Leon “Lee” Lederer (5/23/1952- 4/4/2022)
Lee (Leon) Lederer died at home on the evening of May 4, 2022, with his wife of 39 years, Kate Gregory, at his side. Lee was a patient and devoted husband, a loving and supportive father to his children, Autumn Benton and Micah Gregory-Lederer, and an adoring and silly Poppy to his three young granddaughters, Iris, Fern, and Zinnia Benton. His warmth, generosity, and care were felt by all who knew him, and his passing leaves a void in the many lives he touched. He demonstrated compassion, acceptance, and love with each interaction. Lee lived his values, showing a strength of character and determination that few possess.
Born in Philadelphia, Lee attended Northeast High School and graduated with a BA from Temple University in 1975, majoring in Sociology. Working in youth and adult corrections inspired Lee to earn his Master’s in Counseling from National University in San Diego in 1983. He went on to complete his Doctorate in Psychology from U.S. International University in San Diego in 1988.
In 1998, while working as a psychologist at the Federal Correctional Institution in Sheridan, Oregon, Lee suffered severe injuries after being struck by a pickup truck while jogging. A lifelong distance runner and strength trainer, Lee overcame tremendous odds to survive. Although forced to take a medical disability retirement from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, he remained focused and uncomplaining while continuing to push himself physically to maximize his recovery in the years that followed.
Lee returned to work four years later as a Program Analyst for the Oregon Youth Authority, retiring in 2011 when he moved to Corvallis. His relentless positivity and good nature allowed him to enjoy the years since his accident to their fullest. Until Covid, he was at the gym daily, maintaining his strength and conditioning. He was happiest spending time in nature with Kate, doing yoga at home, walking, or working out in the gym. He was grateful for each day, and treasured conversations with his children, brothers, in-laws, and friends. Simply being with his grandchildren brought Lee a profound joy that was never taken for granted. Knowing Lee was both an honor and a blessing, and even as we mourn him, we celebrate his remarkable perseverance, his love of life, and his legacy. Lee is also survived by his brothers, Howard Lederer in Philadelphia and Jan Lederer in San Antonio, and his Uncle Richard Lederer in San Diego. He will be sorely missed.
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