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The pastor said it correctly, when he remarked that there was something missing from our family gathering this weekend.  Of course, it was my Uncle Jerry – he who was always looked for to bring levity and cheer to all our family events.  In his absence, the sure hope of the gospel was on display.  What a great plan!  Who wouldn’t want a Savior like Jesus – so beautiful, so kind and patient, so sacrificing to condescend to make a way for us.  A way that turns such sorrowful days into days of rejoicing and great hope – confident hope for the day we will see this all-lovely Jesus who will surely wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, as the former things pass away.
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Gerald (Jerry) LeClerc, 79, of Devils Lake, ND was called home by his Heavenly Father on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, at Aneta Parkview Health Center, Aneta, ND.

Gerald Alexander LeClerc was born Nov 18, 1937 in Grafton, ND, the fourth of eight children blessed to Alex and Mae (Schumacher) LeClerc. The family farmed near Grafton and Devils Lake until purchasing a farm near Drayton in 1947. Jerry’s love of the land and lifelong commitment to agriculture and rural communities, grew out of his early experiences on the family farm.

Jerry graduated Devils Lake High School in 1955. After receiving his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from NDSU, he returned to the family farm. Following the sudden death of his father in 1964, Jerry farmed on his own until 1968 when he accepted a position with NDSU Extension as Assistant County Agent, Pembina County. In 1970 he was hired interim County Agent, Towner County. In March of 1971 Jerry landed the County Agent position in Steele County, which he held for 25 years until his retirement in 1995. Throughout the course of his career, Jerry received many awards and accolades in recognition of his work, most notably the National Association of Agricultural Agents Distinguished Service Award in 1989; the NDSU Alumni Association Outstanding Agriculturalist of the Year Award in 1996; and induction into the North Dakota Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2004.

While living and working in Finley, ND, Jerry was involved in many civic and business organizations, including the Steel County Crop Improvement Association, Soil Conservation Service, and American Red Cross. He belonged to Trinity Lutheran Church in Hope, ND, and served 12 years on the Finley City Council. He claimed to have never met a Steel County resident he didn’t like, and appreciated how warmly they welcomed a Frenchman into their midst. In 2009, Jerry moved back to Devils Lake, becoming an active member of the faith community at St Peters Lutheran Church and producing an abundant vegetable garden to help supply the local food shelf.

Jerry was grateful for the wonderful people he met and worked with throughout his life, many of whom became lifelong friends, traveling companions, hunting and fishing buddies, and fellow “tellers of tall tales”. Blessed with a brilliant sense of humor, his quick wit brought joy and laughter to many a gathering or conversation. Although he had no children of his own, he helped raise many. Strong of character and generous with his time, Jerry touched the lives of hundreds of young people he worked with through 4-H. He loved and cherished his nieces and nephews and would move mountains to be present for the important moments in their lives.

Jerry was a blessing in the lives of those who knew him. He is survived by sisters Lillian (Gordon) Shafer and Rosalie (James) Ringstrom; brothers Dale (Betsy) LeClerc, Ray (Judy) LeClerc, Ron LeClerc, and Warren LeClerc; and many nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Sister Beverly Schmidt, brother-in-law Leo Schmidt; sisters-in-law Myrna LeClerc and Luella LeClerc; and many dear relatives and friends.

Prayer Service – Friday, July 21, 2017 at 7:00p, Immanuel Lutheran Church.  Memorial service – Saturday July 22, 2017, 11:00a at Immanuel Lutheran.  Internment  – Sacred Heart Catholic Church Cemetery, Oakwood, ND, alongside his father’s grave.  Memorials to St. Peters Lutheran Church, Devils Lake, ND; Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch; or a hunger organization of choice.

 

~ Official obituary

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Chris Rice’s Untitled Hymn has been on my mind a lot lately.  It’s such a simple song, but I cannot sing it without getting choked up.

By the way, family, any of the songs I’ve posted would be good to use at my funeral someday… when I fly to Jesus.

___________________
Weak and wounded sinner,
Lost and left to die,
Raise your head for love is passing by.
Come to Jesus and live.

Now your burden’s lifted
And carried far away,
And precious blood has washed away the stain,
Sing to Jesus and live.

Like a newborn baby,
Don’t be afraid to crawl,
And remember when you walk sometimes we fall.
So fall on Jesus and live.

Sometime the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain,
So if your sky is dark and pours the sky like rain,
Then cry to Jesus and live.

Oh, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night,
And when you can’t contain your joy inside,
Then dance for Jesus and live.

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world good-bye,
Then go in peace and laugh on glory’s side,
And fly to Jesus and live.

[Video credit to 2emilyl]

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Richard Dick Young obit

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good…” (Luke 6:45).

On November 23, 2013, the world lost a dear soul when Dana’s uncle Richard “Dick” Young was translated from this life to his heavenly eternal home.  What a day of celebration we had as we rejoiced to know Uncle Dick was in the very presence of the Father he’d never set eyes upon, but loved so very much.

