Cover photo for Leon James Likens's Obituary
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1925 Leon 2020

Leon James Likens

August 24, 1925 — February 25, 2020

Leon James Likens, 94, passed away on February 25, 2020, in Sandpoint, Idaho.  He was born on August 24, 1925, to parents, George and Myrtle Likens, in the coastal town of Ventura, California.  He was the youngest of three children.


Leon was a well-loved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather.  He was also an antique collector “extraordinaire”.  He had one of the finest bronze collections on the west coast. 


He lived an ordinary life in a non-ordinary way.  As a child, he lost the use of his right arm to polio and had to get used to performing everyday tasks with his less used left arm.  He later developed his artistic skills and that left hand eventually created many beautiful sculptures and paintings.  As a humble man, he often signed his pieces with his name spelled backwards “Noel Snekil”.


In 1949, he married Goldena (Dena) McDonald and they had two children, Valerie and Geoffrey.  Tragically, they lost their son in 1978.


Leon spent much of his life in Ventura and Ojai, California.  As a young man, he developed a passionate interest in antiques and retired early, opening an antique shop in Ojai, California. That business later became a premier shop known as “The Antique Collection”.  His clientele grew to include many notable stars of screen and stage.


Years later, after the loss of his wife in 1998, his life took a spectacular turn at the age of 74, when he met and later married longtime Sandpoint resident, Doris Jones-Gallagher.


He later settled in Sandpoint and Leon’s last two decades of life were spent enjoying his expanded new family.  His new family and the couple’s winter escape to Yuma, Arizona, added a new dimension to life.


He was “grandpa Leon” with all his quirky humor and caustic wit.  Doris and Leon were “the folks” to their close friends and family. 


Aside from his more artistic endeavors and extensive knowledge of antiques, he did not achieve a long life of 94 years because of a healthy diet.  He took great pride in his diet of junk food and was known to put several layers of sugar on his Frosted Flakes.  Vegetables rarely passed his lips.


Leon leaves behind his wife, Doris, daughter and stepdaughter, Valerie Olson and Mary Reader.  His grandchildren include Lance Likens, Lindsey Elliott, Laura Siegford, Ben Olson, Kristen Roeder and Doug Boris, as well as many great grandchildren.  He also leaves behind his beloved dog “Pico” who continues to be cherished and spoiled by Doris.


Leon was a well-loved man...eccentricities and all.

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