Leslie Thomas DeRoos Sr. was born Nov. 14, 1938 in Yankton, S.D., the son of Thomas and Inga (Peterson) Brownie. In 1947, Les was adopted by Nick DeRoos. Growing up, Les attended grade school in Yankton and Elk Point and graduated from Vermillion High School in 1957. Following his high school graduation, Les joined the South Dakota National Guard and attended Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Les served his country as well as the states of South Dakota and Iowa honorably for over 31 years and retired at the rank of Sergeant First Class in 1993. His time in the National Guard was spent in Communications and Food Service with his most recent position being Battalion Mess Steward.
On Sept. 3, 1959, Les was united in marriage to Carolyn Lee Cleland at the United Methodist Church in Vermillion, S.D. They were blessed with six children.
Les had a variety of occupations during his days. He served the city of Alta in the light and water department for nine years, fire department for nine years and was on the police department for several years. Les most recently worked for the Storm Lake Post Office where he retired in 2002. Perhaps Les will be remembered most as co-owner and operator of Les & Carolyn's restaurant and catering business which they operated from 1971 to 2011.
In 1979, while attending the Alta United Methodist Church, by the grace of God, Les came to a saving faith in Jesus Christ which transformed the rest of his life. At the time of his death, Les was a member of Summit Evangelical Free Church of Alta.
Les enjoyed bowling, fishing, gardening, canning, cooking and since 1993, the Annual DeRoos Men's Campout with his sons, son-in-law, nephew, and grandsons (10). As much as Les loved these activities he enjoyed them more when he was passing on what he knew to the younger generations of his family. Les was admired for his unique sense of humor and his ability to identify with the "underdog" which endeared him to many.
Those left to cherish the memory of Les's life include his wife of 51 years, Carolyn; six children: Les (Catherine) DeRoos Jr. of Alta; Lee (Gina) DeRoos of Sioux City; Nick (Carla) DeRoos of Sioux City; Doug (Mary) DeRoos of Sioux City; Louie (Sherry) DeRoos of Aurelia; Lynann (Raegan) Launderville of Alta; his mother Inga (Peterson) Collar of Newell; two brothers: Ben (Norma) DeRoos of Kennewick, Wash.; Tom (Karen) DeRoos of Dakota City, Neb.; two half brothers: Mark (Chris) Brownie of Soldiers Grove, Wisc.; Greg Brownie of Ashville, N.C.; two half sisters: Tony Moody of Colfax, Wisc.; Laurell (Wayne) Ham of Randleman, N.C.; half sister-in-law: Barb Horn; 19 grandchildren; one great grandchild expected in July; extended family and friends.
Les was preceded in death by his father, Thomas Brownie; adopted father, Nick DeRoos; step-father Virgil Collar and half brother, Tam Brownie.