Leland Harold Reidhead Jr was born April 19th, 1960 in Tacoma, Washington while his father was serving at the Army base there. His parents are Leland Harold Reidhead and Loris DeWitt Reidhead. Leland Jr passed away quickly on Saturday, April 4th, 2020 at the age of 59 at Banner Desert Hospital in Mesa, Arizona, on one of his many hospital trips.
Leland was never married and has no posterity of his own, but he loved his family. He is survived by his mother, Loris D Reidhead, his brother Delbert LeRoy Reidhead (Melinda), his sisters Lucretia "Lucky" Wilson (Greg), Lorraine Michelle Taylor (Terry), and Thursa Lucille Worden (John) as well as 28 nieces and nephews (including spouses and soon-to-be spouses) and 18 great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Leland Harold Reidhead, his brother Leslie Isaac Reidhead (stillborn), 1 niece, 2 nephews, 1 great niece, and all of his grandparents.
Leland grew up in Show Low, Arizona from 6th grade on. He graduated from Show Low High School in 1978 and served a mission for his church in Denmark from May 1979 to May 1981. He lived in Provo, Utah for a period of time and then joined the Navy, serving 2 tours of duty (8 years), training for and serving on nuclear submarines and their support ships. During this time, he traveled the world, with time spent in San Diego, Hawaii, and Guam.
After the Navy, Leland returned home to Arizona and became a truck driver, just like his father and grandfather before him. Leland is a 5th generation Arizonan, with great and great-great grandparents helping to settle Snowflake, Arizona.
Several generations in Leland's family have polycystic kidneys (many cysts, hereditary). His grandfather Delbert Richard Reidhead (Dick) died of it at age 56, his father died from complications of it 5 years after his kidney transplant, all of Leland's siblings, including himself, have had transplants. His great grandfather may also have had the disease.
Leland's kidneys failed quickly in 2007. From that point, he was on dialysis for 3 1/2 years before his transplant, which kidney lasted 3 1/2 years. Since this 2nd kidney failure, Leland had been on dialysis for 4 1/2 years, had heart trouble and a pacemaker / defibrillator, had an ileostomy placed which was never reversed, had massive hernias, had cellulitis in his legs, and many other complications. In 2019, he was in the hospital and / or rehab from April to October (6 months), and then after, because of potassium spikes, he usually ended up in the hospital about every 2 weeks. The last time was different, with a terribly painful leg infection that quickly went into his brain, and then he was gone.
Leland decided when his kidneys failed originally and he had to go on dialysis, that he could be very, very grumpy or he could choose to be happy. And he chose to be happy. He honored that choice for the next 12 years and the multiple complications along with his kidney failures.
Leland had a heart of gold. Before his health failed, you would usually find him roto tilling a friend's garden, picking lemons from someone's tree and then sharing them with whoever needed them, running errands for the elderly, chopping up vegetables for him and Mom as their human vege-matic, and anything else he could do to help. He loved to work in the yard and garden and make things grow. He kept a large compost pile growing, which he was always glad to share. He loved to research ways to improve health naturally, even when his own health had to be turned over to the doctors and hospitals. He had large Maringa trees in his yard (good for many things) and would process them and share them with anyone, including interested strangers driving by.
Leland loved to talk and tell stories. He, like his father, never met a stranger. They could talk to anybody about anything at anytime. Leland learned to work hard and play hard. He loved to serve others in any capacity. Leland loved books, movies, and gadgets, and his house was full of them. He loved a good sci-fi, human interest or animal story.
Because of health consequences and losing his house, he and his mom lived together and helped support each other. When his dad passed away, he asked Leland to take care of his mother, and he took that responsibility very seriously and performed his duties well. He was always a great big brother. He would call his sister Lucky every other day or so to see how things were going and check on her, even when he was in the hospital himself. He took his calling as the oldest very seriously as well, and, as a single man, his focus was on his immediate family.
Leland will be greatly missed. He always had a smile and a laugh and loved to make others smile as well. As one of his friends said, "Heaven will definitely be a more cheerful place" for his presence. And those left behind will remember him with love and fondness. Until we meet again ...