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Purdy & Kerr with Dawson Funeral Home

409 West Main Street, Monroe, WA

OBITUARY

Leroy Joseph Tieskoetter

July 23, 1950August 24, 2019
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On behalf of Purdy & Kerr with Dawson Funeral Home, we would like to thank you for visiting this page. We would encourage you to sign the guest book below and leave your condolences for the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Leroy's name may be made to NW Parkinson's Foundation: https://nwpf.org/give/

  • FAMILY

  • Phi Long Tieskoetter (wife: Christy), Son
  • Phi Khanh Tieskoetter (wife: Brandy), Son
  • Judy Le (Kha Sok), Daughter
  • Marvin Tieskoetter, Brother
  • Roger Tieskoetter, Brother
  • Darrell Tieskoetter, Brother
  • Lester Tieskoetter, Brother
  • 7 grandchildren

Services

  • Celebration of Life Saturday, September 7, 2019

Memories

Leroy Joseph Tieskoetter

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Thu Mack Wanner

September 11, 2019

To a wonderful and favorite uncle, and family member. I always enjoyed our times together when I was younger and the adventures that we had. Bike riding, hiking and trips to Canada. My kids were able to get to know you and come join you in Monroe with the tractor and creek. This too will give them fond memories. You will be missed but I know that you are in heaven with my parents looking down at all of us kids. Until we meet again.

Mike and Deb Scheidel

September 9, 2019

Our deepest condolences to the family of Leroy. It was so good to talk with him at the class reunion last year. Thoughts and prayers to the Tieskoetter family.

Thu Thuy Mack Gladney

September 8, 2019

Uncle Leroy is my favorite Uncle in the whole wide world! He was such a Blessing in my life! He was a second Dad to me. I was able to talk to him in private and poor out my life to him. He comforted me with his love and wisdom.
I’m Blessed that my kids was able to spend time with him at his BBQ at his house. We will all miss that. He was a compassionate and giving person. I looked up to him being one of the greatest man that God has created on earth. He had so many talents and gifts! He could fixed everything and anything! He was an adventurous person before and after his diagnosis with Parkinson’s. Participated in bike marathons, hiking, skiing, boxing, soccer, racket ball, singing, dancing, playing instruments, so many other activities that was endless! He was a go getter! Nothing stopped him for doing what his heart desired. His passion lead him to do what ever he wanted to do! He was a great example of a father, and friend to all that came into his life. He will be missed dearly. My heart hurts deeply, but knowing he is healed whole and with no pain sickness and disease in Heaven , it gives me peace that he is happy in eternity with our Savior Jesus Christ. I Love You Uncle Leroy. I thank God for you being in my life. ❤️❤️🙏🏼

Jim Hackett

September 7, 2019

I met Leroy through Rock Steady Boxing in Redmond about a year ago. Although he was affected by Parkinson's i noticed he ran during our class outside and he always had a determined smile on his face --- and he took off like a bat out of hell. He also was our designated cadence shouter during our exercise, in a booming voice!
Leroy was a wonderful man and he will be missed. My condolences to his family.

Diana Honda

September 7, 2019

To Phi and Family,

We were so very sorry and saddened to learn of LeRoy’s passing. We always remember him at many a crazy Honda party and his kind, calm and warm presence. He will be sorely missed.

May God Bless you all with his peace and comfort...

All our Aloha,
Aunties Diana and Mindi

Bill Meyer

September 6, 2019

I had the pleasure of Leroy's company on a recent 5 day PasstoPass hike from Chinook Pass to White Pass on the Pacific Crest Trail. Trail names are given to hikers by other hikers. In our last conversation after the hike I gave Leroy the trail name "Iron Man" for his true grit and determination to complete the 29 miles, unaware that his son Phi-Khanh called him "Iron Man" because he was a welder and had an ability to make or fix anything of metal. You will be missed by many but spirit lives on Leroy "Iron Man" Tieskoetter.

