American Veteran 04

Ronald James Leader

January 11, 1944 ~ April 11, 2023 (age 79) 79 Years Old


Ronald James Leader                       January 11, 1944 – April 11, 2023


Ronald (“Ron) was born on January 11, 1944 to Henry H. and Lillian (Kollars) Leader in Yankton, South Dakota and grew up in Hartington, Nebraska. After graduating from Cedar Catholic High School, Ron enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1962.

Ron met the love of his life, Paulita Delis Tomanda, and they were married on February 25, 1967 in Olongapo City, Philippines. Upon returning to the United States, they made their home in Vista, California, where they raised their two children, Ronald Jr. and Lillianna.

Ronald was a career Marine, proudly serving his country for 22 years, including service in Vietnam, and retiring as a Master Sergeant in 1984. As a Marine, Ron worked as an amphibious assault crewman and ended his career as a disability counselor at NRMC Camp Pendleton. After retiring from the Marine Corps, Ron continued his work as a disability counselor/national service officer for the Disabled American Veterans. Ron was a master of dad jokes, a lover of old cars, and, like a true Midwesterner, was obsessed with the weather. He was a loving husband, father, and grandpa.

Ronald and Paulita enjoyed traveling all over the U.S. in their motorhome and taking cruises with family and friends. They were also big animal lovers, adopting many dogs over the years. After retiring, the couple moved to Yuma, Arizona in 2005. Paulita and Ron were members of St. John Neumann Roman Catholic Church in Yuma, Arizona. Paulita just turned 80 on March 20, 2023, and Ron celebrated his 79th birthday on January 11, 2023. The couple also celebrated 56 years of marriage on February 25, 2023.

Ron is survived by his children, Ronald (Barbara) Leader, Jr. and Lillianna (Joseph) Miller and grandchildren Kaylee Leader, Dustin Leader, and Ross Leader.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please consider making a donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association or the Wounded Warrior Project.

A funeral mass is scheduled for Friday, May 12, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 13541 Stoney Creek Road, San Diego, California.

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Funeral Service
May 12, 2023

10:30 AM
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church
13541 Stoney Creek Road
San Diego, CA 92129


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