LeRoy D. DeBeer, 78, of Volga, passed away Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, at the United Living Community, in Brookings.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019 at Ascension Lutheran Church in Brookings. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Ascension Lutheran Church. Rude’s Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
LeRoy was born and raised in White. He graduated from White High School in 1959. While attending White High School, LeRoy was involved in the school paper, annual staff, class officer, student council, class plays and was voted Homecoming King his senior year. He also played football all 4 years of high school. LeRoy played basketball for 6 years, dressing as a 7th grader for junior varsity. LeRoy scored 1,781 points in his basketball career, a record that still stands.
He attended General Beadle State Teachers College in Madison, graduating in 1963 with a teaching degree. At General Beadle, LeRoy played basketball all 4 years, scoring 1,383 points. As a senior, he was also chosen as Man of the Year by the student body. LeRoy received his master’s degree in education from South Dakota State University in 1969.
While at General Beadle, LeRoy met Dianne Nelson and they were married in 1962 in Brookings.
LeRoy started teaching & coaching in 1963 at Rutland. He also taught and coached at Baltic, Lyons, Tri Valley, Centerville, and Howard. The highlight of his coaching career was the 1968-69 basketball season at Tri-Valley. The Mustangs won the district tournament in 5 overtimes!! They went on to finish 2nd in the region.
In 1972, he and his wife Dianne purchased the grocery store in White. In 1980, LeRoy was offered the job as manager of The Prairie Lanes Bowling Center in Brookings until the Prairie was sold in 2002. LeRoy and Dianne went to work for ASAP, an advertising agency that worked with bowling centers and golf courses. In 2010, LeRoy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and in 2015 entered the United Living Center nursing home where he resided until his death.
After getting out of coaching, LeRoy’s interests turned to golf and bowling. There were no Holes-in-One for golf, but he has bowled two 300 games.
LeRoy also umpired softball with his brother-in-law, Roger Nelson, for many years. They umpired numerous state tournaments and also a national tournament in Marshalltown, IA in 1975.
LeRoy had many accomplishments throughout his life, including being inducted into the Dakota State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997; Brookings Bowling Hall of Fame in 2007; South Dakota Bowling Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Deubrook High School Hall of Fame in 2017.
LeRoy and his wife Dianne have been married for 57 years. They have 2 sons: Todd - wife JoAnn and daughters Brooke & Kayla of Sioux Falls and Brad - wife Rachelle and daughter Shaylee of Lake Hendricks.
LeRoy enjoyed watching his sons in their athletic games (as well as being their “bleacher” coach), along with spending time hunting and fishing together. He also enjoyed watching his granddaughters participate in their various activities. A highlight in his life was spending time with his granddaughters and watching them grow into beautiful young women.
LeRoy was a hard worker and did his best to impress that trait upon all others that were in his life. He was respected because of his fair but firm demeanor. LeRoy expected the best of himself and no less of others. You didn’t need to BE the best; you just needed to GIVE your best. Over the years, LeRoy could be heard saying, “if there’s time to lean, there’s time to clean.”
LeRoy was preceded in death by his parents, brother-Carl DeBeer, sister-Bena Strom, niece-Cindy Paulson, 3 brothers-in-law-Orland Strom, and Andy & Roger Nelson, and 1 sister-in-law-Vanda DeBeer.
In lieu of flowers and memorials, feel free to share a memory of LeRoy with the family.
Condolences may be sent to the family through www.rudesfuneralhome.com.