Rob and Linda Gullette

September 3, 2019

I first met Leroy in Carol Robertson‘s rocksteady boxing class at the Carnation senior center in Carnation, Washington. He had a smile that lit up the room and a booming voice that made the rafters shake. And for a big man he was incredibly fast on his feet. Yet he possessed a gentle spirit that touched me and the other members of the class in ways we never imagined, so much so that those few months during the summer of 2016 were maybe some of the best of my life. Thank you, Leroy. May you find peace.

Dale Wick

August 31, 2019

Most heart felt condolences to Leroy's Family and Molly. Leroy was a wonderful man a great friend for the past 8 years. His passion for life and battle again the effect of Parkinson's was an inspiration to all that knew him. He will be greatly missed by many.

James and Sally Tieskoetter

August 30, 2019

Our deepest sympathy ...... we send our hugs and prayers to your family...Leroy was James' 1st cousin.....Joe (Hedwig) was James' dad's brother....thru the years it seems like families drift apart...but just know we care and are thinking of all the family....Peace and God Bless Leroy's memory......James and Sally Tieskoetter

Eric M

August 29, 2019

I met Leroy in early August while on the 2019 Pass to Pass hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. Very few people have the sheer grit and determination I saw in Leroy on that hike. RIP Leroy.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Leroy was born on July 23, 1950 in Decorah, Iowa to Joseph and Hedwig Tieskoetter. He grew up on a farm with his five brothers. His dad passed away when he was a teen.

He was drafted into the army and spent 2 years in Viet Nam in the service. He married while there and had both his 2 sons there. After getting out of the army he continued to live in Viet Nam as a civilian for 2 more years, then returned to the US to raise his family.
He raised 2 sons and a niece (who became a daughter to him), living in Seattle.

He worked for Alaska Marine Lines as a diesel mechanic and welder until his retirement in 2012.


His children remember their father as a man who could fix anything. To them he was a real-life McGuyver. He would work on the house. If he didn’t have just the right part, he would fabricate it. His two sons learned all of this fixing by watching. He loved to have a car to work on and fix. And Leroy was frugal with himself but generous with everyone else. He made sure that his sons, when it came driving age time, had their first car and that they knew how to work on those cars, fixing them, painting them, making them beautiful. Phi-Khanh is a mechanic to this day because of all his dad taught him. He called his dad “Iron Man” because to him, his dad was a welder, a man who could work on anything related to metal. He could fix anything.

He taught his children by example. And he would give generously of his time. Though the family was not of abundant means, Leroy made sure that all his children went to private Catholic schools. And although he himself didn’t play many sports growing up on a farm, he volunteered to coach the sports that his sons (and daughter?) wanted to play. He learned each sport and coached each child’s team. Oftentimes, that meant coaching two teams of soccer. Two teams of basketball. And both the school league team and the rec league teams. It didn’t matter what the sport was: soccer, basketball, baseball. He always supported his kids. He always came to their sporting events. Faithfully. Leroy wanted his sons to join Boy Scouts. And so he volunteered to be the Den Leader for his boy’s Boy Scouts because there wasn’t one to fulfill this role.

He liked taking his sons fishing. And would often be the one fishing out one son’s fishing pole or another. They went fishing under the Spokane Street Bridge. And they boys would lay their poles down and a fish would bite taking the fishing pole downstream and Leroy always managed to retrieve the poles. Every time.
Leroy would take his kids to the movies. He always spent “quality time” with them.

Leroy was always, his children recall, the guy who treated everyone right. He would give anyone the shirt off his back. And he helped a lot of people. They had a big house in White Center and the family opened its doors to let anyone stay there. Because of Jenny, a lot of Vietnamese were trying to get in to the country. And Leroy welcomed everyone. He didn’t bat an eye, in doing what he could to facilitate their welcome, to make things easier for others.

