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Obituary: Kirsch, Leslie James

Leslie James
“Les” (Age 85)

APRIL 8, 2012

Leslie James Kirsch was born to William and Elizabeth (Apley) Kirsch on August 18, 1926 in Sully County near Blunt, South Dakota, the fourth of eleven children. Les began working early in life. He spent his summers working for neighboring farmers to help support the family. While in tenth grade, his father pulled him out of school and put him to work.
Les enlisted in the Navy shortly after reaching the age of 17. His basic training was at Farragut Navel Training Station in Bayview, Idaho. After receiving his training as corpsman, he was stationed in the South Pacific for the duration of the war. He was recalled as a Naval reservist during the Korean War and also served in the National Guard. Les achieved the rank of Pharmacist Mate 2nd Class.
Les met Joan Maxine Haukaas while visiting his family in Colome, South Dakota. Joan was the daughter of Lowell and Dorothy Haukaas of Colome. They were married on June 24, 1951 at Calvary Chapel, south of Colome. Les returned to Alameda, California, with Joan to finish his service obligations. After his discharge, Les and Joan returned to the Great Plains where they lived briefly in Lynch, Nebraska and then the Colome area.
Les began his construction career in the Pierre area working on the Oahe dam. Les worked in California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming. His experience ranged from homes to missile silos. He was a superintendent on the Coeur d’Alene North in Coeur d’Alene, the Hewlett Packard complex in Boise, the BLM building at the Boise airport, and several missile silos in the Great Falls area. Les was the onsite carpenter during Expo ‘74. He ended his career working many years for Frank Payne in Boise and Spokane.
Les was a loving and generous man. He ensured that his children never experienced the hardships of his youth. Les didn’t discriminate; he fondly called many a kid a “Punkin Eater” and a “Hunyucker”. He also enjoyed the company of the “Pea Pickers” that helped him in his garden. More recently, his great-granddaughters expected to hear “Where did you ever get such a doll?” and “Are you going to stay with us forever and ever?” whenever they visited. He never hesitated to help his neighbors.
Les was also known as one to never back down from a fight. Les said: “My brother Bill was the boxer and I was the scrapper.” His brother Dennis recently noted that Les at 5’-10” made his older brother Vince at 6’-7” hesitate to take him on.
Les is survived by his wife, Joan; son - Richard and wife Sandra; daughters - Cheryl Munoz and husband John - Teresa Lindenberg - Kathryn Isbell and husband Ronald; grandchildren - Tammy Sue Holzer, Steven Duane Kirsch, Michael Dennis Kirsch, Shaun Christopher Munoz, Summer Dawn Gross, Brandee Kaye Shively, Lindsay Suzanne Marie Isbell, and Nathan Paul Isbell; 11 great- grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and brothers - Frederick Kirsch, Norman Kirsch, and Dennis Kirsch.
Les was preceded in death by his parents, siblings - Rosaline, William, Vincent, Gordon, Cecil, Kenneth, and Rosaline (Connie).
The family is having a memorial and remembrance get together from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. on April 21, 2012 at 2461 N. Henry, Post Falls weather permitting. The Lifeway Chapel at Fir and 15th in Post Falls, is the alternative. Please sign Les’s guest registry and view online memorial at