Leon Ronald McGuire, age 84, a resident of Baker City, OR passed away Sunday, June 16, 2019. A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, June 21, 2019 at the Calvary Baptist Church in Baker City, with Pastor Kenneth Grafham officiating. Following the service, friends are invited to join the family for a reception at the church.
Born October 23, 1934, in Williams, MN, to Gardner and Agnes McGuire, Leon was the last of eleven children. He moved with his parents to Caldwell, ID when he was 9 or 10.
He graduated from Homedale High School in 1952 and enlisted in the Navy that same year. He served his entire enlistment during the Korean War until his discharge in 1955. After leaving the Navy he worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Frenchglen, OR. Leon went to work for the U.S. Postal Service in October 1956 where he worked on the railroad mail service, first in Portland, before transferring to Baker City in 1957. He continued the “rail-mail” work on the Baker City to Pocatello, ID route until 1967. His postal career continued in Bend, OR until 1974 when he was appointed Postmaster of Mitchell OR and later Postmaster of Amity, OR in 1975. Leon retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 1989.
Leon married the love of his life, Ila Bissonnett, on December 7, 1958. They were blessed with four children-Michael (Nancy), Daniel (Sharon), Shari (Ken) and a daughter Tina who preceded him in death in 1990. He has 10 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Through the years, Leon and Ila shared their love with many foster children.
After his retirement, he bought a motor home and they began their retirement adventures. They made Baker City their home base and continued traveling until late 1990s.
Leon was active as a football referee from 1975 until retiring from it in 2000. One of his proud achievements was refereeing two East-West Shriner All-Stars games. Another favorite activity was umpiring OSAA Baseball until retiring from it also in 2000.
Leon loved to help people by volunteering for various organizations within the community such as the Rachel Pregnancy Center, Meals-on-Wheels, and Community Connection, for which he was named Volunteer of the Year in 2007 and 2008.
He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church, Baker City, OR. He loved his Lord and Savior, and served as a teacher, deacon, and other opportunities throughout his years. He was certain where he would be when this life ended and so does his family. He is seeing clearly and breathing deeply once again after years of health issues.
Donations may be made to Community Connection/Baker through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place Street, Baker City, OR 97814.
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