Leland Partain Obituary
 
In Memory of

Leland Carnell Partain

July 18, 1934 - August 28, 2014
Obituary

Leland C. Partain of Washougal, WA passed away peacefully on August 28, 2014. Born to Charles and Geneva (Poe), depression-era farmers in the Ozarks of Arkansas, the family migrated to Washington. A gentle rebel, Lee dropped out of Upper Columbia Academy H.S. in Spangle shortly before graduating, finding excellent sea adventures in Alaska. At twenty he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard, participating in perilous rescues, riding out harrowing tempests, and expanding his intellectual horizons by reading philosophy and literature. On shore leave in Portland he fell for a shipmate's vivacious cousin, Diane Marie Amato. They married in...
Leland C. Partain of Washougal, WA passed away peacefully on August 28, 2014. Born to Charles and Geneva (Poe), depression-era farmers in the Ozarks of Arkansas, the family migrated to Washington. A gentle rebel, Lee dropped out of Upper Columbia Academy H.S. in Spangle shortly before graduating, finding excellent sea adventures in Alaska.

At twenty he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard, participating in perilous rescues, riding out harrowing tempests, and expanding his intellectual horizons by reading philosophy and literature. On shore leave in Portland he fell for a shipmate's vivacious cousin, Diane Marie Amato. They married in 1959, raised a son, and remained devoted partners until her death in 2009.

After four years in the service, Lee attended the University of Washington and received a Bachelor's degree in English. He taught briefly at Washougal H.S. then earned a Master's degree from Duquesne U. in Pittsburgh as the first in his family to progress beyond seventh grade. In 1967 he became an English instructor at Clark College and settled permanently in Camas-Washougal. Lee enjoyed a satisfying career teaching courses on literature, writing, popular culture, and the humanities, variously serving as head of the English Department, Director of Student Programs, and Humanities Division chair. He played a significant role in the life of the college and impacted countless students before retiring in 1997.

Lee pursued many interests with passion. He skippered charter boats in Ilwaco and knew the Columbia intimately. He published poetry, played and built fine-crafted dulcimers in homage to his Ozark heritage, was an avid tennis player, traveled, built two homes, and studied world religions. Lee appreciated high culture but detested elitism. He admired individuals for their work ethic, integrity, and honesty, no matter their profession or social standing, and this won him respect and affection from a surprising array of people. He felt astounded by the life he had created--and proud, given its humble beginnings. He lived a full and meaningful life.

Lee is survived by his son, Gregory (Carolyn Dupont) and three grandchildren (Julianne, Daniel, Elise) of Lexington, KY; sisters, Jean Johnston of Pilot Rock, OR and Monica Raunig.

A Celebration of Life gathering will be held this spring. Donations in Lee's memory can be sent to Hospice Southwest (PO Box 1600, Vancouver, WA, 98668).



Arrangements under the direction of Davies Cremation & Burial Services, Vancouver, WA.

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