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Richard Lloyd Leeson

1921 - 2017 Obituary Condolences


Richard passed April 21, 2017 at the age of 95 from natural causes in Riverside, CA. He was born on November 19, 1921 to Lloyd and Margaret Leeson in Los Angeles, CA. Richard was preceded in death by wife of 63 years, Josephine, his parents and sister, Sally (Leeson) Herring.
Richard is survived by his daughters, Madeline (Mike) Watts and Elizabeth Ann (Alan) Washburn; grandchildren, Kevin (Lindsey) Watts, David (Heather) Watts, John (Clea) Shearer, Jennifer Shearer; and seven great grandchildren; cousins Barry Leeson and Charmaine Killlingsworth.
Richard attended Southern California schools and graduated from San Bernardino High School in 1938. During his youth, he developed his fly-fishing and hunting passion. He attended Riverside Junior College and transferred to George Washington University in Washington DC. He pledged Sigma Chi Fraternity, Epsilon Chapter, becoming an initiated member during his first year and later a Life Loyal Sig. While attending George Washington University, Richard worked at the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover.
World War II began and Richard enlisted in the Army. He served in England and France in the Counter Intelligence Corp. He remained in the Army Active Reserves after the war. Richard continued his education at the University of Southern California and continued as an active member in the Sigma Chi Fraternity, Alpha Upsilon Chapter, at USC. He graduated in 1947 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. Richard served as First Lieutenant during the Korean War. His duty station was the Las Vegas Nuclear Testing Grounds. At that time, he was witness to the nuclear bomb testings.
Richard married Josephine in 1953 at the Santa Barbara Mission. When their first daughter was born, Richard resigned his Army commission.
Richard and his business partner owned Riverside Fireman's Fund Insurance and Surety Company. He later began working for Palomar Mortgage and Loan for their insurance division where he worked as an insurance broker for 30 years. During his vacations, Richard fly-fished and big game hunted. Making his first trip to Pinedale, Wyoming in 1964. In 1966, he became a Charter Member with Federation of Fly Fisherman. Retiring in 1977 and building a second home in Pinedale where he and Jo lived during the fly-fishing and hunting seasons, coming back to Riverside to attend his monthly fraternity meetings in Los Angeles and attending USC football games where he was a season ticket holder and enjoyed tailgating with his fraternity "brothers". Richard's hobbies also included fly-tying, reading, classical music, gardening and lapidary.
Richard was an honorable gentleman who loved his family. He was valued, loved and will be deeply missed. Private services will be on Friday, May 5th at Montecito Memorial Park, Loma Linda, CA with military honors.
Published in Press-Enterprise from May 5 to May 7, 2017
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