Feb. 27, 1938-July 14, 2019
MARSHALL — Mass of Christian Burial for Patrick Leary, 81, of Marshall will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Marshall. Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. today with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at Rehkamp-Horvath Funeral Home. Visitation will continue from 9-10 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Marshall. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Holy Redeemer Foundation, Marshall Amateur Hockey Association or donor’s choice.
Pat died Sunday, July 14, 2019, at his home surrounded by his family.
Patrick Jay Leary was born Feb. 27, 1938, in St. Paul. He was the son of John and Mary (Flaig) Leary.
Pat grew up in St. Paul and attended St. Mark’s Catholic grade school where his childhood was firmly molded by the many nuns who kept him on a straight path. Pat then attended Cretin High School, graduating in 1956. Having lettered in baseball at Cretin, Pat paved the way for Hall of Fame athletes such as Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor and Joe Mauer. Pat then made his way to Saint Mary’s College in Winona where he helped start its first hockey program. He graduated with his B.S. degree in 1960.
After college graduation Pat moved back to St. Paul to attend night school at William Mitchell College of Law. He put himself through law school driving truck for Chippewa Trucking where his dad was the terminal manager. Pat also worked two years for State Farm Insurance Co. as a claims adjuster.
Pat met his future bride Nancy (Lorenz) when he escorted her to a wedding in St. Paul as a blind date at the request of a friend. Nancy was never able to shake Pat after that first date. They were married Aug. 11, 1962, in Medford, Ore. After graduating from law school in 1964, Pat and Nancy moved with their son Tom to Marshall, where Pat had accepted a position with the Quarnstrom & Doering Law Firm.
Pat had many friends from many different circles and he loved a great discussion and debate. He was a catalyst who brought people together – a connector. He had the ability to make people feel good about themselves. He also mastered the art of instigating colorful conversations between a gathering of friends with opposing viewpoints. Or maybe he just liked to watch the fireworks.
His sense of humor followed him like his shadow. Once, while in the hospital, a doctor asked him what his profession was. “I’m an attorney,” he responded. The doctor then asked if he specialized in a certain field. Pat looked at him and with a straight face said, “medical malpractice!”
Pat took the opportunity to play golf, fish and hunt when he could. However, it was the time spent with his best friends and his three sons that most attracted him to any of those activities.
Pat and Nancy had many friends and they would often go out of their way to visit them. It didn’t matter what town, city or state they lived in, if they were going to be anywhere close, they were sure to call ahead and make plans to get together. Friendships were always important to Pat, and he was thankful for each and every one of them.
During his time in Marshall, Pat was very involved in the community. Highlights include serving as Lyon County Attorney, Marshall City Attorney, President and Treasurer of Lyon-Lincoln Bar Association, President of the Marshall Jaycees and Board of Directors, President of the Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce and on the Board of Directors, as well as serving on the Board of Directors for SSU, Marshall Industries Foundation, Weiner Memorial Foundation, and Marshall Economic Development. He also served on the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Directors and was on Committees to help select three Presidents of SSU/SMSU. He was Director of the Minnesota County Attorney’s Association, the Minnesota State Bar Association, and was President of the Minnesota State Bar Association and Board of Governors.
One of the achievements that Pat was most proud of was his involvement with Marshall Hockey. He was instrumental in the foundation of the organization in the 1970s, laying the groundwork for hockey as the Marshall community knows it today. Pat was very proud to be presented with the “Godfather of Hockey” award in recognition of his decades of work supporting Marshall Hockey and in 2013 he was inducted into the Marshall Hockey Association Hall of Honor.
Pat was a loyal and faithful husband to his wife Nancy who suffered a stroke in 1982 resulting from a brain aneurysm. As Nancy suffered from numerous other health complications throughout her life, Pat was always at her side until she died June 30, 2007. His unbreakable love and support of Nancy was awesome and inspiring to many.
Pat and Karen Murphy married in September 2010. They were great for each other and each were fortunate to find such a special love once again. They enjoyed spending time at the lake together as well as visiting their children and grandchildren. As Pat’s health declined over the past few years, Karen put her love for Pat and her God-given gift of caring for the needs of others to good use as she cared for him until his passing.
He is survived by his three sons, Tom of Alexandria (children Patrick, Christopher and Kaitlin), Mike of Marshall (wife Michele and daughters Camryn and Avery) and Steve of Baxter (wife Kathryn and son Matthew); brothers, D.J. of St. Paul (wife Linda) and Mike of Burnsville (wife Nonnie), and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Nancy, and his parents, John and Mary.
He also is survived by his wife, Karen Murphy, and her children, Jeremiah of Fairmont (wife Heather and children Vanessa, Kira and Jacob); Daniel of Plymouth (wife Shanna and children Shay and Teagan); and T.J. of Bismarck, N.D. (wife Alexi and daughter, Fiona); as well as Karen’s parents and siblings.
Rehkamp Horvath Funeral Directors