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Leonard Matthew Neidhold

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Leonard Matthew Neidhold Obituary
Leonard Matthew Neidhold

Reno - With great sadness the Neidhold family shares the passing of their husband and father, Leonard Matthew Neidhold. He passed away March 26, 2018, in Reno, Nevada, due to complications from a stroke. Family and friends are invited to join in Leonard's Celebration of Life, Wednesday, April 4, 2018, at 2:00pm at Billinghurst Middle School in Reno.

An accomplished musician and educator, Leonard was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, on November 15, 1959. He grew up in Fairbanks, the eldest of four children, surrounded by a community which offered him a rich environment to progress from a beginning trombonist to the artist who left us far too early.

He began his music career in fourth grade under the tutelage of Mrs. Anne Lackey. His most significant secondary music educator, Mr. George Wiese, pushed him to better himself as a musician and person. He studied music at the University of Alaska, North Texas State University, and University of Miami, completing a Masters of Music Education in Jazz Pedagogy.

Living in Alaska, Florida, New York and Nevada, Leonard had many opportunities to play and perform with talented musicians in jazz, concert and orchestral ensembles. While in each of the states he also shared his music through education.

In Reno, Leonard played in the Reno Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras, Reno Jazz Orchestra, Great Basin Brass Quintet and many Reno showroom orchestras. As a music educator, he instructed and conducted at the University of Nevada, Reno, and taught band at Trainer and Clayton Middle Schools. At the time of his passing, he was the Director of Bands at Billinghurst Middle School and Principal Trombone with Reno Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras. His absence in the musical community of Reno and the surrounding area leaves a hole that cannot be replaced.

Through his music, Leonard met the love of his life, Caryn Wiegand Neidhold. They performed in rock and jazz bands in Alaska, supplementing their incomes while in college. Leonard and Caryn were married in 1989. They were blessed with two children, Robyn and Maxwell and have passed their artistic abilities on to them.

From an early age, Leonard became an avid fisherman with a passion for fly-fishing that took him to rivers and lakes across Alaska, throughout the United States and Canada. He is now throwing beautiful loops with his skillful double haul on pristine waters. Leonard began alpine skiing at an early age. He enjoyed sharing this love with his family and friends and when time allowed, he could be found carving linked turns on the slopes and looking for untouched powder runs.

In 2000, Leonard joined a select group of men to form the Single Malt Scotch Tasters of Reno. Their primary mission was/is "to sample as many of the fine single malt Scotch whiskies that are available at a reasonable cost and have a great lot of fun with friends."

Leonard was preceded in death by his parents, Allan and Jane Neidhold, his father-in-law Donald Wiegand, grandparents Leonard and Katherine Neidhold and Farris and Frances McAlister, and brother-in-law Michael Kephart. He leaves behind his wife Caryn, children Robyn and Maxwell, his mothers-in-law Elizabeth Beyer and Faye Huggins, siblings Katie Shira (Doug), Donna Ingersoll (Jim) and Mark Neidhold (Maren Haavig), in-laws Kim Aull (Mark McAstocker), Bob Kephart (Ann) and nieces and nephews: Brady and Danika Ingersoll, Isobel and Eloise Aull and Emma Kephart. He also leaves significant friends and musicians throughout Nevada, Alaska and the rest of the United States.

Leonard lived a life of service and his final selfless act was to donate organs and tissue to others in need. He will live on through the lives of those who received his organs and tissues.

The family would like to thank the Nevada Donor Network and the respectful and caring medical staff in the ICU department of Renown Medical Center.
Published in Reno Gazette-Journal on Apr. 3, 2018
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