Our hearts are saddened by the loss of Leroy “Ironman” Tieskoetter who passed away unexpectedly August 24 at his home in Monroe, Washington.
Leroy recently completed the 29 mile hike with Trip 1 from Chinook Pass to White Pass. A common sentiment shared by many from his team was that no one showed more grit, courage or determination to complete the hike.
The following tribute is from friend and fellow Pass to Pass hiker Dave Baumgart:
Ruth and I are saddened at the loss of Leroy. He was energetic and determined to sustain vigorous exercise during the 1 1/2 years that we knew him thru the Rock Steady Boxing Class in Redmond. Leroy subscribed to the idea that exercise would slow down the symptoms of Parkinson’s and that certainly worked for Leroy. He was first diagnosed 15+ years ago.
Each day that we hiked together on the Pacific Crest Trail, he showed tremendous determination. He struggled with significant neck and shoulder pain, that required him to stop and stretch out every 10 minutes, or so. And then he would shoulder his pack, ready his trekking poles, and we would continue the hike south. He persevered and at the end of each day, lay down on his sleeping pad and rested for a while. Leroy enjoyed the hike, the scenery, the camping out of doors, and talking with his fellow campers. He was particularly interested in information about medications and therapies that would slow the progression of Parkinson’s.
I first hiked with Leroy on the Iron Goat Trail, and we enjoyed that hike – following the original route of the Great Northern Railroad. We started that day with a visit to the Sultan Bakery – enjoying apple fritters.
When he hiked, Leroy developed a rhythm of striding and skipping that took him along the trail in steady progress. There were the occasional falls, 2 or 3 times each day. He would get back up, brush off his hiking pants, and continue on.
Leroy was a man of great courage, stamina and determination.