Obituary: Gary “LeRoy” Klemm, 74, of Ludington

March 8, 2024

Leroy Klemm

Obituary: Gary “LeRoy” Klemm, 74, of Ludington

Gary “LeRoy” Klemm, 74, raised his last glass on Earth Tuesday, March 5, 2024, leaving behind his many “collections” for his loving daughters to make sense of. A lifelong resident of Ludington, Gary was the first-born of William and Doris Klemm on June 1, 1949. A 1967 graduate of Ludington High School, Gary was drafted into the U.S. Army in September of 1968 serving as a rifleman squad leader on the ground in Chu Lai, Vietnam until April 1970, when he was honorably discharged and awarded with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star with Valor. In the early 70s, Gary worked full-time for C&O while attending Ferris State College, earning double bachelor’s degrees in accounting and personnel management. Accounting was never going to be his career. Can you imagine him behind a desk all day? Gary was a skilled carpenter. Many houses in Ludington have a porch built by his hands.

Now, let’s talk about “LeRoy”. This guy was a die-hard University of Michigan fan, sporting the Maize and Blue on his Scottville Clown Band Drum, always greeting friends with a “Go Blue!” As a Life Member of the Scottville Clown Band and past Commander of the Edwin H. Post of the American Legion, Gary was one of the first to arrive at the Legion on the Fourth of July to get ready for the Annual Fourth of July concert, a party enjoyed by many of his favorite people. He was a proud American Vietnam veteran.

He had the greenest thumbs, curating the blackest soil you’ll ever find, to grow the most amazing gardens.  Before the snow even melted, he was in the backyard shirtless in his cut-off jean shorts turning dirt. Many friends and family enjoyed the fruits and vegetables of his labor. His backyard lawn was the perfect spot to lay out for a break in the sun.  His neighbors will surely miss his music blaring starting at the crack of dawn until he shut it down at dusk. After his mornings in the yard, Leroy would make the rounds to his favorite watering holes, playing ticklers and toasting a little Dr with anyone who would join. The rounds were as plentiful as the love and laughter with dear friends. Even with all his challenges over his last years, he looked forward to shooting pool and keeping the “Mayor’s” stool warm at the end of the bar at Buds. He never missed the chance to pop into the Eagles Hart Post on the way home from a doctor’s appointment. Or a visit to Charlie’s in Scottville when he had a willing driver.

While he loved his beverages and dear friends, there is nothing Gary loved more than his children and grandchildren. He is survived by his daughter Kimberly (Michael) Mesyar of Ludington and Tiffany Klemm of Traverse City; grandchildren Mikayla Mesyar, Breanna Mesyar, Madeline Baase, and Zane Town. Gary is also survived by twin brothers Don (Mary) Klemm and Ron Klemm; the mother of his daughters Lynn Evans; brother-in-law, Randy Miller; aunt, Mary Lou Klemm, uncle, Eldred Chavalia; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents William, Doris, and Barbara Klemm, sister Susan Miller and sister-in-law Susan Klemm.

A memorial service with military honors will be held Thursday March 21, 2024, at 1 p.m. at Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington. Visitation will begin at noon. Immediately following a Happy Hour Luncheon will be held at the American Legion in Ludington. LeRoy would want cheers, not tears, when we celebrate his well lived life.  Attendees are encouraged to sport U of M Maize and Blue, even you State fans, in Gary’s honor.

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

In lieu of cut flowers, the family is asking for live plants or bulbs they can enjoy for years to come, as LeRoy would have. Any financial contributions can be made in Gary’s name to the Edwin H. Post American Legion Contingency Fund for local Veterans in need of emergency support.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington,

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