Leroy Robert Maki

Leroy Robert Maki, 91, of Laramie died Sunday, September 9, 2018 at his home. He was born May 27, 1927 in Astoria, Oregon, son of John Ilmari Maki and Margaret Lovina (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, Cathlamet, Washington. After graduation, Leroy was drafted in to the US Army and served in the Medical Corps. He attended Washington State College and received a 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 PhD 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, Wyoming where he was employed in the Department of Veterinary Science, College of Agriculture, University of Wyoming. He taught microbiology classes and cuducted 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 over sixty 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 in Laramie. He was interested in genealogy and family history and was a resource for genealogical research in Albany County.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Martha; son, John; and brother Kenneth.

He is survived by his sons, David Maki (Natascha) of Canton, OH and Steven Maki (Lissa) of Laramie, WY; daughters Carol Beber (Rich) of Sandpoint, ID and Barbara Maki-Tiede (Larry) of Phoenix, AZ; 11 grandchildren; and 10 great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held 11:00 a.m., Saturday, September 15, 2018 at the 1st United Methodist Church, Pastor Pete Phillips, officiating.

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Condolences (13)

  • Vicky Wing

    I met Leroy Maki through Ancestry.com. Finding we were cousins he offered his genealogy research to me. His work brought our ancestors to life. He gave our family a wonderful gift that we will pass to generations.

  • Deb Formento

    To the Maki Family, Dr. Maki taught me Pathogenic Microbiology and kindled in me a special love for the sciences. As good as a prof he was and none were better-his real legacy is in everyday kindness to all. I was studying for one of his exams and became quite ill and was hospitalized and was worried about his class. He came to the hospital and sat with me and it very clear that my job wasn't to the test but to get well. He also taught me doubling dilutions in a way I could learn. I will never forget him. May God be with you in the coming days.

  • Peggy Benedik

    Dr.Maki taught me pathogenic microbiology so many years ago, when there was no textbook. That required that-- if one wanted a decent grade-- one had to attend EVERY lecture. I have never forgotten his classes. They left me fascinated with microbiology, and with a deep understanding of infectious diseases to this day. He will always remain my all time favorite professor for his abundant wealth of knowledge, as well as his impeccable professionalism. My heart goes out to his family.

  • Jim Hansen

    Leroy and I roomed together while attending Washington State College and he served as Best Man at Carolyn and my wedding, as I had been privileged to do at his wedding. I stayed at Martha and his home in Pullman during visits with my fiance, while she completed her studies. We have remained in touch over 60 years. Leroy was my best friend and was as fine a person as could be, and he will be greatly missed but not forgotten.

  • Paula Foland

    Dr Maki was one of my favorite professors over the years! He instilled a love of the sciences in me. I am forever grateful. Paula Foland, DVM

  • Lorri and Lee Schroyer

    Steve, Carol and the Maki Family, Lee and I will miss Leroy so much. He was such a wonderful part of our lives. I had the great pleasure of working with him for many years at the University. He was a wonderful member our Church and always willing to lend Lee a helping hand during the years he worked as the building maintenance man. Leroy was always a dear and special customer of our landscaping business. We admired his kind and gentle personality, his deep Faith in God, and his love for his wonderful family. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Rev. Carol Lillie

    Leroy was a man of great faith, a born teacher and a role model for Christian living. He loved his family and was always proud of their accomplishments. He will be greatly missed.

  • Anonymous

    Dr. Maki was one of my all time favorite professors when I was a graduate student. My condolences to his family. I will remember him as he was- kind, professional and caring. He was really missed when he retired from UW and he will be missed now as well. Prayers to you all, Kathleen Austin

  • Gregory Wong

    My heart goes out to the Maki family. I'll always remember Leroy having gentle manner and easy grace and humble yet wise and knowing personality. I'll miss him dearly. Again, my deepest condolences.

  • Donna Hoffman

    Leroy was a professor while I was at UW but I never benfitted from his instruction there. I met him through some of the UW Extension Specialists at got to know him in the Laramie Genealogy Society. He always had the best helpful hints and was meticulous in his research details and record keeping. He was a joy to know. The Barbershop Quartet singers were so much fun and very talented. Since leaving Laramie Ive kept up on Facebook and greztly enjoyed seeing the sites around Laramie through hos eyes and camera lens. What a wonderful atray of intersts and he was good at them all. The other thing I will remember about him was his deep love for his beloved and very much missed wife. She and his kids/family meant the world to Leroy.

  • Sarah Carpenter Pope

    I grew up with David and had Dr. Maki as an instructor for Medical Microbiology. He was a fantastic teacher, and contributed much to the community of Laramie. He will be missed, but has left quite a legacy in his family and his students.

  • Michael Comly MD

    I have always fondly remembered Professor Maki and have thought about him often. He taught me microbiology and infectious diseases and was one of the best teachers I have ever encountered. He was the one who got me interested in medicine as a career. What a wonderful person! My deepest condolences to the family. Mike Comly MD

  • Robin Coulthard-Wangen

    Thoughts and Prayers to the Maki Family! Graduated from high school with Carol. They say the greatest legacy a person can leave behind is their family and he dang sure has done that.


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