July 15, 2020 — Leo Nencini, 98, a longtime resident of Florence, Ore., passed away June 30, 2020.
He was born Sept. 8, 1921, in Gate, Wash., to Italian immigrants Emilio and Bruna Nencini, who preceded him in death, along with his brother, Robert.
Leo graduated from Rochester High School in 1940. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, he joined the U.S. Army. But before he left for basic training, he married his high school sweetheart, Juanita Mackan.
During his enlistment, he fought in three major battles in the Eastern Theater of Operations, including the Battle of the Bulge, for which he received the Combat Infantry Badge and Bronze Star.
He was honorably discharged in 1945. Looking for a job, he moved his wife and daughter, Don-na, to Westfir, Ore., where he worked in the logging industry hauling logs for Hines Lumber Company. He continued there until the mill was sold, after which he drove truck for Pope & Talbot, residing in Oakridge while Donna attended and graduated school in 1960.
Leo and Juanita began a project in 1963 building a cabin on lakefront property north of Florence at Sutton Lake, where he learned to water ski. After retiring in 1983, Leo and Juanita became permanent residents of Florence, spending summers recreating on the lake, beachcombing; they spent winters in their motorhome in Arizona, traveling the western United States visiting family and friends — including two trips to Alaska just for fun.
Juanita passed away in 2014.
During the last 4 years, Leo resided at Spruce Point Assisted Living in Florence.
He is survived by his daughter, Donna Pedersen (Fred) of Redding, Calif.; grandson Todd Peder-sen (Sherri) of Redding, Calif.; and granddaughter Renee Stilley (Mark) of Mount Shasta, Calif.; one great-grandson, three great-granddaughters, two great-great-grandsons and one great-great-granddaughter.
Services will be held on Oct. 23, beginning at 12:30 p.m., at the Northern California Veterans Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions in honor of Leo to NCVC P.O.Box 76 Igo, Calif., 96047.