Leroy G. Prince
Leroy G. Prince
Leroy G. Prince, 87, died Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, at Madonna Towers in Rochester.

Leroy G. Prince was born near the Twin Cities, Nov. 4, 1924, to Joseph and Aurelia (Krueger) Prince. He grew up in Rochester and worked as a kid at a family owned root beer stand. He also worked at Gates Orchard where he learned how to graft, prune and harvest fruit crops. After service to his country he later graduated from Rochester Central High School. He married Norma Jean Ommen on Sept. 5, 1953, in Fulda.

He joined the Merchant Marines and was in the Pacific, Atlantic, Asia, and the Mediterranean areas during World War II. He was drafted into the U.S. Army for the Korean War and served stateside duty as a cook/baker and rose to level of Chief Petty Officer. When he was discharged from the Army he joined the U.S. Coast Guard. After his final honorable discharge he came back to Rochester where he started his career working in the local painter's union. He served as the business agent for the Painter's Union where helped organize the Nurses and the Restaurant/Hospitality Unions. He later became a painting contractor until his retirement. He moved his family to the Byron area in 1960 and started a hobby beef farm near Oxbow Park.

He belonged to the Purple Foot Wine Club for many years and served on various boards in the Rochester area. He was also a member of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles for 65 years. He enjoyed gardening and working in his orchard and vineyard. He was best known for his quick wit, world traveler stories, political views, larger than life personality and dedication to family as well as those who needed a hand up in life.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Norma: six children, Sherri (Dave) Sovinski of Chatfield, Daniel (Marlene) of Byron, Laurie Prince of Spring Valley, Lisa (Ladd) Baldus of Byron, Michelle (Joe) Kes-Prince of Rochester and Eric of Rochester: and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

A memorial service was held Wednesday, Sept. 26, at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, with the Rev. Dale Peel officiating.

A Celebration of Life gathering took place after the funeral service.

Memorials can be directed to the RCTC Foundation in memory of Leroy Prince for scholarships at: 851 30th Ave. SE, Rochester, MN 55904 or call 507-281-7770.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes assisted the family with arrangements. www.ranfranzandvinefh.com