Montana Cowboy LeRoy Sanford Johnson of Helena, Montana passed on January 21, 2023.
LeRoy was born on February 23, 1929 in Henning, Minnesota to Rudolph and Edith Johnson. He was the first of ten children. With the desire to become a cowboy he left Minnesota in 1947 and (after a short stop in Fargo, North Dakota) he became a ranch hand in Winnett, Montana. He trained many horses and rode broncs throughout Montana’s rodeo system. His last rides were in Lincoln and Boulder before settling down in Helena. LeRoy brought the first large land leveling machinery into Helena in the early 1960’s and leveled the ground that the East Helena Rodeo would use for over 50 years. His experiences in life included working for the smelter, being a lineman for the Helena Telephone Company, serving his country during the Korean War, ground leveling, farming, ranching, outfitting, piloting, and water well drilling (Johnson Well Drilling). He is a lifetime member to the VFW Post 10010 in East Helena and dedicated over 50 years of service and support to the East Helena Rodeo Association.
LeRoy loved hunting, fishing, camping, and dancing. He also loved reading, putting jigsaw puzzles together, playing cards, sudoku puzzles, watching old time movies and spending time with family and friends.
LeRoy is survived by his wife, Kenadine; Daughter Sheri (Cory Hanson); son Michael; his grandson’s Leroy Hanson of Helena, Montana and Kenneth (Shamaya) Hanson of Mountain Home, Idaho; his brother Roger (Mary) in Minneapolis, Minnesota and his sister Bonnie Masloski of Henning, Minnesota.
LeRoy is preceded in death by his parents; brother Clayton and sister-in-law Charlotte; brother Lloyd and sister-in-law Geraldine; brother Floyd; sister Lorraine and brother-in-law Dick Brogard; sister Corrine and brother-in-law Paul Brogard; sister Janice and brother-in-law George Hall; and sister Cheryi.
Per his wishes there will not be a funeral home service. The American Legion will present Honors for his service to our country at the VFW post 10010 in East Helena, MT at 3:00 p.m. followed with a memorial until 6:00 p.m. on February 3, 2023.