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Bruce Michael Leino

December 23, 1939 ~ February 5, 2024 (age 84) 84 Years Old

Bruce Leino Obituary

Bruce Leino, 84, of Squaw Lake, MN, passed away Feb 5, 2024 surrounded by his family at St. Mary’s in Duluth, MN.

He was born to Eino and Ellen (Kananen) Leino on Dec 23, 1939. He graduated from Blackduck High School. He attended UMD-Duluth. He then enlisted in the US Army in 1963 and was Honorably Discharged in 1965. He graduated from Bemidji State College and earned his master's degree from St. Cloud State. In the summers during college, he fought forest fires in California.

Bruce married Sandra Kay Schaefer Sept 16, 1967, while both were attending Bemidji State. Together they had two children: Michael and Kari.

After graduate school, Bruce became Executive Director of Head Start for Itasca and Koochiching Counties for 15 years. In 1972, Bruce and Sandy purchased the Squaw Lake Liquor Store changing the name to “The Hill” which they expanded over the next 29 years. They sold The Hill in 2001. After semi-retirement, Bruce and Sandy owned and operated his parents’ resort from 2001 to present. He also was on the Board of Directors for North Itasca Electrical Co-Op for 37 years and Great River Energy for 22 years.

Bruce was very involved in his community. He was instrumental with starting the Squaw Lake Volunteer Fire Department, Squaw Lake Snowmobile Club and the Squaw Lake Ducks Unlimited Chapter.

He was an avid duck hunter but also enjoyed snowmobiling, fishing, and had a passion for traveling. After having grandchildren, his main focus was spending time with them, feeding the birds, gardening and watching sunsets with his wife, Sandy.

He is survived by his wife, Sandy; son, Michael (Brigitte) Leino, grandchildren Brock and Kennedi, of Squaw Lake; daughter, Kari (Cory) Smith, of Squaw Lake and step-grandchildren Grace, Ryan and Sam Smith. Sister-in-law: Lynda Leino and children Shelley (Leino) Berven, Drew Leino and Dan Leino. Brother-in-laws: Don (Nancy) Schaefer, Jim (Krista) Schaefer, Bob (Darla) Schaefer, and many nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents: Eino and Ellen (Kananen) Leino; brother, Eldon Leino.

Services will be held at 11 am at the Sand Lake Alliance Church 55581 Cty Rd 4 Spring Lake, MN 56680. Luncheon to follow at the Squaw Lake Community Center 51272 State Hwy 46 Squaw Lake, MN 56681.

In lieu of flowers, memorials given directly to “Doctors Without Border” at Doctorswithoutborders.org or “Shriners” at ShrinersChildrens.org

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bruce Michael Leino, please visit our floral store.

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Funeral Service
February 17, 2024

11:00 AM
Sand Lake Alliance Church
55581 Co Rd 4
Spring Lake, MN 56680


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