Leo Ray Orestad went to be with his Heavenly Father on Dec. 18, 2013, from his home surrounded by family after a battle with cancer.
Born in Mt.Vernon, Wash. Aug. 11, 1939, Leo was the sixth of 10 children born to Bertha and William Orestad. He grew up attending school at Burlington-Edison where he was a standout athlete. Leo attended Skagit Valley Community College where he played basketball. In 1958 he signed a Pro Baseball contract with the Yakima Bears.
After Leo played professional baseball in Yakima he was enlisted into the Army. He worked in the security as a Morris Code Operator, helping decode a message from the East Germans about the Berlin Wall. While in the Army he was stationed in Frankfort, Germany where he was a two sport athlete. He played on the Big Blue Basketball Team in ’61 and ’62, where he averaged 16 points a game and also player-coached with Adolf Rupp. In 1960 he was All-Europe Baseball team pitcher and first baseman.
On May 26, 1965 he married Karen Swanson. They had three children; Shaun, Tracie and Jana. In 1971, they moved to Republic where Leo was the supervisor for the Department of Licensing, retiring in 1994.
In the Spring of 1975, Leo headed the multi-sport, football/baseball athletic field at Republic High School. Lights were erected, bleachers constructed, goal posts put up, a score board installed, stairs built, etc. His efforts inspired others to donate their time, equipment and elbow grease. The field was ready for the first football game in the 1975-76 season. Leo was able to watch all of this children and grandchildren use and enjoy this field. In the early ‘70s, he served as President and Founder of the Republic Booster Club, as well of President of the Republic School Board and a member of Kiwanis. Countless hours were spent coaching little league baseball, Babe Ruth, and basketball teams.
Leo was an avid gardener, he loved his beautiful flowers, birds and working in his yard. He was crazy about all of his kids, grandchildren, great grandchildren and was a devoted family man. He enjoyed watching them participate in sports and other extra curricular activities.
Leo is survived by his wife, Karen Orestad, at home in Republic; children: Shaun (Cheryl) Orestad, Tracie (Mike) Brown , and Jana (Dan) Bacon all of Republic; grandchildren, Tyler (Paige) Orestad , Todd (Melissa) Orestad, Travis (Danielle) Bacon, Chandra Bacon, Ashley Brown, Scott Bacon, Tori (Trea) Orestad, and Brianna Brown; great- grandchildren, Pyper Orestad, Tanner Orestad, and Jase Bacon; and siblings, Betty (Ken) Magnesun, Oscar Orestad, Dave Orestad, Lester (Sandee) Orestad, Marvin (Alice) Orestad, Lola (Ray) Bertenelli, and Marion (Bob) Saddler
He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Bertha Orestad; brother Robert Orestad and sister Rosella Smith.
Memorial services will be held at later date.
Bergh Funeral Service of Republic in care of arrangements.