Aug. 22, 1922 - June 13, 2013
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NEW CARLISLE - Leonard Edwin Belsaas, 90, of New Carlisle, Indiana was born on August 22, 1922 in Montevideo, Minnesota. Len was one of thirteen children in Peder Ingvald and Jorgina (Rustad) Belsaas's family. Len graduated from Boyd High School, Minnesota, in 1940 and worked with his family on the farm until he enlisted in the Army in 1942. Len was deeply proud of his service to his country and his Army buddies remained lifelong friends. He was inducted into the Army in Minneapolis, and spent time at Fort Snelling, St. Louis and Detroit before shipping out. Len was trained as an airplane mechanic and served in the Army Air Corps servicing B-24 and B-26 bombers for the duration of the war. Len served in both the European and Pacific theatres, with lengthy time spent in Africa, Sardinia, Italy and Okinawa. Len met Ginny Hooton shortly after the war ended. They were married on August 30, 1947, and after a brief time in Minnesota, made New Carlisle their home where they raised their family. Len worked at the Studebaker plant while establishing his farm. He farmed, both crop and dairy, until he moved full time into his business, Len's Dairy Supply, Inc. They owned and operated it together for 18 years, serving dairy farmers throughout northern Indiana and lower Michigan. When he retired from Len's Dairy Supply, Len continued to use his electrical, refrigeration, HVAC and building skills to help others while he acquired his license and sold insurance. He retired from the insurance industry and took on mechanical engineer positions at Niles Chemical and Paint Company and finally at Hamilton Grove Retirement community. When he retired for the last time, Len continued to build and remodel homes and fix nearly any broken thing that came his way. He loved to use his skills to help others. Len was a longtime member of Olive Chapel Church in New Carlisle where he served in the Sunday School room, the choir, and in leadership. He joined the Community Church in New Carlisle in 2005. Len was also a multi-decade member of the New Carlisle Lion's Club and the American Legion Post 297. Happiest as a country lad, Len loved to fish, golf and hunt. His garden harvest was the pride of his late summers and graced the tables in many homes. Leonard Edwin Belsaas is survived by his children, Mark (Kathy) Belsaas and Marsha (Jerry) Belsaas Porter, all of New Carlisle and his son Dale (Heidi) Belsaas of Beasley TX. His five grandchildren include Matthew (Desma) Belsaas of Indianapolis, IN, Kari (Michael) Bumgardner of Granger, IN, Jenny (J.C.) Schoel of Killeen, TX, Jason (Laurel) Belsaas of Austin, TX, and Katie (Jacob) Robbins of Katy, TX. Len was overjoyed to know and love his seven great-grandchildren (nearly eight). He is also survived by one sister, Edna Anderson of Montevideo, MN and close pal and family friend, Janet Hans of New Carlisle. The family will receive visitors from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. (EST) Thursday, June 20 at the Community Church in New Carlisle. Memorial Services will be held at the church on Friday, June 21 at 12 p.m. (EST). Memorial contributions in honor of Leonard Belsaas may be made to the Center for Hospice Care, 111 Sunnybrook Court, South Bend, IN and The New Carlisle Community Church Food Pantry. Arrangements are being handled through Kaniewski Funeral Homes, Inc.
Published in South Bend Tribune on June 16, 2013