The funeral to celebrate Leslie’s life will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, January 10, 2020 at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, rural Oklee, MN with Rev. Jonathan Dodson officiating. Visitation will be held from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM with a 7:00 PM prayer service on Thursday, January 9, 2020 at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, MN and one hour prior to the service on Friday at Ebenezer Lutheran Church. Military honors will be provided by the Ecklund-Holmstrom American Legion Post 117, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2793 and Minnesota Army National Guard Honor Guard.
Leslie Kent Wilde was born on June 21, 1950 at Mercy Hospital in Thief River Falls, MN the son of Fredrick Clifford and Erma Viola (Bakken) Wilde. Leslie was baptized into the Lutheran faith and confirmed at Ebenezer Lutheran Church rural Oklee, MN. He attended the Peppy Inn Country School and graduated from Lincoln High School in Thief River Falls with the class of 1968. Following high school, Leslie along with two friends traveled to Montana and went to work on a grain farm in the summer. In the fall, he returned to the Agriculture College in Crookston, MN.
On February 29, 1970, Leslie entered into service with the United States Army at Fort Lewis, WA. He was assigned with the 538th Engineering Unit and most of his time was spent in Vietnam. Leslie was Honorably Discharged on March 28, 1974 and also served the following two years in the United States Army Reserve until his discharge on February 28, 1976.
In October of 1971 at a dance in Oklee, MN, Leslie met the love of his life, Trudy Rosten. They were married on May 5, 1973 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Plummer, MN followed by a wedding dance in Oklee. They purchased a farm in Mayfield Township, Pennington County, MN and to this union three children were born, Jenny, Kevin and LeAnn. They operated a small grain and beef cattle operation throughout the years. Leslie was able to continue his passion of being a farmer due to the help of his family, especially Kevin. Leslie loved his life as a farmer.
In 2001, Leslie and Trudy were awarded Outstanding Conservationists for Pennington County.
Leslie was a member of Ebenezer Lutheran Church where he served on the council and cemetery board, a member of American Legion Post 117, life-time member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2793 and served on the Mayfield Township Board for a number of years.
Shortly after their marriage, Leslie was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. For the next 22 years he dealt with complications from diabetes and in 1995 he received his first kidney transplant from his sister, Sharon Forsberg. In May of 1996, Leslie was the recipient of a pancreas transplant that eased the burden of diabetes and changed life for him and his family. During the next few years, Leslie had numerous health issues and in April of 2014, he received his second kidney transplant from his sister, Carol Mermon. All of these amazing gifts allowed him to battle through his health issues along with his faith and family.
Leslie was a very kind, caring man who had a soft spot for kids. He loved to visit with family, friends and strangers alike. His common sense farmer abilities helped many throughout his life. Leslie loved his wife, Trudy dearly, was extremely proud of all of his children, and grandson, Leo.
Survivors include his loving wife of 46 years, Trudy; children, Jenny (Paul) Wilde L’Heureux of New Brighton, MN, Kevin Wilde of rural Thief River Falls and LeAnn (Luca) Varuni of Atlanta, GA; grandson, Leo Wilde L’Heureux; brothers, Ralph (Judy) Wilde and Dale (Jeannie) Wilde; sisters, Sharon (Roger) Forsberg, Lois (Lynn) Anderson, Diane (Doug) Torblaa and Carol (Budd) Mermon; sister-in-law, Sheryl (Arlan) Fore; Aunt, Ruby Wilde; brother-in-law, Byron (Karleen) Rosten; and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents; grandson, Xavier; brother, Dennis; and sister-in-law, Sharon Rosten.