Kenneth Jerome Leibee Jr. known by many as "Pard," passed peacefully at his home in Hemet, Calif., surrounded by family. He was 88.
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Born June 10, 1925 in Omaha, Neb., to Margaret and Kenneth Leibee, he was the only son of their three children. He graduated from Omaha Central High School and went on to study international relations at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. While in college, he played football for the Mighty Trojans and continued to support his alma mater by regularly attending games for more than 30 years.
In 1947, he worked for the U.S. Geologic Survey in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska and on Jan. 11, 1948, Ken married his best friend Gwen Agnew. They had two sons KJ and Michael and the family moved to Los Alamos, where Ken worked for the Los Alamos National Laboratory for 30 years, retiring to Hemet in 1980.
An athlete and avid sports fan all of his life, he played senior softball until the age of 79.
He loved pie and laughter, cruises, traveling abroad, playing bridge weekly and beating every member of his family at the game Rummikub.
Ken remained an active, lifetime member of the Trojan Football Alumni Club, Kappa Alpha Fraternity and the Philatelic and Numismatic Societies. He was a man who believed each day was a gift "that's why they call it a present" and he treated each day as such.
Ken was preceded in death by his love of 63 years, his wife Gwen. He leaves his two devoted sons KJ and Michael; grandchildren Kenny, Felicia, Elaina, Amanda, Brianna; 10 great-grandchildren and his sister Dorthy Chaka of Omaha, Neb. "To live on the hearts of others is not to die."As a true gentleman of virtue and kindness, he will live on forever in so many hearts.
A celebration of Ken's life will be at his home at 2 p.m. Oct. 25 in Hemet.
Memorial donations can be made in Ken's name to:
The Ranches, New Mexico Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation, P.O. Box 9, Belen, NM 87002.
Published in Los Alamos Monitor on Oct. 10, 2013