Elroy Eugene was born July 10, 1926, near Pelican Rapids, MN the son of Elmer and Jennie (Gustafson) Backstrom. Elroy attended country school District #17 near Erhard, MN. Then Elroy worked as a farmhand for various farmers in the area. Elroy enlisted in the United States Army and served as a Sergeant during World War II.
On April 23, 1946, he was united in marriage with Leone Anderson. They were sweethearts since the 3rd grade. Returning home after serving in the Army, Elroy and Leone owned and operated the Eggums’ Gas Station near Erhard for a year-and-a-half. Then they purchased a 210-acre farm (which is now inside Maplewood State Park), first dairy farming and later raising beef cattle. Elroy became the first park ranger for the Maplewood State Park for approximately 10 years retiring in 1978. Elroy was instrumental in developing many of the roads, hiking and horseback trails, and campsites in Maplewood State Park. He retired from farming in 1992 and at that time Elroy and Leone moved into Pelican Rapids. After retirement he worked part-time for Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS). Leone died on June 28, 2000. Elroy entered the Minnesota Veterans Home of Fergus Falls in March of 2018.
Elroy enjoyed gardening, woodworking, hunting, fishing, and cheering for the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. His greatest love was his family: children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a member of Central Lutheran Church, church choir, church men’s group, church Luther league and the caretaker for the Central Lutheran Cemetery for many years. He was also a member of the American Legion Post #17 in Pelican Rapids.
Elroy is survived by his children: Lynnette (Steven) Zimmerman, Pelican Rapids, Steven (Barb) Backstrom, Pelican Rapids, Anita (Kevin) Boen, Fergus Falls, and Scott (Jackie) Backstrom, Pelican Rapids; 9 grandchildren: Melissa, Tyler, Chris, Stephanie, Angie, Robert, Greg, Amanda, and Leah; 11 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-granddaughter; sister Marilyn Nodsle; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by wife Leone; parents; brother Lennart (Dorothy); granddaughter; and brothers-and-sisters-in-law.
Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at Central Lutheran Church, near Pelican Rapids, MN with Funeral Service at 2:00 p.m. at the church with Pastor Phil Tobin officiating. Burial will follow in Central Lutheran Cemetery.
Funeral Home: Larson Funeral Home, Pelican Rapids, Minnesota.
Online memories and condolences may be shared at www.larsonfuneralpelicanrapids.com.