Les Licklider

Friday, August 28, 2009
Les Licklider

Les Licklider completed his work on this earth Aug. 26, 2009. A celebration of life will be Monday afternoon, Aug. 31 at 1:30 p.m. at the Stark-Welin Chapel with Rev. Katherine Werner offici ating.

Visitation will be at the Stark-Welin Chapel in Boone on Sunday evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., with family present during that time, and again Monday from 8 a.m. until the time of service.

Memorials can be directed to Cherokee County Pheas ants Forever, Boone Area Humane Society or the family.

Stark-Welin Funeral Directors in Boone is in charge of arrangements.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.stark welin.

com. Les was born Leslie Loomis Hoyt in Dyersville, Iowa on June 28, 1929 to Vivian Oakley Hoyt and Leslie Loomis Hoyt. Les's father died when he was four, and his mother married Ray Licklider who adopted Les. He graduated from Rockwell City High School in 1947. He graduated from Buena Vista College in 1951 and immediately began his lifelong influence on others with his teaching, coaching and outdoor education career in the Cherokee Com munity Schools. Les married Janet Roberts when he completed college, and they raised their three children Cheryl, Lisa and Leslie William in Cherokee during the school year and in Spirit Lake during the summer where Les served as a Lake Patrol Officer for the Iowa Conservation Com mission. During this time Les also served in the Iowa National Guard attaining the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

Les loved life, the natural world and, most of all, every one he met. Marching to not only his own drummer, but his own band, everything Les did throughout his life was devoted to fun, develop ing people, and his love of the outdoors. His many addition al professional positions all had that focus: Youth Direc tor at Cherokee Mental Health, Executive Director of the Izaak Walton League, teacher and coach at Cum berland and Massena High School, Director of the Dis placed Homemaker Program at Iowa Western Community College, teacher at Cherokee Wilson Junior High and Kanesville Alternative High Schools in Council Bluffs, Director of the Students at Risk Consortium of Central Iowa, teacher at Futures Alternative High School in Boone and at Woodward Academy, and juvenile court liaison officer for Boone County.

Les met his wife Barb who was Director of the Webster County Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program when he was the Western Iowa Regional Coordinator of YCC. They married in 1979, and Les chose to support Barb in her education and career, always ready to move and find a new position.

Les volunteered his talents and expertise wherever he could and was recognized by three Iowa governors for his service. He was an elder in the Presbyterian Church in Cherokee, served on the Cherokee County Conserva tion Board, was a member of the Cherokee Jaycees, did flood control work in Chero kee, served as President and Director of the Little Sioux Wildlife Association, and always helped with the Cherokee Rodeo. He served on the Iowa Conservation Commission from 1969-1975 and taught Hunter Safety Education for youngsters since 1952, leading outdoor clubs in Cherokee, Anita, C&M, Council Bluffs, and Boone school districts. He was very proud of being instrumental in getting the Hunter Safety Education law passed in Iowa. He was an avid hunter and fisher man. A member of Outdoor Writers of America, Les hosted his own TV show, Outdoors with Les, and was a syndicated outdoor colum nist of The Outdoor Beat. After years of officiating high school athletics games, he served as play-by-play sports broadcaster for Cherokee High School.

Les was never happier than when telling stories or helping someone else. He spent much of his spare time building fishing rods, tying flies and jigs and raising his beloved Weimaraners. A Les Licklider-built fishing rod is a prized possession. A strong supporter of Pheasants For ever in many capacities, he, Barb, Boomer and Andy were working on his last project during his battle with cancer: a prairie area that will be dedicated to teaching youth how to hunt. Although he never sought any glory, Les was well recognized for his contributions to his won derful world with these recognitions: Distinguished Service Awards from the Iowa and Cherokee Jaycees, Frank Starr Award from the Little Sioux Wildlife Associa tion, Dedication to the Youth of Iowa by the Youth Conser vation Corps Association, Outstanding Conservation Teacher of the Year by the Des Moines Register, Out standing Service Award from Buena Vista College, Out standing Contributions by the Cherokee County Pheas ants Forever, and the Life time Mentor Award from the National Pheasants Forever. Field and Stream magazine wrote about Les's Hawkeye Outdoorsmen program in 1971. He was again featured in Field and Stream as a Hero of Conservation in August of 2009.

To carry on his good work, Les leaves the hundreds of students and friends whose lives he touched along with his family: wife Barb Davis Licklider, mother Vivian, mother-in --law Arlene Davis; Cheryl, Ken and Mark Herman; Lisa, Danny, and Emily Stanislav; Kendall, Ashley, and Maddy Stanislav; Matt and Jamie Stanislav; Les, Beth and Emma Licklider; Connie (Davis) and Kyle Eichhorn, Jon and Anna Eichhorn, and Jana Eichhorn; Jan (Davis) and Brian Wiersema; Jeremy, Julie, Jordan and Jaden Rydl; Cheri Nielsen; and Andy, Lindsey and Cody Long.

He was the wind beneath the wings of many. Happy fishing, Les. We will all see you again and listen to your stories of the ones that got away!