Raymond Eino Leppala


Raymond Eino Leppala, 88, formerly of French River, died Wednesday, August 4, 2021.

Ray was born January 31, 1933, to Eino and Aileen (Holmes) Leppala in Duluth.

He grew up in Woodland where he attended Cobb Grade School, East High School where he enjoyed playing hockey with his friend Chet Alreck, Salter School’s auto body repair program, the “School of Hard Knocks” (as he always said), and was confirmed at Woodland Methodist Church.

Raymond married Carol Marie Johnson on October 18, 1958, they lived in Woodland and then made their home in French River in 1963. Ray retired from Kolar Buick in 1995, the Clifton Fire Department after 33 years of service, and his own autobody business “The Wilderness Garage.” Ray and Carol enjoyed their summers at Round Lake with family and friends. Ray was a member of French River Lutheran Church, Two Harbors Moose Lodge, French River Homesteaders and was in the Army National Guard for 9 years. For the past four years he lived in Two Harbors, first in their new home and then at Waterview Shores.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents, brother Dale Leppala, son-in-law Wayne Dahl, and great-granddaughter Ellie Esselstrom.

He is survived by his loving wife Carol, brother Charles (Sharon Murray) Leppala, brother-in-law Edward (Jane) Johnson, daughters Sheila, Elaine (Rob) James, LuAnn, Gerri (Dan) Fuentes, Charlene (Bob) Laiti, and Tracy (Dale) Torgersen; grandchildren Bob (Brittany) James, Kyle (Rachel) James, Kylie (Jake) Slette, Alec (Megan) Fuentes, Chelsey (Tony) Truty, Alicia (John) Dougherty, Shane Torgersen, Rachael Laiti, Dylan Laiti; great-grandchildren, Dax Fuentes, Emelyn James, Rio Slette, Luke Dougherty, Jax Truty; bonus great-grandchildren Haile, Landon, Callaway, Rhys, Madison and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Ray’s family would like to thank the staff at the Waterview Shores, Lakeview Clinic, Two Harbors Hospital, and the team from St. Luke’s Hospice, for all their loving care.

There will be a small (due to new virus outbreaks) private service at French River Lutheran Church. Burial will be at Park Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials to French River Lutheran Church or the Clifton Fire Department would be appreciated. To share your memories or condolences online please visit

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