Leroy could be old school. He smoked Camels - no filters - for a time. And had been a military man. A farm boy. At one point all three of his kids broke some bone: Judy broke both of her wrists. Phi-Long broke his nose. Phi-Khanh broke his foot. And Leroy would exhort them, “You just shake it off. In a little while you will be fine.” Until he would finally realize they were seriously hurt and he would rush them in to get them fixed up. He wasn’t overly demonstrative. But he always showed he cared in his actions. You always knew he loved you. He was generous with himself. He would do for you whatever he could. He was selfless. One of the sweetest moments that Phi-Long recalls is his dad holding his kid for the first time. Leroy had so much palpable joy in holding his grandchild.

Leroy didn’t swear. But working with tools as he did, he would often smash a finger or crush his hand. But at that moment when anyone else would let out an expletive, Leroy would yell, “Chicken Snot. Cow. Horse. Pig!” naming off farm animals in place of swear words.

His children remembers their dad in his green jump suit - his overalls. And he always had a stocking cap on. To fit under his welder’s mask. And at the end of the day, when he took off his cap, his hair would be super wild and messy. Sort of crazy and funny looking. One time Leroy went out and got a nice hair cut and came home with it freshly groomed. Judy was four or five and she took one look at him in his nicely combed hair and started crying. She wanted his crazy hair back!!

Phi-Khanh said, about his dad, “I idolized what he did. He was my role model. I tried to realize everything he did, with my own kids. He worked really hard. We didn’t have a lot growing up, but he ALWAYS provided. He gave of himself. When I bought my first house my dad was always over showing me how to do things, fixing things up. He was always so happy to be hands-on. Just showing up to make us all happy! In the end, I think what I can say about my father is that he was a teacher. Everyone who he met in his life learned something from him; How to be a friend. How to be kind. I myself learned how to be a father. He really passed on something to everyone.”

———-
Leroy was an amazing man. He had an enormous zest for life, had a great interest in people (where they were from, what they did), was an incredible listener, and had a very happy, positive attitude towards life and people.

With his enormous zest for life , beginning in his mid forties, he began discovering all kinds of new interests.

Having never played a sport before, he liked running so he started playing on 2 soccer teams which he continued playing on for 16 years until he moved to his farm in Monroe.

Never having played basketball, he got a group of co-workers together at noon to shoot hoops.

He was a man with ideas. When he had an idea, he made it happen, whether finding people to play basketball, racketball or pickleball with, or creating and building some part, or machine. He built a trike from scratch, no plans, just ideas. He loved creating. He also loved helping people, fixing things that didn’t work for friends, getting friends together to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s disease,

He loved music in any form. He took dancing lessons, piano lessons, guitar lessons, music theory and voice lessons. For several years while still working he got together with a friend who also sang and played the guitar. Many, many evenings of fun music and lots of laughter. He had a wonderful voice, his ear… not quite so good, but he sure loved singing!

He learned to ski quickly and flew down the slopes loving every minute. He had many winters of great skiing and several ski trips with friends.

He liked running and did many runs in the area through the years. He was going to run the Torchlight run, however when he got there he realized he was wearing his Berkinstocks, not his running shoes. Nothing deterred Leroy, off he went anyway – and yes, finished the run.

Leroy did his first backpacking trip into the Enchantments in 1995 where he met his long time girl friend Molly. He continued to love backpacking. He backpacked in the Olympics, the Enchanments (again), the Grand Canyon, and many other trips with friends. His last trip just a few weeks ago was with the Parkinson Pass to Pass group. 25 miles in 5 days. With his Parkinson’s, it was a very rugged trip but he made it. One of his co-hikers described him, “few people have the sheer grit and determination I saw in Leroy on that hike”.

He was always willing. If someone asked him if he’d like to do something, the answer was ALWAYS “Yes”.

He did a little of everything. He climbed Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Baker and Mt Rainier.

Leroy began biking, another activity he loved and poured his determination into. He rode the STP: the Seattle to Portland, 200 mile ride, 3 different years. Rode the Ragbrai, the 400 plus mile ride across Iowa – in July (it’s HOT, and Iowa is NOT flat), 3 different years with his brother. One year on a 2 wheel bike, but because of Parkinson’s the next 2 years he rode a trike. He described one day, “uphill, 100 degrees with a headwind”. Nothing deterred Leroy!

