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Richard Nelson Leamon
November 23, 1934 ~ January 4, 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old
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Richard Nelson Leamon was the first child born to Wilbur and Marguerite Leamon in Marion Indiana on November 23rd, 1934. Although his father graduated from college to be a teacher, after one year of teaching, he decided to change his occupation and took a job in electronics for the Crosley Corporation in Ohio. Thus, Richard and his subsequent siblings, Carol and Charles, grew up in Deer Park, Ohio.
Richard became a Boy Scout and loved the outdoors. He often played in the woods and streams. He graduated from Deer Park High School when his father decided to take a different job at the Sandia Corporation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Richard entered the Air Force from there. Since he was raised in the peace-abiding Friend's Church, he trained to be a medic instead of going into a combatant field. He spent his four years of service in Laredo, Texas. While in the service, he began to take college courses at the local community college. After his discharge, he continued his college education at the University of New Mexico and became interested in Tennessee Walking Horses and oil painting.
Before finishing college, he decided to relocate to California's Sacramento area. He took a job at Sutter General Hospital as an orderly where he met a nursing student named Sue Oldham. They married in 1963 and were married for 60 years. Sue was in her senior year of college and after she graduated, Richard started back to college. When Richard graduated from Sacramento State University and received his teaching credential, he took a job as an art teacher at Pomolita Middle School in Ukiah, California.
Their first child, Heather, was born in Ukiah before they moved to nearby Potter Valley. Their son, Forrest, was born a couple of years later. They built their home on 15 acres where they raised fruit and berries as well as Tennessee Walking Horses. Besides teaching, Richard was involved in the Farmers Market, coaching Little League and softball, being art superintendent at the Ukiah Fair, showing horses, painting, and many other activities.
Another child was added to the family when Richard & Sue adopted a 10-year-old Chinese girl named Wai Yan from Hong Kong. They were able to travel to Hong Kong to bring her home in 1987.
After many years, Richard retired from teaching but took a job at a home improvement center where he worked for a few more years. When Sue retired, they decided to move to Fortuna, California where Richard would be near the Redwoods which he dearly loved to paint. He also became politically active in the Democratic Party. He could often be seen protesting campaign financing and advocating for health care for all. He served on the Democratic Central Committee, the Human Rights Committee of Humboldt County, and the board of the Humboldt State Redwoods Interpretive Association. His son Forrest died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan in 2009.
Macular degeneration took most of his vision as he aged. He still enjoyed classical music, rides through the Redwoods, and eating donuts at church. His good friends were Tim Ridder and Dave Stockton. He passed away peacefully in his sleep on January 4th, 2024 at the age of 89 years.
Richard is survived by his sister Carol Reynolds, his wife Sue, his daughters Heather Glaser (Ben) and Wai Yan, his five grandchildren: William, Rayah, Alan, Andrew, and Luke as well as three great-grandchildren Emberly, Kenzley, and Kayden. He will be buried in the Sunrise Cemetery in Fortuna. A memorial service will be held at the Campton Heights Baptist Church, 1655 Cecil Avenue, Fortuna on Saturday, February 24th at 10 A.M.
- and on behalf of Humboldt Cremation thank you, sir, for your service.