Many, many stories of this good man were related that day resulting in a wonderful composite of a man who loved and served his family and his fellowmen.  Uncle Dick was a hard-working and gifted metal engineer.  He loved music and had an evangelistic heart for the lost, working with both Child Evangelism Fellowship and the Gideons.  He served his country in two wars—Korea and on the front lines in World War II.  He was a man resistant to personal pride who directed any praise he received back to his Creator.  He was also a man of prayer and devotion who rarely failed to turn a conversation toward the Lover of his soul.  

Truly, I need more, not less, godly, good influences in my life.  Uncle Dick will be missed by many for a while until our great reunion.  There was one phrase shared at his funeral that summed up this noble life and allowed us to grieve, but not as others who have no hope.  It was the reminder that Uncle Dick had waited his whole life for that day.  What a pleasure it must be to finally arrive home after so many years of sojourning in foreign lands.  No wonder “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15).
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Richard “Dick” Emory Young, 94, Grand Forks, ND, on November 23, 2013, went to his heavenly eternal home to be with his precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in Valley 4000 Memorial Homes, Grand Forks. Dick was born on September 27, 1919 on a farm near Montrose, Minnesota about 30 miles west of Minneapolis, to Herbert and Alta (Volkenant) Young.

He moved with his family to Anoka, Minnesota at about age 5 and later moved to Grand Forks in 1936. Dick graduated from Central High School, Grand Forks in 1938 and soon afterwards, moved to Moorhead, Minnesota where he took a position in a machine shop. Dick’s love of working with metal began at age 17 when he started to build a train and tracks.

A mutual acquaintance introduced Dick to DeLoris (Butenhoff), where she worked as a waitress at the Bluebird Cafe, in April 1941 and they were married October 26, 1941 in Sabin Minnesota. Dick and Dee moved three times during the first months of marriage. One move was caused because they were living in a house owned by some German people, and they were being “spied” upon, which made it uncomfortable for Dick and Dee, since they, too, were of German decent.

The war was in its beginning stages, and Dick was deferred to work in a defense plant in Minneapolis, so a move there was made in 1942. Minneapolis Moline was Dick’s place of employment until the spring of 1944, when he entered the U.S. Army at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. Daughter, Judith (Judy) was born in 1943 while they lived in Minneapolis. After Dick entered the service, Dee moved to Grand Forks along with Judy to live with her in-laws, a common practice during war time. Richard C. (Dick, Jr.) was born in Grand Forks in 1945. Dick received the news of his new son while loading ammunition at the front lines, about two months after his birth. Dick first saw his son when he was one year and five days old.

After the war, Dick returned to Minneapolis to reclaim his job and when it didn’t work out, he moved the family back to Grand Forks. The large house owned by Dick’s parents was remodeled into a duplex and became the family home until 1963. When son, David was born in 1958, Dick and Dee bought the house next door to the duplex and a complete remodel was done, including a new basement. The dirt under the old house was dug out using a home-made tractor and large scoop to prepare the house to be raised and lowered on the new basement walls. They moved into the basement in 1963 and lived there for two and one half years while the rest of the remodeling was completed by Dick with the help of his father after regular working hours for both of them. That house is now owned by daughter Judy and husband Michael.

One of Dick’s hobbies was occasionally playing an accordion he brought back from the war, obtained by a foot soldier who gave it to Dick. Music always played a huge part of his life – whether it was playing the piano or church organ or vocal music, sometimes singing duets with his daughter, Judy and singing in church choir. Many times Dick, his two brothers and their father gathered in quartet fashion around the piano as his mother played Gospel hymns.

During the post-war years, Dick was involved in machine shop work in various capacities. After the war, Dick and brothers Franklin and Roland opened their own repair business. Then, in 1950, both Dick and Roland were called into the Korean Conflict and the shop was closed. Dick and family moved to Ft. Lewis, Washington from 1950-1951 before Dick went to Korea. After his discharge from the Army, a second time, Dick worked for a short time at Butler Machine and also was a lab technician and instructor in the machine shop at the University of N.D. Between the years 1954 and 1966, Dick was associated with ARCO MFG., Potato Research Lab at UND and was Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds for GF Public Schools. Then, in 1966, Dick and his brother, Roland bought a building on 42nd St. North, off the beaten path, and began working towards what is now Young Mfg., Inc.

Dick’s love for music and the purchase of a theater style organ and a concert grand piano and Dee’s desire for a home built all on one floor encouraged a move to 17th Ave. South in 1979. In 1989, due to Dee’s health, they moved into a rented patio home until they decided they weren’t quite ready for condo living just yet since they both had hobbies and interests that warranted having a larger home. In their 49th year of marriage, they moved to a house on Walnut St. After the flood of 1997, Dee moved into assisted living when they sold that home. Dick lived near her in the same independent living complex. DeLoris passed away on January 12, 2004. Dick and DeLoris were long time members at Immanuel Lutheran Church and Bethel Lutheran Church – both in Grand Forks.

