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June 1, 2023

Leon Leonard Laucirica 1937–2023

Leon Leonard Laucirica, noted artist and sculptor, died April 25 at the Legacy Mt. Hood Medical Center in Gresham. Leon was born on November 1, 1937 in Mountain Home, Idaho, to Joseph Marie Laucirica and Anita (Laucirica) Lindley, née Diaz. Leon was known for his striking watercolor and oil Western landscapes and seascapes. He was also an accomplished sculptor, serving as a representative of the United States, Oregon and Portland at multiple ice carving events.

Laucirica grew up in Portland, attending Benson High School and graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from the Art Institute of Portland. He served in the US Navy in the early ‘60s, and while stationed in Hawaii met his first wife Elizabeth (Laucirica) Persing, née Cruz, and welcomed his daughter Tanya Marie Laucirica into the world. Leon spent time living and working in Oregon, Alaska, Idaho and Montana before establishing his permanent artist work studio and residence in Welches.

Leon was an avid and competitive skier on the Mt. Hood ski slopes. He was a member of the Schnee Vogeli Ski Club, and it was through that organization that he participated in dozens of snow and ice sculpture competitions around the world. In 1988, he was appointed a member of the ice sculpting team that represented the United States at the International Snow Sculpture Tournament in Savonlinna, Finland. He was also a regular participant of Sister City teams that represented the City of Portland at the Sapporo Ice Festivals in Japan, where he met his current wife Keiko (Kawashima) Laucirica. They married in 2006.
In addition to skiing, Leon loved his Western roots and his Basque heritage. He volunteered at the Pendleton Round-up for more than 40 years, serving as a member of the fence crew. As an artist, he had a keen ability to catch the humorous side of cowboy life at the rodeo. He shared his many years of adventures at the Round-up in a popular series of themed cartoon prints.

Leon was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Anita, his sister Joanne (Laucirica) Lambert, and brothers Joseph Laucirica, Daryl Lindley and Raye Lindley. He is survived by his wife Keiko, his daughter Tanya (Jason Vosburgh) of Vancouver, WA, and his sisters Elaine (Lindley) Weber of Macon, MO, and Jacqulyn (Lindley) Przybys of Gresham, OR. Internment will be at the Willamette National Cemetery Columbarium.

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