Beside singing and playing the guitar he loved to go dancing.

Leroy was a ‘people’ person. He enjoyed meeting new people, getting to know them.

He loved to travel. To go to new places, experience different cultures, and try communicating in a language he didn’t know. Somehow, he always managed to communicate. He went to Germany, where his family was from, Ireland, Australia, New Guinea, China, Peru and Ecuador. All these adventures he shared with Molly. As she said “I wanted to go to New Guinea, into the jungle, where my parents had lived early in their marriage. There was no one that I have ever known, that I would have gone there with, except Leroy. I trusted him completely. He was always calm and never got rattled. He had an amazing confidence and an acceptance of, and ease with people where ever he travelled.”

As Molly described their relationship, “It was filled with sharing, adventure and JOY.”

Leroy did not grow up swimming. Again, nothing deterred Leroy. He went on a week long river rafting trip down the Salmon river in Idaho. During the trip he did some white water kayaking (which he had never done before), flipped the kayak, calmly telling himself “find the kayak, find the paddle”, patiently waiting until someone pulled him out of the water.

He learned to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef, even taking a quick lesson so he could do some scuba diving.

He spent a week on a kayaking trip in the Caribbean, kayaking from island to island across long stretches of open water.

He was game for anything. And loved it all.

After he retired in 2012 he moved to his farm, his “dirt and his tractor”. Growing up on a farm he always wanted to move back to the land and get an old tractor. Before the property even closed he had bought an old tractor, simply knowing everything would work out.

He built a house, did all the wiring and plumbing himself while working a full time job AND having Parkinson’s. Then he bought another old tractor, then another, and another, all which he rebuilt and got running. Leroy could fix anything! One was a very big, very old backhoe. You could hear Leroy coming through the woods, rumbling and snorting like an old dinosaur. He loved working on and using his tractors! Some people build foot paths, Leroy built small, mini roads as trails, unless completely inaccessible with a tractor. He did however, build many small trails all over his property which he invited friends and neighbors to enjoy. He plowed down blackberries, bushes, small trees, anything in his way. He tilled the field to plant wild flowers. He loved his dirt and his tractors!

He joined the Y in Monroe and developed some very close relationships. He took exercise classes, learned to play racketball and pickleball.

He joined the Tremolos Singers, a choir for folks with Parkinson’s directed by Judi, a gal with a very big heart.

His good friend Cheryl, who also had Parkinson’s, egged him on to go to the Rock Steady Boxing class for people with Parkinson’s. He became a certified assistant coach and became fast friends with the coach Carol. Another lady with a huge heart.

Leroy had grit and determination. He also had a gentle soul and a kind heart. Babies, little children, dogs and cats all instinctively recognized this. Molly was looking after her 2 year old grandson who noticed she had some pretty flowers on the table. He asked where she got them. She told him, “Leroy gave them to me”. He had never met Leroy and was not one to go to men he did not know. Leroy later came over to her house. She told her grandson,” this is Leroy”. He looked at Leroy very intently for a minute, then opened his arms, and walked up to Leroy. He knew.

Leroy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 18 years ago. Leroy was an accepting man. Yes, he had Parkinson’s but he also had an enormous will to do everything possible to be the one in control, not Parkinson’s. He had an incredibly happy, cheerful, positive attitude and was a huge inspiration to all of us who knew him. We were truly blessed to have been part of his life.

Leroy Tieskoetter was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Kenny. He leaves behind his five brothers….Roger, Darrell, Marvin, and Lester; and Jenny, the mother of his children.

He is survived by his two sons Phi-Long (with Christy) and Phi-Khanh (With Brandy); his daughter Judy (with Kha).

His love and legacy will live on in his seven grandkids: Nick, Lizzie, Hailey, Mason, McKenzie,
Kayden and Kamryn.

His long-time girlfriend, Molly, will cherish all who he was to her in the 23 years they shared together.

We will miss this man - this man who was game for anything, and loved it all. But we will treasure him, deeply and forever, in our hearts.