Leslie Janson


Leslie Janson, 93, of Duluth, MN, died Friday, May 29, 2020, at Diamond Willow-Lester Park.

Leslie Willard Janson was born Sept. 6, 1926, in Williston, ND, the son of Leif and Miriam Janson. He was a graduate of Central High School in Duluth and served in the U.S. Navy from September 1944 to June 1946. Leslie was united in marriage to Thelma E. Larson on Feb. 21, 1953, in Duluth.

He worked in various occupations, including in Duluth’s shipyards and as a mechanic, before becoming a custodian and building engineer for Duluth Public Schools, retiring in 1985 as maintenance foreman. Les enjoyed grouse and deer hunting, camping and spending many hours in his fishing boat or on the ice angling for whatever was biting. He was willing to tackle any home improvement project and particularly enjoyed helping his children with theirs.

Les was a longtime member of Lakeview Covenant Church, where he also put his skills to work on building projects and was involved in Bible studies. Les and Thelma loved being grandparents, and great-grandparents, and attended many of their grandchildren’s concerts and sports events. He moved to Diamond Willow in 2017.

Les is survived by three children, Loren (Sue) Janson, Sharon (Mark) Heisler, and Cathy (David) Nevanen; eight grandchildren, Marja (Jake) Stenzel, Karin (Aaron) Hassett, Elsa (Paul) Gould, Amy (Nick) Steer, April (Frank) Benson, Emily Heisler, Matthew (Anne) Nevanen, Kaari (Patrick) Flannery; 16 great-grandchildren with another due in July; and a sister, Mary (Jay) Ledford.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Thelma, in 2012, and a younger sister, Annie, in childhood.

A family service will be held to honor his life and memory. Interment in Park Hill Cemetery. Memorials preferred to Lakeview Covenant Church Benevolence Fund. The family thanks the staff at Diamond Willow and St. Croix Hospice for their care.

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