Leuenda was born September 21, 1953, in Sacramento, CA to William and Helen Owen, the middle of five children. The daughter of a career Air Force NCO she lived in Texas and Wyoming, always returning to Sacramento. As a military and middle child she knew the delegate balance between asserting oneself and placating others to keep the peace. She was not afraid to assert herself and press her position, but was always the peacemaker.
She was always concerned about others feeling and strived to make them feel welcome and part of the fold. She was very approachable. Complete strangers would often strike up a conversation like they were old friends. Leuenda made them feel at ease. Leuenda had a sense of family and inclusion. She was close with her parents and was the first one they called when they needed help. They enjoyed their frequent invitations to dinner. She traveled with her parents taking them on car and plane trips. She took them on a trip that turned out to be the last time her dad saw his brother and sister. Just like her parents, she kept adding to the family circle, no one ever left.
Leuenda was a creative woman who always had an idea how to make social occasions be outstanding. She paid dedicated attention to such things as venue, menu and decorations. Her husband always remarked afterwards, "Well, another successful Leuenda". It was her trademark.
After much coaxing she finally convinced Bob to take their first cruise. She and her husband then became world travelers enjoying new and exotic places, cultures and especially people. Their travels include Australia, Singapore, Thailand, China and Korea. She even convinced Bob to return to Viet Nam. They have also enjoyed most of the Pacific Islands. They took their two grandsons on a Caribbean cruise. She enjoyed all of Europe and especially Germany, Scandinavia and Russia. She liked to combine cruising with extended land tours. The ones she talked about the most were Paris, London, the entire UK, and Rome. She and Bob were like two kids just walking, exploring and people watching, and enjoying life.
They began to feel sad that they had traveled so extensively outside the US that Leuenda started planning car trips across the US. They have crisscrossed America four times and toured the western states as a separate trip, twice.
Leuenda had a big heart and truly enjoyed her family and everyone with whom she came in contact. Leuenda lighted up any space she entered. Her friends and family know her as an open, warm, caring and truly engaged lady. Leuenda was truly a beautiful person inside and out. She had a personality bigger than life. She was a loving beloved wife, mother and doting grandmother. She enjoyed spending time with family. She was truly the glue that kept this all together, and the spark plug that kept it all going.
She is a graduate of Sacramento High School, Consumes River College, and the University of the Pacific. She had a varied career in retail sales and retired from the computer software business in 2004. She leaves behind her devoted husband Robert (Bob), a blended family of three children, Christopher (Shannon), Karen (Robert) and Jessica, her beloved grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and countless friends. She is also survived by her brother Douglas and two sisters, Christine and Diana. She is greatly loved and missed.