- About Us
Leon W. LovelandApril 27, 1942 ~ June 9, 2017 (age 75)
Unlike the way he lived, Leon Loveland quietly slipped from this life in the early morning hours of June 9th, 2017. Sit down, this is gonna take a while. Let's get the details out of the way. He had family waiting on him in the afterlife: his parents, Ralph & Iva Mae Loveland: his beautiful wife and mother of his children, Gail (Spanabel) Loveland; his dear grandson, Nicholas Reed; and numerous aunts and uncles. Already missing him terribly in this world is his wife, Mary Jo (Ligas); his daughter Shelly Loveland Klein (her husband, Rich); his son Scot Loveland (his wife, Jacki & their daughter, Chloe); his brother Robert Loveland (his wife Irene); his niece, Kim (Ron) Nanosky; as well as his grandpups, Finch and Alice the Wonder Dog. He had few regrets, but sure wished he still had his 1962 Pontiac Catalina. Leon grew up on the family farm in Canfield, Ohio. In between school & chores, he and his younger brother Bob spent their time bike riding, swimming & shooting each other with BB guns. From a young age, they became car addicts and never sought treatment. It would take days just to discuss their cars & drag racing exploits. As a matter of fact, he told Gail he couldn't go out with her one Friday night because he was sick. He got busted - she found out he went to a drag race. The next day, he took an engagement ring to her and on September 20th, 1964, they married. They soon became a family of four. Shelly was their first born and a few years later, she became a big sister to Scot. You would be hard pressed to find a father who was more proud of his children. They were a family of volunteers, heavily involved in Boy Scouts and Rescue 40, a search and rescue/disaster response unit. They took family vacations all over the country and were constantly backpacking, camping and playing cards. He obtained his Bachelor's degree in business from YSU and was an entrepreneur at heart. He started several small businesses over the years and kept horses and raised livestock on his farm. He also worked at American Optical; as a claims adjustor for State Farm; in sales at Clark Pulley in Salem, Ohio; and spent the last six years of his work life at Summit Racing Equipment (car parts - go figure). Life dealt him the first harsh blow when Gail was diagnosed with breast cancer. She fought the disease for seven years with Leon by her side every step of the way. They ran out of options and she lost her battle at the age of 53, leaving a devastated husband. Eventually, he started piecing his life back together and a friendship soon caught fire. Leon & Mary Jo were married in late 1999 and settled in Portage County. In February of 2000, they bought a 1999 Jeep Wrangler and life was never the same. If the drag racing stories would take days, the Jeeping stories would take months. You never saw a man more happy than Leon on the trails. He loved the mud, he loved the hills and better yet, he loved muddy hills. They went to Camp Jeep one year, as well as several Jeep Jamborees, but the best times were local trail rides with some of the best people ever. Somewhere along the line he decided he really liked collecting flashlights and at last count, Mary Jo will inherit 172 of them. (Hey, kids - guess what you're getting for Christmas, birthdays, 4th of July and Halloween!) Until health issues started interfering, Leon was a member of the Portage County Knife Collectors Club and PCARS (Portage County Amateur Radio Service). Both he and Mary Jo have their ham radio licenses, but "N8GLK" is now a silent key. He also had been researching his family history and compiled much of his family’s genealogy dating back to their arrival in this country in the 1600’s. For several years, he and a few neighborhood retirees played Euchre once a week where they ate good food; diagnosed everything that was wrong with politicians; debated tire tread patterns; vehicle makes and models; and the esoterica of lawn mowing. If a card dropped on the floor, they decided who was feeling good enough that week to bend down and get it - yet still be able to get back up. In 2001, Leon was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease; a few years later Type II diabetes; and after that congestive heart failure. He still Jeeped, had family slumber parties, went to car shows, etc., but just at a slower pace. Then, in 2007, fourteen-year old grandson Nick was diagnosed with cancer. Nicko made it to age 20 before he too ran out of treatment options. We lost him in January of 2013. Grandpas are not supposed to bury grandchildren and the toll on the family was brutal. Leon went to the ER on April 24th, was admitted to ICU and within 48 hours was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. He said "no treatment". On April 27th he celebrated his 75th birthday in the hospital and on April 28th he went home to start a new way of life that included Hospice. He was the king of bad jokes and puns. He couldn't sing worth a crap, but he loved music; especially old country like Marty Robbins and Johnny Cash, Elvis and anything from the 50's. He loved watching old westerns and shoot-em-up car chase movies. Somewhere along the line, Peanut M&Ms edged out Snicker's bars as his favorite and if he has his way, there is no broccoli or cauliflower in heaven. Funeral arrangements are in the care of Shorts-Spicer-Crislip Funeral Home, 141 North Meridian St, Ravenna, OH 44266, phone 330-296-6858. Calling hours are Wednesday, June 14th from 4 PM to 9 PM and for one hour on Thursday, June 15th from 10 AM to 11 AM. A funeral service will follow immediately thereafter. Should you care to make a donation in Leon's memory, we suggest The Center of Hope Food Pantry, 1081 W. Main Street, Ravenna, OH 44266 or Project Ed Bear, 656 Chilham Circle, Uniontown, OH 43685 or projectedbear.org, which supports and comforts pediatric cancer patients.