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Leroy “Lee” Earl Svoboda, 75, of Mesa, Arizona passed away at St. Joseph Hospital in Phoenix on February 1, 2020.  Lee was born in Frederic, Wisconsin on June 14, 1944.

Lee grew up in Duluth, Minnesota and after high school worked as a chef in many restaurants throughout Minnesota.  Lee ended his career after 28 years as the dietary manager at First Light Hospital in Mora, Minnesota, where he retired.

Lee was united in marriage to Beverly Hopkins on September 9, 1972.  After 47 years of marriage, Lee was often quoted as saying “Marriage was easy for me!”  Lee and Bev had 3 children; Tara, Eric and Krista.

Lee and Bev retired in Mesa, Arizona 5 years ago and made it their permanent residence.  He loved living in the desert with its beautiful weather, sunsets and absence of snow and cold!  He enjoyed his morning walks and preferred going solo as that was his private prayer time. However, over the past few years he was unable to do his walk and had to settle for morning prayers at home.

Lee had a quick wit and dry sense of humor.  Oftentimes, he and Krista were the only ones that thought he was funny.  Lee’s motto through his years of illness was “SKY ABOVE ME, EARTH BELOW ME, FIRE WITHIN ME“

Lee was preceded in death by his parents Jerry and Vivian Svoboda and infant brother James Michael.

He is survived by his wife Beverly, daughters Tara Wletschak and Krista Svoboda, son Eric Svoboda and wife Jen.  Grandchildren Grace, Zeb, Natalie, Jayven, Hayden and Nolan.  Sister Karen (Bert) Watson, Linda (Ed) Allen, Lana Svoboda and Lisa Svoboda.  Sister in law Janice (Frank) Runa, brothers in law Douglas Hopkins and Gary (Crystal) Hopkins as well as nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 15th at 11:00 AM at Desert Chapel UMC at 462 North Palo Verde Drive in Apache Junction, AZ.

The family would like to thank all the people who faithfully kept Lee in their prayers.  In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the MD Anderson Cancer Center, who provided excellent medical care: 2946 East Banner Gateway Drive, Gilbert, AZ 85234 or Desert Chapel UMC, the church he loved, at 462 North Palo Verde Drive.  Apache Junction, AZ 85120.



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