Leroy Robert Maki, 91, of Laramie died Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, at his home. He was born May 27, 1927, in Astoria, Oregon, son of John Ilmari Maki and Margaret Lovina (née Kessell) Maki. He and his two brothers, Leonard and Kenneth, grew up on a dairy farm in Skamokawa, Washington, operated by their parents.
He spent his grade school years in Skamokawa and graduated valedictorian in his Class in 1945 from Wahkiakum High School in Cathlamet, Washington. After graduation, Leroy was drafted in to the U.S. Army and served in the Medical Corps. He attended Washington State College and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in bacteriology and public health in 1951 and 1952. In August 1951, he married Martha Viola Merrow in Tacoma, Washington. They moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where he received a Ph.D. degree in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin in 1955. They had two sons, John and David, while in Madison.
In August 1955, they moved to Laramie, where he was employed in the Department of Veterinary Science in the College of Agriculture at the University of Wyoming. He taught microbiology classes and conducted research in the Department of Microbiology and Veterinary Medicine at the university, retiring in July 1991. Three children were born while in Laramie, Carol, Steven and Barbara. During his 36 years of employment, he received the Amoco Foundation Teaching Award, the Ellbogen Meritorious Teaching Award and the College of Agriculture Outstanding Teacher Award. He later received the 2009 College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Legacy Award. He established the Leroy and Martha Maki Scholarship in the College of Agriculture.
He was active in the First United Methodist Church and sang in the choir for more than 60 years. He was active in the Barbershop Harmony Society and was chorus director of the Laramie Gem City Gents for many years. He served on the board of directors for the Laramie Plains Museum. He researched and wrote a history of the First United Methodist Church. He was interested in genealogy and family history and was a resource for genealogical research in Albany County.
He was preceded in death by wife Martha; son John; and brother Kenneth.
He is survived by sons, David Maki (Natascha), of Canton, Ohio, and Steven Maki (Lissa), of Laramie; daughters, Carol Beber (Rich), of Sandpoint, Idaho, and Barbara Maki-Tiede (Larry), of Phoenix, Arizona; 11 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, at First United Methodist Church with Pastor Pete Phillips officiating.
Services are under the direction of Montgomery-Stryker Funeral Home. Go to www.montgomerystryker.com to send condolences or to sign the online guestbook.