KENNETH ARVID LEIVO

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Kenneth Arvid Leivo Of Santa Fe, New Mexico, slipped peacefully from this world on October 3, 2012, after a brief, courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by family at Christus St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe. Kenny was born in Carlsbad, NM on July 14, 1946, to his Cherokee lineage mother, Alene Vann Leivo, and his Finnish father, Kenneth Robert Leivo. He spent his youth playing competitive tennis for the Carlsbad Cavemen, and challenging many to a game of billiards, which frequently financed his love of bowling as well as his college expenses. His name was on the board for achieving a 300 game at the local bowling alley for many years. Kenny graduated from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, with a premed degree and was targeted to be a student at the University of New Mexico medical school as proposed by then Senator Walker Bryan of Carlsbad, a family friend. As happened during the Viet Nam era, Kenny instead enlisted in the service only to subsequently be denied the opportunity to serve due to his childhood asthma. With his degree in hand, a detour led him to enter the teaching profession as a middle school Biology teacher and girl's basketball coach at the South San Antonio School District. It was during this time that he met Anita Buckner Head of Vicksburg, Mississippi, the love of his life and they married in 1968. A move back to Carlsbad ushered in another phase as he then continued teaching Biology and coaching girl's sports at Carlsbad Mid High. In 1970 Kenny began a career at Potash Company of America, the potash mine for which his grandfather was the lead engineer when the first shaft was constructed and continued there for more than 26 years. During that time he was not only an underground potash miner, but also began to utilize his degree as the Safety Manager and Human Resources Manager. Towards the end of his mining career, Kenny was the Labor Relations negotiator for two large contracts which resulted in the ability for the mine to continue in operation for additional years, and, in working with NM legislators was subsequently instrumental in securing viability of the potash company retirees' health benefits when the mine closed in bankruptcy. Kenny's journey then took him to Amarillo, Texas, in 1996 to work for Levi Strauss and Company as the Director of Human Resources and Training, a job he considered nothing but fun until manufacturing was transferred overseas. During that time he had the opportunity to travel much of the US and in Canada as he formed long lasting professional and personal relationships. For a short time he was a consultant to an automotive company in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, prior to moving to Santa Fe, NM. In 2000 he began one of his most enjoyable career opportunities at Los Alamos National Laboratory, first for Johnson Controls, Inc., and then LANL as a Human Resources Manager, and the Retirements Plan Administrator. Kenny was also a lifetime member and maintained certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources as well as a former member of the Carlsbad Elks Lodge. He served on numerous civic and community boards as well as coaching Carlsbad Little League teams. He loved to golf with his sons and greatly enjoyed his weekly 18 holes with his golfing buddies, Ed Chamblin and Rick Lewis. Recently he shot the lowest score of his golfing game while relegated to a golf cart for transportation to the golf ball and had the opportunity to play another round at the Inn of the Mountain Gods for Fathers Day. Kenny also loved to work in his yard, explore with cooking, and fish in the streams of northern New Mexico - a tradition begun with his sons as they were growing up. His love of hunting in the hills outside of Carlsbad provided his sons with great memories and resulted in their building muzzle loading guns together. Kenny will be remembered by his family and friends as a generous, loving, kind, compassionate and learned human being ..father, grandfather, and husband. He shared with all and comforted many throughout his life. When someone had a question they couldn't find the answer to or had something they couldn't fix, Kenny was the one they went to. On numerous occasions Kenny opened his home throughout the years to young and old who needed a temporary shelter, food, or clothing during their hard times or offered a listening ear. He is survived by his wife, Anita; and his sons: Kenneth Robert Leivo, II, of Amarillo, Texas, Jamie Dean Leivo of Carlsbad, NM, and Brian Donald Leivo and wife, Jeanette, of Carlsbad, NM. He is also survived by five grandchildren: Mackenzie, Sean, and Kate Leivo of Amarillo, Texas, and Jensen and Rylee Leivo of Carlsbad, NM. Other survivors include his sister, Patricia Perry of Carlsbad, NM; his brother-and-sister-in-law, Mary and Don Clegg of Champaign, Ill; and many nieces and nephews. A viewing will be held at Berardinelli Family Funeral Service on Friday, October 5, 2012 from 5 - 8 p.m. where a Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, October 6, 2012 at 9 a.m. with Burial to follow at Rosario Cemetery, Santa Fe, NM. For those who wish to celebrate Kenny's life with his family, there will be a gathering at his home, 12 Two Trails Road, Santa Fe immediately following the services. Pallbearers will be Ed Chamblin of Albuquerque, Rick Lewis of Rio Rancho, NM, Lou Polito of Los Alamos, NM, and Ross Lawson of Abilene, Texas. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Kindred Spirits animal sanctuary in Santa Fe (3749A State Road 14, Santa Fe, NM 87508), the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, 100 Caja Del Rio Road, Santa Fe, NM 87507 or a . Berardinelli Family Funeral Service 1399 Luisa Street, Santa Fe, NM 87505 (505)984-8600 Please sign our guestbook for the family at: www.berardinellifuneralhome.com

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