Leonard L. Obeidzinski


Leonard was born January 1, 1929, and grew up in Cloquet. At age 15 he began working for his brother-in-law, Harry Andrews, delivering groceries for Jack Andrews’ grocery store. He could only drive the delivery truck three times a week because of the gas rationing during WW II, so the rest of the week he delivered groceries via horse and buggy. At age 16, also because of the war, he was hired on full-time at Northwest Paper. He worked for 46 years at NW Paper, later Potlatch Corporation, as an electrician, and was a member of the Quarter Century Club.

Leonard enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 1949 during peace time and less than one year later, the Korean War broke out. He served on the cruiser, the USS St. Paul, under the command of Admiral John McCain, Sr. After serving three years in the Marines, he was sent for drill instructor training and served as a Drill Sergeant on Parris Island, SC until he was discharged in 1953. During his tenure, he graduated three platoons of recruits, two with high honors status.

Leonard was a 60-year resident of Carlton and was a member of the Carlton VFW. He also served as a member of the Cloquet Legion Honor Guard for several years after he was discharged from the service. Leonard’s hobbies included hunting, fishing, tending to his flower gardens in earlier years, and watching the birds from his many bird feeders. He was a doting pet parent to the six dachshunds he raised over the years. Leonard also was a very good cook and nothing put a smile on his face more than everyone enjoying a meal he prepared or eating home-cooked meals created by others. Food was love, and it showed. Among Leonard’s many accomplishments, the most important was being a loving husband to his wife and a good dad to his kids. He will be remembered for having a zest for life and a quick wit.

Special thanks to long-time friends and neighbors, Rick and Lee Manty, Jay Grover, and Dave Douglas. Your friendship and kindness were very appreciated by Leonard and his family, especially in the last few years. Thanks also to the wonderful staff at Diamond Willow for the care and compassion. In honor of Leonard, thank a veteran, and crack a joke to lighten someone’s day.

Survivors include daughter and son-in-law, Lynn and Ron Ostrander, Traverse City, MI; sons Gary, Cloquet; and Bryan, Bonita Springs, FL; sister and brother-in-law, Ramona and Frank Richter, Plymouth, MN; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Dirk and Diane Carlson, Saginaw, MN; Special Niece, Karen Obeidzinski, Cloquet; Special Nephew and lifelong friend, Tom Obeidzinski, Cloquet; many nieces and nephews; and his pet dachshund, Bear.

Leonard was preceded in death by his wife of 43 years, Gloria (Carlson) in 2003; his parents, Joseph and Helen (Bahen); brothers John, Frank, Anthony (Jenski) and Joe; sisters Mary, Josephine Andrews, Eleanore Dietrich, Helen Swanson, Frances Minkkinen; and Special Friend, Ann (Betty) Hebert.

Leonard Lawrence Obeidzinski, age 94 of Carlton, passed away on March 8, 2023, at Essentia/St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, Minnesota. A memorial visitation for Leonard will be on Friday, April 28, 2023, at 10:00 AM until the time of his memorial service at 11:00 AM at Nelson Funeral Care in Cloquet. A luncheon will follow the service at the funeral home. Burial will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis at a later date. Arrangements are entrusted with Nelson Funeral Care of Cloquet.

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