August 6, 1931 - April 1, 2020
Lee departed peacefully in his sleep on the morning of April 1st, 2020 at his home in Santa Rosa.
Lee considered himself fortunate in his life. He was able to pursue and share his passions for food, travel and adventure in both his personal life and professional career. A lifelong student of history, he enjoyed learning about the cultures of the many places that he and Mary traveled, as well as his own backyard.
He loved sharing those passions with others. Lee was a generous and enthusiastic host, whether in his home, at a restaurant, or on a boat. It was a joy to drink a good bottle of red wine together. Cheers to you Lee.
Leon John Ezzell grew up in Stamford, CT, the son of Genevieve (Zuilkowska) Ezzell and Leon F. Ezzell and brother to Genia Hearne. After graduating early from Stamford High School, then going to Severn School in Severna, MD for a year, Leon was appointed to the Naval Academy, graduating in 1953.
After graduation he married Patricia Haley and they had three children: Lynnette Harmon (Tom) of Concord, CA; Christopher Ezzell (Nadine Edelstein) of Vashon Island, WA; and Deirdre Stables (Andrew) of Hayfield, England. His Granddaughter Sara Rose Stables, Rosie, brought him immense joy.
During his years in the Navy, he served on several ships at sea, went through pilot training in Pensacola, FL, to then fly sea and patrol planes. When he left the Navy in 1961, Leon was hired by Pratt and Whitney, and lived with his family along the Connecticut river in South Glastonbury, Connecticut. He and Pat divorced, and he relocated to the Los Angeles area.
In 1971 he married Mary Ellis. A year later, they moved to San Francisco and he went to work for PG&E in the Mechanical Engineering Department. He worked many years in PG &E and was fortunate to develop many lasting friendships. His last position with them was as manager of the Geyser Project near Geyserville. Leon took early retirement from PG&E and became a vice president at Cal Energy, based in San Francisco, building their geothermal power plants near Ridgecrest, CA.
During his tenure at PG&E, Lee and Mary moved to Marin County where Lee was able to enjoy sailing on weekends as well as vacations going bareboating in places such as the British Virgin Islands, Honduras and two times in Tonga. He was probably the happiest sailor anyone could know.
When he retired from Cal Energy, he and Mary moved to the town of Sonoma and enjoyed life in the Wine Country thoroughly. His interest in local history drew him to the Sonoma Valley Historical Society and he became a docent at at the Depot Park Museum and served a few years on the board of the Historical Society. They also became interested in greyhound adoption and acquired Blaze, a clever and beautiful boy, followed by some fostering and more adoptions. In 2017, they downsized and packed up their current greyhound, EZ, and moved moved to Spring Lake Village in Santa Rosa.
His charitable interests were Pets Lifeline in Sonoma, Greyhound Friends for Life and the Salvation Army. Any contribution to those or something of your choice would be appreciated.
Lee asked for his ashes to be scattered at sea. A memorial at Spring Lake Village will be scheduled when possible.
Published in Sonoma Index-Tribune from Aug. 6 to Aug. 9, 2020.