FORT COLLINS, CO—Leo den Hoed, 67, Fort Collins, CO, loving husband and father of two sons, died quickly Monday, July 13, 2020, and without anguish.
Leo was born in Sioux Center, IA, Dec. 12, 1952, to Aart and Marie den Hoed. Leo is survived by his wife of 39 years, Elaine den Hoed, and their two sons, Daryl den Hoed and Tony den Hoed; five grandchildren and 13 siblings: Corrie Schelling, Bill (Gert) den Hoed, Jan (Diane) den Hoed, Nanda (Nick) Ver Steeg, Mina Sly, Aart (Sharon) den Hoed, Piet (Arlene) den Hoed, Marie (Andy) Teunnison, Arie (Betty) den Hoed, Leen (Trudy) den Hoed, Abe (Shirley) den Hoed, Walt (Lavonne) den Hoed, Trudy (Rich) Carstens. Leo was blessed with so many wonderful nieces and nephews it is hard to keep count.
Leo was born into a family who knew hard work, it was the bedrock of their life. His parents came to this country from the Netherlands after WWII with nine children and they did not stop there. Leo was the 13th child of 15. Farming and dairy cattle were the training ground for a great foundation of loving animals, growing crops and doing whatever needed to be done to keep the farm or the dairy going. He loved farm life and took away many lessons that created strong values of hard work and a deep love for his family.
Bringing his steadfast work ethic from both for his family farm in his youth and later work on other farms, Leo began his long career as a truck driver in his early 20s. From hauling livestock cross country to later becoming a partner in C&D trucking. Leo dedicated the last 30 years of his driving career hauling freight for large retail chains. He had a distinguished 22-year career with Walmart. Most notable Leo was awarded a safety award for driving 2 million miles without a preventable accident.
Doing is what defined Leo. Everyone who knew him described him as a doer! He was constantly working on projects at home or on his truck. No matter what it was, Leo could figure out a way to craft something to fix a problem or invent some other way to do it. During a planned project or task, he was not only planning the next task/project but wondering why it was not started yet. Leo was able to express this endless gift of doing up to the end. He tenaciously finished the replanting of their entire backyard landscape design, created by his daughter-in-law Angela.
When Leo decided that he was going to do something he was “all in.” His quest in cycling is one example. In the 80s Leo took up road biking with a passion. He completed many long-distance rides including cross-state road bike rides with family and friends. Leo always strived to be a better, stronger rider including climbing mountain passes on his bike — some of the same mountain passes he drove frequently in his semi. He put into cycling what he did into every endeavor — hard work and striving for excellence. Leo’s best memories were of long rides with friends and family. Always treasuring the feelings that followed of accomplishment, strength, sharing a meal and relaxation at days end. His passion for road biking changed to mountain biking. Leo loved sharing the exploration and learning with everyone, particularly grandkids, nieces and nephews. It brought him so much joy when he could go to the mountains with the kids and show them how much fun mountain biking could be.
Camping memories abound especially by the campfire. Over the years graduating from tent camping to pop up campers to big and small travel trailers, they all were a way to be outdoors and close to nature. Memories come rushing back of so much laughter and stories. Leo camped many times with family and friends and grandkids. He loved the times around the campfire, even when it was so hot outside they had to use an electric fan to “cool off” while sitting by the fire and telling tall tales.
Leo had a sense of adventure, always willing to try something new. Kayaking, white-water rafting, snowmobiling to name a few. He was always up for a new adventure as long as it included family and friends. When Leo wasn’t working or out on some bike ride or adventure, he was focused on his hobbies, home and garden projects and grandkids. When Leo knew he would not survive his cancer, his greatest wish was to be with family and complete projects.
A memorial service for Leo was held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 25, at Resthaven Funeral Home in Fort Collins, CO. The service began at the pond with the large fountain. You can leave memories, and see the recording at: http://www.gatheringus.com/memorial/leo-den-hoed/4405. Full obituary will continue to be available at http://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/ft-collins-co/leo-den-hoed-9261230.
In lieu of flowers, the family appreciates memorial contributions to be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PANCAN) using this link http://tiny.cc/Leo1952. This pancreatic cancer support organization has been immeasurably supportive, encouraging and a voice of reason during Leo’s three-year struggle with pancreatic cancer.