Richard LeSage left peacefully for heaven at 9:00 am on August 7th at his cabin on Ice Cracking Lake surrounded by his wife, children, grandchildren, brother/ best friend when he took his last breath.
Richard LeSage (no middle name) was born on November 11th, 1948, in Austin, MN, to Arthur and Celesta LeSage. He had four brothers and one sister. Dick had a special “spark” from the beginning. He was a leader, a team player, and a true competitor. He held records in high school for track and cross country, was a basketball star, and had a smooth golf swing to be envious of. He enjoyed waterskiing, hunting, and football in the front yard with his family. He went to college for business and communications. He proudly served his country in the Army for nearly three years.
He met the love of his life at a night club one night when he was “supposed to be studying”. Loretta Ann LeSage stole his heart from the beginning. The two were married in Moorhead, MN. They shared 48 wonderful years of marriage together. Their adventures together took them many places, but most of their life was spent in Redwood Falls, MN, and at Ice Cracking Resort and RV Park in Ponsford, MN. He was a small business owner to the core. He loved the start-up, the vision, the planning, and the hard work. Most of his days started on the deck making his to-do list.
They have four children, Kristine (and Jason Kise), Jennifer (and Shawn Nguyen), Scott (and Caitlin LeSage), and Megan (and David Steinbruckner). He taught us all the value of hard work, compassion, and honestly through creating family businesses. In Redwood Falls we all worked at the Family Food Gallery through high school. One of us was probably your hostess or waitress! Then he found his little patch of “heaven on earth” at Ice Cracking Resort which he re-created over the last twenty-one years with the help of many, but especially his wife, son and youngest daughter.
Dick and Etta have been blessed with twelve wonderful grandchildren; Avery, Madison, Aden, Mason, Cole, Sophia, Owen, Oliver, Noah, Ellie, Greyson, and Dawson. Although he was so sad to leave them, he told us that he knows that they will all go on to do great things. Of course they will, they take after their grandfather!
Dad always told us that he didn’t care if we won or lost, he would be proud of us as long as we always gave our all and never gave up. At the end of September 2019, our world was turned upside down as he was thrown into the ring with the toughest opponent he had ever faced. He was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He was accepted as a patient at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and had an amazing team supporting him. He fought every single day with everything he had and never, ever gave up. Unfortunately, the cancer was an unfair opponent.
Some of his happiest times were spent playing golf with Hogy’s Heroes in Redwood Falls and the boys down in Diamondhead, MS; mowing the lawns at Ice Cracking Resort and RV Park; teaching his Ice Cracking Family the ropes as they took over the dream that he created; riding the Incredicoaster; daily 3:00 am phone calls with his brother and best friend, Bob, to tell the same stories over and over; just driving on the gulf coast; bingo at the lodge; watching the grandkids play at the lake; traveling out to Las Vegas every November; water skiing on Lake Latoka; eating sweets (he was a chocolate connoisseur!); having a fourth-a-beer at the annual RV pork feed and potluck; playing games with his grandkids; the annual 4th of July Family Corn Hole Tournament at the lake; and many, many others.
As we reflected together on his life during these last eleven months, over and over again he would say, “I have been so blessed! I have had an amazing life! It’s just so amazing to look back and see how The Big Guy upstairs laid out the dominos and they’ve all just fallen into place.” Dick spent his last days sitting on the deck at the lake listening to all twelve of his grandchildren play…just as he had wished.
A definition of a legacy is “to put a stamp on the future”. There is no doubt that Dick lived his life in a way that he will be remembered and talked about for years and years and years to come: with humor, with happiness, and with love. He told stories that made rooms erupt with laughter! His “kee-kee-kee” laugh was completely contagious! You only had to meet him once and you became family. He’d remember everything about you the next time you saw him. He worked to make every place he touched a little bit more beautiful. He lit up the room, and if you were lucky enough to have been in the room he made you smile, laugh, and made your day a little brighter.
We miss him so much and are so desperately sad. But we try to have comfort in knowing that he doesn’t have to hurt anymore. We know he is up there catching up with his mom and dad and friends who have gone before him. He is our angel watching over us now, so don’t slack! Remember: “Straight lines. No patches.” As he always said when he left the office, “Ladies, hold my calls. I’ve got a meeting.”
With the challenge of Covid we need to be very thoughtful about how we celebrate and honor Dick. Honestly, Covid gave us the gift of all being together during this terrible, precious time. However, what it has taken away is our ability to celebrate his life how we’d like to. Dick was very adamant about not allowing Covid to spread and we know that he would not want us to put any of his family or friends at risk. He did not want a traditional funeral, he wanted a party. Because of that we are choosing to postpone his celebration until next summer so that we can do it right. We will have a Dick LeSage Legacy Celebration Party together when it’s safe to do so. Until then please stay tuned for other ways to honor his life and memory.
We would love to hear your stories and memories of Dick. If you’d like to send a note or card for the family please send them to the family or to David-Donehower Funeral Home and they will forward onto the family.
If you’d like to send a gift please make a donation to the Redwood Falls Junior Golf Association in his name. Donations can be sent to:
Redwood Area Communities Foundation
In care of Jr. Golf
200 S. Mill Street
Redwood Falls, MN 56283
**Please note all donations sent to the RACF should indicate they are for Jr. Golf!
If there are any questions or concerns they are welcome to contact Steve Suedbeck or Pat Dingles at the RACF.