Dick’s love for the Lord Jesus Christ moved him to work with various ministries over his lifetime. He was called into the Gideon Bible-placing ministry for many years. He spoke in a number of area churches bringing news of the Gideon organization and the stories of various people who found the Lord Jesus after reading a Bible that was placed by the Gideon’s in motel/hotel rooms. Every fall, for many years, he would be handing out small New Testament Bibles to children and college students as they went to their classes. The teams of men would find their way back to the Young Mfg. board room and have a time of fellowship and coffee and donuts, often telling stories of how their Bible-gifting went.

He has also had a personal and monetary interest in the local ministry of a worldwide interdenominational organization called Child Evangelism Fellowship. CEF’s purpose is to make the Gospel known to children who might not hear it, if they are not churchgoers, by offering 5-Day Clubs in the summer months where children meet in neighborhood settings, and Good News Clubs held in school after school hours, where CEF workers sing with the children, tell them Bible Stories and offer treats.

The rescue mission, now known as Northlands Rescue Mission was something dear to Dick’s heart. He worked with Rev. Trankina before the mission moved to its present location – where the original Immanuel Lutheran Church building (then used as a Mission Thrift Store) stood before the 1997 flood. Dick found time to work as chairman of the board for four years, to establish the OPPORTUNITY TRAINING CENTER in Grand Forks. In March, 1972, he submitted an article to the Reader’s Digest (never published though), recounting the implementation of committees, building renovation of an old church auditorium used for a general shop area, hiring staff, including retired Air Force personnel, instructors, and on to the graduation of the first students.

When Dick and Roland opened shop in a new location in 1966, it was called Young Tool & Die Works. One of their first customers requested they make hair styling metal combs. A long time customer is Arctic Cat Snowmobile Company, now known as Arctic Enterprises. Young Mfg. made thousands of metal cleats for the snowmobiles in the early years of the company.

Even when Dick was no longer involved in management at Young Manufacturing, he would climb a flight of steps to his second floor office and write letters and poetry. Every year he would compose a Christmas poem to send with his annual letter to family and friends. Dick told someone once, “My mother was a poet”. He also wrote of his WW II memories.

Dick was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, brother Franklin, daughter-in-law Lorna (Zenner) Young, sister Vera Soberg, and her husband Lester Soberg, sister-in-law Lois McIntyre Weston (Roland) Young. Surivors include: daughter, Judy (Michael) McNamee, Grand Forks; sons Richard, (Lorna, deceased), Fergus Falls, MN; David (Beth), Thompson, N.D.; grandchildren, Jeff (Cyndi) Young, Scott (Katrina) McNamee, Daniel (Patricia) McNamee, Brian (Noemi) Young, Paul (Amy Jo) McNamee, Shelly (Tim) Cullen, Kirsten (Paul) Dionne, Jennifer (Thomas) Grandouiller; and great-grandchildren; Rachael, Megan, Arielle, Tyler, Declan, Alexis, Amber, Emma, Isaac, Calder, Abigail, Elizabeth, Kieran, Monique, Tanner, Savannah, Caleb, Trinity, Matias; brother Roland, and sister-in-law Vera (Franklin) Young; also many nephews and nieces.

Services: will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013 in Faith Evangelical Free Church, 1400 24th Ave. S., Grand Forks. Visitation will continue for one hour before the service, in the church. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery of Grand Forks.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to Child Evangelism Fellowship, PO Box 13834,Grand Forks, ND 58203-3834; Gideon’s International, P.O. Box 140800, Nashville, TN 37214; or Northlands Rescue Mission, 420 Division Ave., Grand Forks, ND 58201. Please fell free to leave any testimonials in Dick’s online guestbook.

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Charles Spurgeon’s wife, Susannah, claimed that he could not have delivered a more suitable discourse for his own funeral sermon than the one he gave for the funeral of a Mr. William Olney in 1890.  It was Susannah who distributed the message she called “His Own Funeral Sermon” in hopes that others would still be blessed by the teaching of her since-deceased husband.

By his sermon Spurgeon would urge us to continue to serve all our lives.  He urges us to prepare for those who will come after us, but also to serve those of our own generation–the “part that is rising,” the “part that is shining,” and the “part that is setting.”  Of the part that is setting he wrote:

“Some are like the sun going down in the west; they will be gone soon. Serve them, dear brethren. You that are in health and vigour, comfort them, strengthen them, and help them all you can. Be a joy to that dear old man, who has been spared to you even beyond the allotted threescore years and ten, and praise God for the grace that has upheld him through his long pilgrimage. Look on his grey hairs as a crown of glory; make his descent to the grave as easy as you can. He once was as young as you are; he once had the vigour that you have. Console him, cheer him, give him the respect that is due to his many years. Do not let him feel that you consider him an old fogey who lingers, superfluous, on the stage; but learn from his experience, imitate his perseverance, and ask God to be with you in your old age, as he is with him.”

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