Leland Robert Baggett

Born: Sun., Sep. 20, 1942
Died: Wed., Jul. 25, 2018


No services to be held


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Leland (Lee) Robert Baggett, 75, of Pendleton passed away peacefully on July 25, 2018.

Lee was born September 20, 1942 in Portland, Oregon, to C. P. (Joe) and Kathryn (Fernkopf) Baggett.  On June 20, 1964 Lee married Juanita (Nita) Rae Johnston; they recently celebrated 54 happy years of marriage.

A long-time Umatilla county resident, Lee began school in Echo, Oregon, graduated Hermiston High School in 1960, and earned his B.S. in Poultry Science from Oregon State University in 1965.  Lee grew up on a turkey farm, and after college he returned there and operated the family farm for the next ten years.  He also worked as a real estate salesman and as an outside agent selling steel.  Except for college and two years in California, Lee lived most of his life in Hermiston and Pendleton, Oregon, originally moving to Umatilla County at the age of 5.

Lee devoted 25 years serving public education in Oregon in what has now become the InterMountain Educational Services District.  A passionate supporter of public education, Lee began serving on the Hermiston school board and later as board member and chairman of the Education Service District (ESD).  In June 2005 he received the Walter G. Turner Award, a national award from the Oregon Association of Education, for his meritorious service and contributions to regional education programs.

In addition, Lee was a member of the Oregon Turkey Growers Association, the American Heart Association, and the Elks.  While Lee’s heart was in public education, he also loved golf and woodworking.  Lee generously shared his beautiful furniture, turned bowls, carved jewelry boxes, and wooden toys with family and friends.  Acting as his own general contractor, Lee also oversaw and contributed to the building of four of his family’s homes.

Survivors include his wife, Nita; sons Jeff (Jen) Baggett of La Crosse, WI and Mike Baggett of Hamburg, NY; and grandchildren, Sophie, Danny, Nolan, and Ethan Baggett, and Leo Beetz.  Lee was very proud of his sons, their accomplishments, and their children.  He shared with them all the joy of cribbage and fishing, and the importance of education.  

He was preceded in death by his parents and his older brother Rex Baggett.

Per Lee’s wishes there will be no memorial service.  His family requests that for those who wish to, any memorials may be given to the American Heart Association or to the Pioneer Welfare Society (PAWS).

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Condolence Booklet

Jim Baggett
   Posted Sat July 28, 2018
My sincere condolences to the Lee Baggett family.....Sincerely, Jim Baggett

Pius Horning
   Posted Wed August 01, 2018
I can speak for Lee's high school friends that we are all so sorry to hear about Lee. We are all just one big family and Lee was a big part of this family. RIP Brother

Ken Thompson
   Posted Tue August 14, 2018
To me, losing Lee is like losing a brother. We were pre-school playmates, his mother cared for me when my parents were opening a business in Hermiston, we went through grade school and high school together and were classmates at OSU. I have many fond memories of playing together and spending the night with Lee when they lived on their turkey ranch north of Hermiston (Baggett Road). As always, I regret not spending more time with Lee as adults, since most of my career was spent in Alaska. We all lost a good friend.

Louise Brown
   Posted Thu August 16, 2018
a friend and classmate - you will be missed Lee. We grew up in a magic time, with freedom to run and play - with our Mom's classic words 'Be home before dark!'

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