Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Dr. Leon E. Wakefield

Dr. Leon E. Wakefield, 75, passed away peacefully of natural causes at his home in Santa Rosa, California, on October 20, 2020.

Leon, the youngest of three children, was born on September 5, 1945, to Wilma “Billie” and Harvey “Bud” Wakefield in Denver, Colorado. He grew up in Upton, Wyoming, where he attended and graduated high school.

Leon attended college at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota, earning a bachelors degree in elementary and special education. He later attended the University of South Dakota in Vermilion, where he earned a masters degree in special education and Indian education; and then went on to earn his PhD in early childhood and school psychology.

Leon moved to California in 1983 and went to work as a correctional counselor at the California State Prison at San Quentin. In 1997, he began his teaching career at the Santa Rosa Junior College, where he was a professor in the behavioral science department.

He later returned to Wyoming and taught psychology and human services at Central Wyoming College in Riverton. Upon his return to California in 2009, he became the Director of Behavioral Health at the Sonoma County Indian Health Project in Santa Rosa. After retirement, Leon enjoyed staying busy and meeting different people as an UBER driver.

Although he was taken too soon, Leon lived a full life. He loved to travel and see the world, riding his Harley and spending time at the ocean. He will be deeply missed by his daughter Heather (Weston) Pleinis, Spearfish; his grandson, Brodie Pleinis, Spearfish; his two best four-legged friends and companions Peanut and Andy; as well as his extended family and friends.

Leon was preceded in death by his parents, Billie and Bud Wakefield; and his sisters, Maibell “Kayo” Jeniece and Robertta “Bobbie” Dale Wakefield.