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A Christmas tribute to LeRoy

Eleanor Tingelstad remembers her brother LeRoy's return from World War II as her favorite Christmas memory. She said she still has the red manicure set he purchased for her that year at Christmas.

The World War II was over. Our family was waiting for LeRoy to come home. It was late fall and we expected him anytime.

I was in the 7th grade and 12 years old. I was up early one morning; it was still dark out. As I walked by the window, I saw a soldier walk by. I hurried to the entry to get the first hug from my brother.

Then I hollered, "LeRoy is home, LeRoy is home." Down the stairs come the three brothers, they had stopped to put their trousers on.

My mother and dad came and little sister who was in 2nd grade. We had a joyful morning, not going to school that day!

One sad thing was that the oldest brother at home had to leave for his stint in the Army-Air Force that day. But first he and the next brother walked with LeRoy downtown to show him off. We were living in Pelican Rapids then, having moved from rural Vergas.

We were so happy to have LeRoy "home for Christmas." He went shopping for gifts for all of us. I still have the red manicure set I got from, minus a couple items.

My oldest brother came home safely from the war too; he had a wife and son in a house. It was certainly the best Christmas I remember!

After that, LeRoy moved to Washington with his family, but they came back often to visit. I made several trips to see him on Amtrak. LeRoy passed away at age 80, five years ago.

(Reader's are invited to share their favorite Christmas memory as well. Please e-mail them to