Published in the Askov American, Askov, MN Jan. 26, 2012 & the Pine County Courier, Sandstone, MN Jan. 26, 2012
Leonard Earl Sandell, son of Hjalmer and Anna Sandell, was born March 29, 1930, on the family farm west of Hinckley. Leonard was welcomed by his four siblings, Verna, Ida, Fernon and Lillian. He attended country school in District 81 through grade eight and then Hinckley High School. He often walked to school following the railroad tracks into town. During his high school years he participated in FFA, loved fishing and bow hunting, played baseball and relished his time in the woods.
Upon graduation in 1947, he continued to work on the family farm while also working for the railroad. He then moved to Cloquet to work for the paper mill. He entered the Army in 1951. He married Irene Anderson April 1952. He was sent overseas shortly thereafter and was stationed in Nuremburg, Germany.
Upon his return to civilian life, he farmed for several years before entering the construction field. He trained under Irene’s uncle, Albert Meyer, in Buffalo, where they resided for two years. Upon returning to Sandstone, he started his own construction company and stayed in business for more than 50 years before retiring at age 75.
Leonard loved his family, friends, gardening and the woods. He volunteered with the youth hockey program, the Boy Scouts, youth gun training and wherever else he was needed. He served on the council of Grace Lutheran Church and also on the sandstone Park Board. He was part of the committee to study the removal of the Kettle River Dam.
Leonard is survived by his wife of 59 years, Irene (Anderson) Sandell; sister, Lillian Porter; his sons, Todd (Lyudmila) Sandell of Fridley, Jon Sandell of Hinckley, Mike (Sheila) Sandell of Taylors Falls, Leonard Sandell of Avondale, Arizona, and Eric (Mindy) Sandell of Hinckley; and his grandchildren, Rich (Becca), Dan (Carrie), Erin, Olya (Sasha) and Natalia; great grandchildren, Amelia, Kylie, Evan, Grisha and Vesta; and many nieces and nephews.
He also opened his home to AFS sons Alfredo (Paola), Luis (Darlene), Arbuc Flomo (Deanne) and also to special friends, Sam, Jim and Lois.