Leslie Pavek

leslie pavek

Les Pavek started a new journey on Thursday, February 3, 2011 surrounded by his 3 sons and his wife of 51 years.

Leslie was born on May 27, 1929 in Grand Forks, ND to John and Julia (Novacek) Pavek.  Education was an important part of his life.  He graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree.  He married Bernice on June 2, 1959 in Fargo, ND at St. Anthony's.  He later received a masters (1960) and doctorate (1968) in education from the University of North Dakota (UND).  Upon his graduation, Les taught science, math and English at Pisek, Tolna and Chaffee (all schools located in North Dakota).  He later moved to Fargo and worked at Agassiz Junior High as a science teacher and counselor.  In 1965, Les left Fargo and returned to Grand Forks to serve as Dean of Men for UND.  Two years later (1967) he left and came to NDSU to work in the counseling center.  In 1968, Les was appointed Dean of Students.  In 1974, he was named Vice President for Student Affairs and retired in 1990 after 23 years of service to NDSU.

Les served in the US Army Occupational Services during the end of WWII in Italy.

Les is survived by his wife, Bernice; sons, Tim (Diane), Todd (Pam), Terry (Kris); grandsons, Ross, William, Jack and Max; sisters, Pat Kramer, Ann Pinheiro; brother, Roland; many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Julia Pavek and his brother, John Pavek.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to an educational charity of your choice.  The family would like to thank the staff at Villa Maria Nursing Home for the exceptional care Les and the entire family received during his stay.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Lake Lanier, Dawsonville GeorgiaBernice…. You and Les were my very favorite teachers at Agassiz!!! I can remember you dating…..all of us silly little junior high girls were so excited and thrilled when the two of you got married.
    Please know….that both of you made such an impression in my life.
    I don’t know if you know but I also became a physical education teacher, a gymnastics coach of 20 years and a USGF ranked judged….. That is the kind of impression you made on me…. What wonderful memories you must have of a truly remarkable man!!!! My love to you..
    Nancy Tvedten King

  2. San Diego CADear Berniece and sons, I send you my heartfelt sympathy and prayers to help you through your loss. I lived in Pisek, N.D
    ak. about a block from Leslie’s house and knew Leslie well. He was my partner in the days we picked potatoes. That’s about 65 years ago. We had a wonderful small town life. God Bless amd take care.
    Marie Erickson

  3. Fergus Falls, Minnesota
    , 56537Dear Bernice, Tim, Todd & Terry & families:
    We were saddened and shocked to open the paper and learn Les had left this earth. We send our sincere sympathy to each of you. Would loved to have been there for support, but had some minor surgery on Friday. Trust you will accept our sympathy. We had many good times with you Berniece and Les. Always a happy guy. Would loved to have seen your family too. I hope we can see each other sometime (when winter is no longer among us.) May our Lord be with each of you. sincere sympathy, VJ and Bob

  4. Thomson ILGreetings and Salutations my great friend. You were my mentor, step in father after the loss of mine and great great friend. I learned that being yourself is wonderful as long as you care about others and except them for themselves. Every morning you would walk in the office and ask if things were
    “Perfect” or “Practically Perfect”? Working with and for you was always a great experience. If things didn’t go
    “Perfect” you would always ask what I learned from the experience. Never scolding, but like Scott said in his note,
    you had better get it right the next time.
    And you did. I was lucky to have you as my mentor at work and life. You are part of my being, bless you.
    My condolances to you Bernice, Tim, Todd and Terry. He will be missed.


