Leonard Allen WidenJune 6, 1922 ~ June 6, 2017 (age 95)
Leonard Allen Widen of Beverly Hills, California, died June 6, 2017, the morning of his 95th birthday, at home surrounded by his family.
Leonard was born on June 6, 1922, in Fellows, California, the second child of Evangeline and Carl Widen with the family moving to his beloved Taft, California in his early childhood. He graduated from Taft High School and went on to Taft Junior College to study surveying. At the start of World War II Leonard proudly enlisted in the Navy despite his inability to swim, where he was stationed on Okinawa, in charge of building landing strips for the allied forces, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. At the end of the war Leonard was transferred to the Panama Canal Zone where he promptly fell for the “prettiest girl in the office”, the love of his life, Barbara Sue Nobles.
The two were married December 19, 1946 in Barbara’s hometown, Amarillo, Texas, while Leonard was completing studies for a degree in civil engineering at the University of Texas. Upon graduation they settled in the Bay Area where he lived until 2010, when he relocated to southern California to be close to family. Leonard remained active in the Naval Reserves, retiring in 1975.
Leonard and Barbara shared a love of travel, which culminated in Leonard visiting 97 countries, of which he always said Egypt was his favorite. He also spent years researching his family history and leaves a historical record for his descendants. He loved sharing stories of his life growing up in Taft, his time in the Navy and especially loved encouraging everyone he met to travel while they were able.
Leonard is survived by his faithful companion of many years, Shadow; son Randy; son Barry and daughter-in-law Polly; son Jeff and daughter-in-law Dawn; and sister Virginia Widen. He also leaves behind granddaughters Jessica (Nate) Ventress, Lillian Widen, and Siena Widen; grandson Timothy (Laura) Hilton; great-granddaughter Stella Ventress and great-grandsons Elliott Ventress and Jonathan Hilton.
He is preceded in death by his wife Barbara, his brother Robert Widen and daughter-in-law Nancy Widen.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, June 10, at 1:00 PM at Los Gatos Memorial Park, 2255 Los Gatos Almaden Road, San Jose, California. Following there will be a reception and a chance to share our favorite Leonard stories at Viva, located at 15970 Los Gatos Blvd., Los Gatos, California.