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Leonard Richard Wicksten Jr.

Leornard Richard Wicksten, Jr.

Leonard Richard Wicksten, Jr., 74, passed away on June 26, 2009. Leonard was born in Oakland, Calif., on June 20, 1935, son of Leonard and Gertrude Wicksten. Their family moved to Oregon in the early 1940s and Len graduated from Jacksonville High in 1953.

After high school, Leonard enlisted in the U. S. Army. He proudly served in Special Forces of the 11th Airborne Division as a Master Parachutist and Ranger from 1953 to 1958. After a six-week romance, Leonard married Nancy Ann Smith on Dec. 10, 1955 while stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky. and they began their family while stationed in Augsburg, Germany. Leonard and Nancy raised their family of three daughters in Livermore, Calif., where Leonard joined the Livermore Police Department in 1966.

During his more than 30-year career, Leonard was a tremendous role model and mentor and had a profound impact on a new generation of police officers both personally and professionally. He always set high expectations for both himself and his fellow officers. Sergeant Wicksten served fifteen years as tactical coordinator of the SWAT team, headed the Narcotic Task Force and was President of the Police Officer's Association. Leonard earned his bachelor's degree from San Francisco State University in 1976.

Affectionately known as Wick, Len had a dominating presence. Those lucky enough to know him well, however, saw beyond his gruff exterior and glimpsed a caring man full of teasing and witty remarks spoken with a sly smile. He earned respect not from his imposing stature, but for the values he lived by. Leonard was a man of integrity, honor, and honesty. His generosity left a lasting impression on all those whose lives crossed paths with his own.

During his retirement years, Len and Nancy enjoyed spending summers on the Oregon coast in their fifth wheeler and going on Alaskan cruises-his final cruise included great-granddaughter, Alexis. While taking his dog on daily walks through his Lodi neighborhood, he developed strong friendships by introducing new neighbors to old ones and encouraging an old-fashioned community spirit.

He was predeceased by both parents. Survivors include his wife, Nancy; daughter, Debbie Freeman, of Lodi, Calif. and her husband, Eric; daughter, Lisa Egan, of Corvallis, Ore. and her husband, Carey; daughter, Annette Fordyce, of Nevada City, Calif. and her husband, Kerry; grandchildren, Amy Shanks, Jerry Arionus, Heather Berry, Phillip Egan, Janine Egan, David Egan, Shara Fordyce and Jason Fordyce; ten great-grandchildren; sisters, Carol Souza, of Phoenix, Ore. and Roberta Babbit, of Salem, Ore.; his Livermore Police force family; and his dog, Sergeant McDuff. In honor of Len's wishes, in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Northern California Chapter, 1700 Owens St., Suite 190, San Francisco, CA 94158. A celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2009 at Callaghan Mortuary, 3833 East Ave., Livermore, CA.

Leonard Richard Wicksten Jr.