Greg “Fuji” Lerum, 61, of Crookston, MN, passed away at his home Friday afternoon, January 4, 2019, with his loving family and friends by his side.
Gregory James Lerum was born at Crookston on May 27, 1957, the son of Galen and Lillie (Fournier) Lerum. Fuji, as he was known with great affection throughout his life, was baptized and confirmed at St. Anne’s Catholic Church and educated in the Crookston school system. He enjoyed all sports and played with the Pirate football team until his graduation from Central High School in 1975. While in school he also worked for his father at the Coast to Coast store, which Gale owned and operated for many years. Fuji went on to attend the University of Minnesota Technical College in Crookston, concentrating on courses in business. This was done in preparation for eventually taking over the Coast to Coast store from his dad. Fuji became a fixture in the Crookston business community, known far and wide for his friendly nature and customer service. Even as his strength and stamina were failing him, Fuji still managed to go to work for a short while just 2 weeks before his passing.
When Fuji wasn't working, his passions included golfing, playing softball and socializing with family and his many friends. He loved spending weekends at the family cabin near Walker, Minnesota, which he later purchased from his dad. Fuji was also a passionate fan of Minnesota sports, including the Golden Gophers teams. To many of his friends, Fuji was "social media" before there was social media. He was a dear friend to many and was loved by everyone who knew him. His favorite "to-do" was spending time with friends and their families. He was "Uncle Fuji" to everybody. Whose kids didn't ride a bike or trike up and down the aisles of his hardware store? Fuji was a big music fan and he particularly enjoyed listening to the Eagles. A highlight for him was attending one of their concerts. Anyone who crossed paths with Fuji now and then knew he loved to wear his Eagles t-shirt. As he drew in his last breath on Friday afternoon, the Eagles' song "Peaceful, Easy Feeling" carried him off to heaven.
Fuji’s greatest blessing in the world was the addition of his beautiful daughter, Ella Grace Catherine, into his life; being with his loving and caring significant other, Stefanie Thoen-Paverud of Crookston; his brother and sisters: Gary Lerum and wife, Maureen, of Cass Lake, MN, Sandy Kucera and husband, Peter, of Bemidji, MN, and Bonnie Swenson and husband, Daniel, of Crookston; and bonus siblings: Linda Wolden and husband, Dale, of Bemidji, Walter Erickson and wife, Nancy, of Wayzata, Curtis Erickson and wife, Jean, of Dallas, TX., Kathy Wagner and husband, Wayne, of Crookston, and Brian Erickson and wife, Lisa, Seattle, WA; as well as, many nieces, nephews, extended family, and countless friends.
Fuji was preceded in death by his parents: Gale and Lillie Lerum; two bonus moms, Emma Erickson Lerum and Gladys Fontaine Lerum; an infant sister, Beverly; nephews, Michael Swenson and Bruce Wolden; and grandparents, Frank and Elsie Lerum and Xavier and Marie Fournier. Fuji’s memory will be forever treasured.
A visitation and Celebration of Life for Fuji Lerum will be held from 5-7:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Crookston, with sharing of memories at 7:00p.m. A private family Memorial Mass will be held.
Memorials are encouraged in lieu of flowers to Hospice of the Red River Valley or the Ella Lerum Trust. Send Memorials to Bremer Bank C/O Tom Skjei, 201 N. Broadway, Crookston, MN. 56716.