In loving memory of Leon John Yragui, who peacefully passed away on November 30th, surrounded by his family at the age of 98.
Born in Winnemucca Nevada in 1925, he was 4 years old when his mother passed away. His father, a successful Basque livestock rancher moved Leon and his 4 siblings to be raised by his grandparents and Aunts in Eugui, Navarra, a Basque region of northern Spain. He was raised with great love during the difficult times of the Spanish civil war and World War II. In 1945 Leon returned to the US with his siblings Bonifacio and Alice to reunite with his two older brothers, Nicholas and Edward, both of whom had been previously smuggled out of Spain during the Spanish civil war. He arrived at the family ranch in Twin Falls, Idaho where he worked until he graduated from high school. Leon then set out for college at the University of Portland where he studied engineering. While there he met his wife Renata, a red-head who was drawn to his “Ricky-Ricardo” charm and dancing ability. They married shortly after in 1953.
Leon embarked on a fulfilling career in civil engineering, contributing to the planning and expansion of the Portland Airport while residing in North Portland with his growing family. His children James, Thomas, and Renata’s teenage brother David Von Weiss were joined by Laurie, Lisa, and Joseph after the family’s move from North Portland to Portland’s west side in 1962.
In 1970, Leon opted to leave engineering to buy his own small business, Aero Sports and Hobbies, on 119th and Division. Known for his engaging personality, Leon enjoyed exchanging stories with loyal customers, and fostering a sense of community. Aero Sports expanded to three stores, including locations at Ports O’Call (Swan Island) and Tanasbourne.
By 2003 Leon decided to retire and sold his hobby shops. He enjoyed sharing his vibrant tales of childhood adventures and his return to America. Leon was an active member of the Knights of Columbus and St Vincent De’Paul. Also a member of the Elks Club, Leon and Renata enjoyed countless evenings of dancing and socializing with friends. Their shared passion for travel led them to explore many countries together.
Leon is preceded in death by his daughter Laurie, brothers Nicholas, Edward, Bonifacio, and Robert, as well as sister Alice. He is survived by his beloved wife of 70 years, Renata, his children James, Thomas, Lisa, and Joseph, grandchildren Rita, Peter, and Angela, and great- grandchildren Heidi, Rebel Mae and Haywood Leon. Additionally, he leaves behind his brother-in-law David Von Weiss, sisters-in-law Carolyn Von Weiss and Anna Von Weiss, and numerous nephews and nieces.
May Leon’s indomitable spirit and the love he shared with family and friends continue to inspire us all.
Funeral will take place at St Pius X, January 26 2024, 11am. A celebration of Life will be held after at Amatara Winery, 1:30pm-5:30pm. Donations in Liew of flowers can be made to the Oregon Food Bank. Contact number (503) 439-6510.