At the age of 17, he drove his family from the ‘Dust Bowl’ of Iowa to Western Oregon in a Model T. The trip took over 2 weeks and he had to drive ‘backwards’ up hills to even make it. There he found work in the lumber mills.
In 1933, he met and married Grace (Anderson) Hensyel. Together they raised two children. LeRoy was well-versed in many trades including carpentry and mechanics. Together, he and Grace built a service station and some guest cabins. Gas was 15 cents per gallon and cabins rented for $5 per month.
LeRoy’s spiritual birth was in the fall of 1940, after which his life has been a living testimony of God’s love, mercy and saving grace. He and Grace were called into Pastoral and Missionary work and began a labor of love that lasted the rest of their lives. They lived, ministered and built churches throughout the Western US, including Pullman, Wash., Kamiah, Idaho, Roy, Wash., Thompson Falls, and many Indian reservations. They also served in Alaska on Prince of Wales Island and over 42 years in Old Mexico - spanning over 70 years and establishing over 150 churches, of which most are still in operation today. This includes the Falls Chapel in Thompson Falls, currently pastored by John and Cheryl Chamblin. Many adventures and miracles filled LeRoy and Grace’s lives.
LeRoy, also known as “Grandpa GG” to many, was a tender hearted, humorous, loving, faithful hero and role model to many, and we miss him. “With faith in God, anything is possible!” and “Keep looking up!” were his mottos. II Timothy 4:7-8 describes his life of faith. “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing”.
LeRoy is survived by his daughter Judith (Hensyel) Mestrovich of Post Falls, Idaho, grandchildren Rick Hensyel (Denise Jaeger) of Thompson Falls; Debbie Hensyel Lawson of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Sharon Hensyel Caswell (Jack) of Dalton Gardens, Idaho, David Hensyel, John Mestrovich of Spokane, Wash., many great and great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and countless friends, brothers and sisters in Christ.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Grace (2004), son Richard Hensyel (2011), daughter-in-law Louise Landgraf Hensyel (1998), son-in-law George Mestrovich (2010), grandsons Curtis Lawson (2004) and James Mestrovich (1995).
A memorial service for LeRoy is scheduled at 6:30pm Friday, June 15, at the Family Worship Center on 697 W Dakota in Hayden, Idaho.
Memorial contributions can be made in LeRoy’s name to the mission work in Mexico. Please visit Hensyel.com for contact and additional information.