Lenzie Lee Hennagir was born on April 17, 1935, in Deer Creek, Minnesota, to parents Leon and Tamson (Chase) Hennagir. He graduated from Deer Creek High School in 1953 and during his high school years he found his passion in life, baseball.
His love of the game could only be rivaled by the good times he had with teammates Ray Kupfer and Ted Anderson. His biggest baseball triumphs were striking out 18 batters in one game, playing traveling ball for his U.S. Army Battalion (Fort Eustis, VA) and meeting Joe DiMaggio and the New York Yankees. Lenzie also truly enjoyed Twins baseball, especially the World Series runs. A highlight for him was Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, which he attended in person.
Lenzie spent time working as a logger and truck driver for his brother-in-law, Ken Connor, in and around Bemidji, Minnesota.
He joined the U.S. Army in 1957 and spoke fondly of his time on the east coast where he became a proficient mechanic while enjoying the occasional chopper flight. He rose through Army ranks to specialist grade E4, due to his sharpshooter designation.
He was a general laborer at Armour Meat Packing Plant in South St. Paul for over 20 years and then worked at Unisys Corporation until his retirement in 1997.
Lenzie set aside his love of the game and any potential prospects for the love of his life, Marlys Jane Bellmore of Henning, Minnesota. They married on Nov. 7, 1959, at St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Henning, Minnesota. They started their life together in Minneapolis, the City of Lakes, near Lake Calhoun. They then moved to Richfield, Minnesota where they raised their three children, Terri, Tim, and Jeni.
Family time revolved around music, camping vacations back home at lake resorts in Otter Tail County, and weekend visits with extended family. Lenzie was an avid deer hunter, and it was rare that his hunting parties did not fill their tags. He enjoyed deer hunting with Ken Connor and family, Marv Bellmore and family, and Wayne Newhouse.
He also enjoyed fowl hunting with his brothers-in-law, Ernie Bjorgo and Allen Bellmore. Later in life, and especially in retirement, Lenzie became an outstanding golfer with two holes-in-one to his credit.
Lenzie and Marlys realized their lifetime goal and dream of building a lake home in 1992 and they retired there in 1997. Their time spent on East Battle Lake was precious to both of them and they enjoyed fishing and swimming together; especially with their children and grandchildren. It was on East Battle Lake where Lenzie taught his three children how to swim (by throwing them off his shoulders), and how to fish (from baiting the hook to cleaning and fileting the catch). Marlys taught the kids how to fry them up with egg wash and cracker crumbs.
Later in life, Lenzie helped his wife Marlys through her cancer illness and declining health by caring for her at their lake home. This was the greatest gift he could give her and their three children. Their pet dog, Angee, played a special role in helping him through this loss.
Lenzie was a man of deep faith, but few words so you knew when he spoke up you should listen. He was always one to compliment the help he received from others: “They’re real good neighbors, you just can’t find neighbors like them.” And, especially, “My family is too good to me.” He also said, “Marriage isn’t a 50/50 proposition, it’s 100/100.”
He is survived by his three children and their families: Daughter, Therese J. Leckas, grandson Vasilios (wife Jackie, great granddaughters Evangeline and Naomi, grandson Fotios (Jillian), grandson Gianni (great grandsons Gianni, Vasilios and Nicolas, granddaughter-in-law Alicia Leckas; Son, Timothy (Michele Violet) Hennagir, grandson Seth (fiance Naomi), granddaughter Hollie; Daughter Jenifer Thornton, grandson Cameron (wife Kaitlynn, great grandsons Carson and Odin), and granddaughter Jordyn. Also survived by special extended family pets: Illa (known as “my puppy”), Nikko, Blue, Ellie, and Bear.
Lenzie was preceded in death by his wife of 45 years, Marlys; son-in-law John (Terri) F Leckas; special pet dog, Angee; his parents, four sisters (Janette, Frieda, Tillie, Roselle), and one brother (Archie). Lenzie was under the care of the Minnesota Masonic Home and Lifespark Hospice at the time of his passing on April 6, 2022, in Bloomington, Minnesota.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Lenzie will be held on Thursday, April 28, 2022, at 1 p.m. at St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Perham, Minnesota, with visitation at the church at noon, one hour prior to the Mass. Interment will be at Girard Union Cemetery near East Battle Lake.
Schoeneberger Funeral & Cremation Service, Perham, MN (218) 346-5175 www.schoenebergerfh.com