Leo Raymond Lujan

leo lujan

November 7, 1934 ~ June 24, 2024

Born in: Denver, Colorado
Resided in: Nashville, Tennessee

Beloved husband, father, grandfather, and coach Leo Raymond Lujan Jr. died on 24 June 2024 at age 89 due to kidney failure. Born into the Great Depression on 7 November 1934, Leo lost his father shortly after his seventh birthday when news from Pearl Harbor brought on a heart attack. Leo’s formative years, from age 9 to 17, were spent at the Clayton College School for Boys in Denver, CO, which instilled a lifelong appreciation for fraternal camaraderie. Throughout his childhood, as his mother Jaqueline Lujan (née Ellis) worked to support him and his younger sister Barbara (Bo), Leo treasured visits to his great-aunts Dora (Dodo) McKinlay (née Keller) and Mary Maude Keller, who ran what was then the Central Hotel in Steamboat Springs, and his uncle Eugene Lujan, a New Mexico Supreme Court Justice. Leo graduated from Denver’s Manual High School in 1953, lettering in wrestling and football, and matriculated at the University of Colorado. There he continued wrestling and playing football for four years, earning a trip to the Orange Bowl in 1961, the same year he graduated with a BS in Business. Throughout his time at CU, Leo was an active member of Chi Psi fraternity and he worked for the Chi Psi Educational Trust after graduating.

Leo enlisted in the Navy Reserve in 1953 and spent a total of 27 years in the US Military, most of it (23 yr) in the Air National Guard, working with the National Guard Marksmanship Training Unit to promote three-position, Olympic-style rifle shooting among junior and high-school age youth. Over a quarter-million copies of a guide he developed, the Shooters Guide to Position Air Rifle, were distributed to ROTC and American Legion shooting programs throughout the country, and he developed and ran a national high school championship series that rotated among the US military academies. While serving, Leo earned diplomas from the Air Command and Staff and Air War Colleges and a MS in Administration from Auburn University. After retiring from the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1991, Leo continued to promote youth shooting programs as a member of the National Rifle Association Board of Directors, the varsity rifle coach of Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, TN (retiring in 2009 after winning 12 state championships), and director of rifle programs at Cape Cod Sea Camp in Brewster, MA (retiring in 2018 after spending 17 summers there, each accompanied by at least one grandchild). Leo’s own career as a competitive shooter was brief but yielded several national records and a qualification for the 1975 Pan Am games.

Leo married the love of his life, Jeanne Lujan (née Hekman), in Holland, MI, on 10 August 1968, and together they built a home in Nashville, TN, where they raised three children: Stephanie Nicole (Dan) Rickerman (b. 1969), Tracy Michelle Lujan (b. 1971), and Nathan Keller (Bernadette) Lujan (b. 1976). Leo left an indelible mark on this hill-set property, personally building over 400 ft of stone retaining walls, some stretching over 7 ft high. Leo was preceded in death by his father, mother and sister. In addition to his wife and children, he is survived by three grandchildren: Anneke Claire Lujan, Joshua Nathan (Sarah) Rickerman, and Caroline Marie Rickerman, sister-in-law Gerda (Jim) Bus, two nieces: Sara Bus and Heather Cooke, and two nephews Timothy (Sara) Bus and Brian (Amy) Bus. Leo served as an elder of Faith Christian Reformed Church and he goes to his Lord as a member of First Presbyterian Church. He will be forever remembered for his magnetic smile, countless stories, voracious desire to read and learn, and as a steadfast source of familial love, strength, and encouragement. The family thanks AccentCare Hospice and First Presbyterian Church for the generous care they have provided Leo and Jeanne. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the National Kidney Foundation <www.kidney.org>. Leo was a lifelong advocate of blood and organ donation, organizing blood drives in college and routinely donating blood thereafter. In 1996, he proudly donated the kidney that saved his son’s life.

The visitation and memorial service will be held on Tuesday, July 2, 2024, at First Presbyterian Church, located at 4815 Franklin Pike. The visitation will be from 1PM until 2PM, in the Cheek House. The memorial service will follow at 2PM, in Stanford Chapel.

Arrangements in the care of Compassion Funeral & Cremation Services, Nashville, TN (615) 857-9955. We proudly remain locally owned & operated.

 

Services

Visitation: July 2, 2024 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Room: Cheek House

First Presbyterian Church
4815 Franklin Pike
Nashville, TN 37220


Memorial Service: July 2, 2024 2:00 pm

Room: Stanford Chapel

First Presbyterian Church
4815 Franklin Pike
Nashville, TN 37220


View current weather.

Memories Timeline

Guestbook

  1. We will miss him so much. He truly was one of a kind. He has truly gone home. Prayers for all of his family as you learn to go on without him. Sending love.

  2. Jeanne you are loved and prayed for, with all your children and families, as you mourn the loss of Leo. So thankful to know that he is safe with our Father. Until we meet again.

  3. Jeanne,
    Please know that you are in our prayers. We are sad, along with you but memories live on. You and your family have our sympathy.
    Bob & Connie

  4. Jeanne, our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. God is our refuge and our strength.

  5. Here is what I remember most about Leo: his smile and his love of life and the people around him. When you talked with Leo you felt noticed and loved. Our Lord gave us 2 rules: love God above all and love others as ourselves. Leo showed us how.

  6. What an amazing life! We will always remember and cherish the love and support we have always received from Leo (and Jeanne) in our own military life. We will miss his smile, laugh, and stories. Rest in peace Uncle Leo.

  7. Remembering Leo as a kind man with a big smile.
    Thinking of you, Jeanne and praying for you and your family.
    In Christ’s love,
    Wanda

  8. Leo was a lovely man who had a wonderful life and a loving family. May ha rest in peace.

    Joyce and Steve Rongo

  9. There are those who come, pass by, and are not seen or thought of again. And there are those who cross our path and walk with us for a while sharing the pleasantries and dust alike, and then continue on their way leaving us with a surer step. Many of us alumni from the Air Force War College had the privilege of sharing our paths with Leo and learned from his selfless dedication and love of country. We will miss him.
    William R. Povilus
    Colonel USAF (ret)


Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle