Leawn Roy Hlavachick, dedicated husband and father, died in the presence of his wife Cleta on the morning of July 5.
Leawn was born April 22,1940 in Durango, Colorado. At age six, his family relocated to La Jara, where he often helped at the fish hatchery where his father worked. He grew up fishing and hunting, and he had a great appreciation for nature. In his lifetime, he gardened extensively, kept bees, dug a root cellar, hunted, camped, and was a fly fishing enthusiast.
Leawn was also a gifted artist, creating beautiful, nature-inspired watercolor paintings, jewelry, murals, carved sculptures, illustrations for children’s stories he was inspired to write and more. He read widely and he was knowledgeable about everything from rocks to tying flies to making kites. He was always up for outdoor adventures and road trips, and he loved Cleta’s cooking! He was kind and gentle and saw himself as a steward of the natural world that he so loved. He loved his family; even at his most ill, his eyes would light up when family members came to be with him.
Leawn attended Adams State College, where he earned a master’s degree in fine arts and art education, with a minor in biology. He taught for more than 30 years, beginning in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri in 1964, where he met and married his wife Cleta. They left Ste. Genevieve in 1968 and moved to Canon City where he taught art at what was then Canon City Junior High School, until his retirement.
After retirement, Leawn and Cleta moved to Howard where his daily goals included painting and “fishing the river.” He took part-time employment caring for adults with disabilities, and later worked for Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area in Salida, counting rafts floating the river and painting a mural at the park’s headquarters. He belonged to The Audubon Society and built and installed many bluebird houses along the Arkansas River. He and Cleta moved to Grand Junction to be closer to family in 2012.
Leawn is survived by his wife of 55 years, Cleta; his brother Bill Hlavachick of Pratt, Kansas; daughters Christine Broduer, Susan Montgomery (Barron), and Pamela Middlemas (Harry); grandchildren Tara, Leawna, Tyler, Sam, Shoshana, Mykaela, Meira, Sophie and Weston; and great grandchildren Mason and Riley. He is preceded in death by his brother Dale Hlavachick (Alice) and sister-in-law Linda Hlavachick.
Leawn’s memorial service will be at 11:00 Saturday, July 13 at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Grand Junction, CO. In lieu of flowers, Leawn would have appreciated donations to Hope West Hospice, Covenant Presbyterian Church or the planting of a tree in his name.