  5. St Cloud MN
    I’ll always remember Dr. Pavek statement to me once over the phone. “Mr. Malmberg I don’t think you did it but I know damn well you know who did or you can find out”. “ So you inform them I want Burgrum lobby furniture back by noon”. It was returned by 10 am. We never spoke about it again he knew I that I wouldn’t tell who did it and he never asked. Later when I returned to college to add a major in accounting to my degree we would meet in old main. I had lost my lost my father a few year earlier and he was interested in what was happening in my life. We had a few laugh and he told me I was a perfect candidate for returning to school. He said I was a poster boy for the college graduate who made it through on personality and connections. Now you’re here for an education.
    I can say I received an education from ND
    SU. Now when I visit campus I see the dorm named after him and I always remember. I haven’t told many this story the first two will be my daughters.
    Goodbye Dr. Pavek , Peace be with you and your family
    Scott Malmberg
    Debra Hawkinson Malmberg
    Andrea & Erica

  6. Fargo Please know you are in our hearts and prayers during this difficult time. Les was a good friend and neighbor for many years. We will cherish the many memories of long conversations and stories we have shared.

    The Graber Family

  7. HUDSON WIMy memories of Uncle Les go back to my youth when I would spend week long trips to Fargo to stay with his family. He was a great host and we always had good times. I also remember all the folks who I have met over the years who saw my last name and asked if I was related. When I said I was they would talk about a how he was important in some way in their lives. This to me shows his legacy. He touched so many. Les you will be missed but when I look at the family you leave behind I see that you are in a way still here.

  8. Sun City AZ
    Dear Bernice and family,
    We were very saddened to hear of Les’s passing away. We have so enjoyed the years we have been acquainted with you and your family through daughter-in-law Mary Beth Schneider Aamot and our son Tom. They think the world of you and your family which makes it very easy for us to feel the same way even though we have not known you like they have.
    We pray you will be surrounded by family and friends to bring strength and peace during this difficult time but that the Lord’s hand of love and peace will sustain you when the days are harder to bear.
    Psalm 23
    With deep sympathy,
    John and Anita Aamot

  9. Minneapolis MN
    We have had the great honor of spending many special occasions with Les, Bernice and their family. The last few years, Les and Bernice have graciously hosted our family on Thanksgiving at their home in Fargo. While we will miss our chats with Les about local sports and his wit during a card game, we will cherish our many memories of him.

    Tom, Mary, Abbey, Siri, Keeley

  10. Fargo ND
    Dear Bernice and family,
    We would like to extend our sympathy to all of you at the death of your beloved husband, Les. It has been our privilege to know both of you in roles, good neighbors, that is not mentioned in the lovely capsule of his life.

    We enjoyed the love for nature, right there in your own yard, that the two of exhibited in your gardening. The use of pruning was perhaps the most visible to us on our daily dog walks. Les knew that the shrub, bush, or tree would grow more robustly and beautifully if the unhealthy or unnecessary branches were removed. So, he employed his educating skills even in his neighbor role!

    Please know that we are there in thought and prayer.

    With love, Dorothy & Greg Hoffelt

  11. Wellington FL Uncle Les,

    I am relieved to know you are at Peace and no longer in pain. You have been there since Day1, driving Mom the the Hospital so I could enjoy my Birthday. We ate ALOT of fruit salads that Summer. I will think you often and always in the Summer with a large bowl of Fruit in front of me and SMILE.

  12. Salem OregonI first knew Les at Agassiz, when he was a gym teacher and where he met Bernice. When I returned from Viet Nam in 1968, I met him again in his role as Dean of Students. We got together often when I was editor of The Spectrum. He and Bernice hosted a gracious get-together for the old bunch at the 40th anniversay of the Zip to Zap in 2009. Last week when I was in Fargo, I drove by the Pavek place en route to visit Kevin Carvell, and almost — but not quite — stopped in.

    When at ND
    SU, though I drove Les nuts sometimes, I always considered him fair-minded and gracious, and a friend.

    My sincere regrets at his death and condolences to Bernice, family and friends.

  13. Moorhead MN
    I will always hold my memories of Les close to the heart. What a wonderful man – intelligent, funny, caring, the list goes on. He fought an unbelievable fight and you are all so fortunate to have been with him when he passed. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Take care of yourselves and each other.

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