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Les Kouba Tribute



Arlen Axdahl

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In every life time there are people who really stand out, have a personal presence, influence people, make the news, & when they pass, are given the notoriety they deserve. Such was the case with Les C. Kouba .... A Minnesota artist.

Les Kouba painting a water color.







On a recent trip to Minneapolis, MN, I took the time to visit the final resting place of Mr. Kouba, a great MINNESOTAN in life and death, and his partner for years.

Lakewood Cemetary where Les Kouba is buried.

I went to Lakewood Cemetery to say hello to the man who really changed my life, and the lives of tens of thousands of people, through his art, contributions, inventions, limited edition prints, commercial art, federal duck prints, merchandise or originals that are highly prized and sought after ... through out the nation.

Surrounding me in my home are dozens upon dozens of images he has captured for the generations to come. Most very good, some are excellent and others he was trying to capture the essence of the environment, the clouds, the trees, the water or a winter mega storm. 

Maybe it was blue bills diving, pheasants heading for shelter, cans at 6:03, or a picked corn field with Canada geese and thousands of other scenes depicting the raw nature, and the scenes enjoyed and remembered by the countless thousands of sportsmen. "who have been there. " ....






                                                                    1978 Minnesota Waterfowl Hunting Stamp Design

Now we see his final resting place in Lakewood cemetery. Just a reminder that our days are limited as well. But, before we check our final papers, let's enjoy life and the art that keeps our spirits and our hearts together.

Less I forget, I occasionally remember all the lunches we had together, the drinks in the gallery, the awesome experiences by thousands of the guests he entertained at the gallery or in the hunting camps he was a part of. 

Having a booth at the decoy show, or Wally's show in Medina, I encountered countless people who had met Kouba, hunted or fished with him, or maybe just exchanged a great story, and had nice words to say in "Remembrance" of this wonderful Minnesota sportsman. Well Les, your work is finished here on earth, may you rest in peace.

Les Kouba's grave stone.

Arlen Axdahl, Titusville, Florida June 5, 2012.

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Last updated June 29, 2020.