Les Harmon


Lester Marlowe Harmon, 90, of Bemidji, MN died Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at his home.

Services will be held at 2:00 pm Friday, July 30th, 2021 at Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji with Rev. Linnea Papke-Larson officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at the Evergreen Northern Township Cemetery in Bemidji with military honors by the American Legion Post # 14 of Bemidji. Reception to follow from 3:30 to 6:00 at the American Legion Room located at Lazy Jacks.

Les was born June 4, 1931, in Shevlin, MN the son of Jerimiah “Jerry” and Anna (Syverson) Harmon. He was raised and educated there and graduated from Bagley High School in 1949. He proudly served our country in the US Air Force for 4 years and was stationed in Europe. Following his discharge, he worked hard cutting pulp to pay for his education at Bemidji State College. He received a business and history degree in 3 years of education and graduated in 1958. He married Donna Rae Prouty on Feb. 15, 1958 in Bagley.

He retired in 1994 after 35 years of dedicated service to First Federal Savings and Loan (now Riverwood Bank). He started out as a teller and worked his way over the years up to bank president, leading the humble savings and loan to a vibrant lending institution with branches in Bagley, Baudette and Walker. He understood the importance of how a local bank could make a huge difference in the vitality of a community.

Community service was important to Les. He was involved in the Jaycees, the Elks, the Legion and was on the hospital board for almost 10 years at a time when it expanded from downtown to its current location. He was proud to be part of a board and administration that was able to have the vision to help develop the small hospital and staff into a regional medical center.

He was an avid reader and golfer and loved woodworking in his retirement. The family wishes to thank Sanford Hospice for the excellent care Les received in the last months of his life, especially his nurse Ken Smith.

He is survived by his wife Donna Harmon of Bemidji,  Children Lori Lemon of Apple Valley, MN,  JoAnne Cassady of Bemidji,  Greg (Tammy) Harmon of Ashland City, TN,  Kathy (Steve) Tillemans of Bemidji,  grandchildren Brooke (Sean) Traynor of Farmington, MN,  Rachel Goodwin of Bemidji,  Dustin Wyberg of Princeton, MN,  Zach Harmon (partner Karissa Torborg) of Springfield, TN,  Dylan Tillemans (fiancée Jaylee Johnson) of Albertville, MN,  11 great grandchildren,  siblings Corinne (Dick) Marsh, Harold (Colleen) Harmon,  and Kenton (Lorraine) Harmon,  sisters-in-law Marie Harmon, Diane (Jim) Renken, Debbie (Mike Robinson) Bakken and Linda Prouty,  brother-in-law Burnett (Sun) Prouty,  and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, 2 brothers Robert and Milo Harmon, grandson Joseph Harmon, granddaughter Hannah Cassady and brothers-law Dale Prouty and Ken Prouty. Condolences may be left at

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