Obituary for Leslie "Les" Lande Jr.
Les Lande, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, builder, lifelong learner and educator, passed away in his Brooklyn, Washington home on October 13th, 2017. He was 73.
Les’s true calling was to work in teaching. While in college, Les decided to volunteer for a tour in Vietnam in order to honorably serve his country (1967-69) despite his opposition to the war. After his combat experiences in Vietnam, Les came back to finish his Bachelors degree and complete a Masters in Education (1974) at the University of Idaho before opting not to finish his Ph.D. in order to begin teaching high school students. Les taught high school in Moscow, ID (1971-74), Toledo, OH (1974-77) and Salem, OR (1976-77).
Financial constraints led him, with his brothers David and Paul, to start a construction business in Palouse, WA (1977-79). They learned the building trade from their father, Les Lande Sr. Les and his family subsequently moved to Dallas, TX where he founded a successful construction business (1980-94). After his children were grown, Les returned to his true passion – teaching. He had the privilege teaching at the smallest K-12 school in Washington State: North River School in Brooklyn, WA, where he believed he could make a meaningful difference to the students. Les and his students won numerous national awards teaching DECA and in 2008 he took North River School to the State Basketball Championships for the 1st time in 42 years. Les taught in Brooklyn from 1996 until his retirement in 2010. Les continued teaching part-time as a substitute teacher until his passing.
Les married his love Carolyn Porter in 1970. They had two children Kris (Monica) and Mat (Rina). He had two grandchildren (Anya and Sebastian) and many adored nieces and nephews. One of his favorite things in life was to relax on his farm and watch his immediate and extended family enjoy outdoor pursuits. He was a avid reader of history and a steadfast presence in many of the lives of his family and friends. He was always very proud to be a member of the North River community.
Les is survived by his wife Carolyn Lande of Brooklyn; sons Kristian Lande of Belmont-sur-Lausanne, Switzerland and Mathew Lande of Plano, TX; brothers Paul Lande of Dover, DE, Terry Lande of Bainbridge Island, Brian Lande of Pullman,WA, Jeff Lande of Seattle and sister Cheri Landrum of Pullman. He was a beloved member of his wife’s extended family across the Olympic Peninsula and Seattle (the Porters). He was preceded in death by his parents Leslie Sr. and Barbara as well as his older brother David of Kansas City. A celebration of life service is planned for December at North River School and a memorial service is planned for the spring of 2018 in Potlatch, ID. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Gifts or donations can be made to Grays Harbor Community Foundation in care of The North River Scholarship Fund, PO Box 615 Hoquiam, WA 98550.