didn’t even know that he had cancer. He was diagnosed with a carcinoid nine years ago. He had been receiving specialized treatment from Sletten Cancer Institute and had also made a couple of trips to Houston for treatment.
LeRoy was born on Sept. 15, 1942, in Havre, Mont. He was the third child to Joseph and Mary Malsam. They had five boys in total and LeRoy was the first of the brothers to pass away. His parents were farmers north of Havre. He had loving parents and a happy childhood on the farm. He loved to drive and enjoyed making new friends. Most people knew LeRoy to have a great smile and a quick wit. He was a class act and a pleasure to be around. He kept his family in good contact with each other. They would talk often and share stories.
He met the love of his life, Leslie Ann Burndt, in Havre and they were married Feb. 20, 1965. They had a very special love for each other and were always together for over 55 years. They had Jay in November of 1965, and Toby in June of 1969. He was a caring and loving father. He always lead by example and was a driven provider for his family. He passed on a strong faith and work ethic.
Growing up on the farm made LeRoy appreciate being his own boss. LeRoy obtained his commercial rating as a pilot to become a crop duster early in their marriage. He still carried the license in his wallet. His entrepreneurial spirit kept him wanting to do business on his own. He owned an excavating business, which at one point earned him the nickname “Joe Dirt.” He and Leslie eventually partnered in business with their first venture being L and L Appliance in Havre. LeRoy later found his true business calling as the Culligan Man. He purchased his first franchise and moved the family to Great Falls in 1979. He would eventually own four total franchises in Great Falls, Helena, Shelby and Lewistown, which covered 13 counties in Montana. Leslie was his business partner through the entire time. They complimented each other as both a couple and as business owners. Both Jay and Toby also joined the business. He would always say that they were his retirement plan - even though he never really retired.
He loved to work. He also enjoyed the outdoors in Montana with golfing, skiing and boating. All of which he shared with Leslie and his family. Leslie and LeRoy often traveled our great nation and always drove. They viewed over 40 states through the windshield of a car. They found it relaxing to spend hours together until reaching their destination. His work allowed him to drive all around our state and he enjoyed randomly taking a backroad to see where it would lead him. He had a passion for cars and acquired a small collection of his own.
Being surrounded by brothers and having two boys of his own, he sure did appreciate when the boys married and a few females were brought into his life. He loved his daughters-in-law very much, but his most proud title was “Grandpa”. He had a very special connection with each of his grandkids and loved them unconditionally. He and Leslie were able to spend a lot of time with them.
One of his last requests was to have a cup of coffee. He especially enjoyed his weekly coffee groups over the last few years. To say he will be missed is an understatement, but we know that he is somewhere very special, having a cup and some laughs while wearing a crisp white button up shirt.
He is survived by his family as mentioned, as well as his brothers, Joey and his wife Darlene, Don and his wife Diane, Gary, and Rick and his wife Jody, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Mary; and sisters-in-law, Barbara and Carla.
Condolences for the family may be shared online at www.SchniderFuneralHome.com.