Oct. 13, 1933 — April 16, 2012
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Len passed away peacefully at Marshall Hospital on April 16, 2012, after a short illness. He leaves behind his wife, family, and friends who knew his great sense of humor, dedication to the community, and, most of all, his fierce devotion to those he cared about. He was, and is, so very much loved.
Len was born in Los Angeles to Robert A and lrene (Giroux) Stroud. He grew up in San Gabriel, Calif., and graduated from Alhambra High School in 1951. He was student body president, and also played varsity football for three years. Based on his success as a high school football player, he was offered a full scholarship to Stanford University to play football.
At Stanford, Len chose to be a history major and history remained a great passion for him, especially American history. He pledged Beta Theta Pi fraternity, and his fraternity brothers remained some of his best friends for the rest of his life. He also played freshman football at Stanford on the 1951 Rose Bowl Team, but was forced to quit the sport when, during a summer job in the oil fields, a large piece of derrick equipment fell and crushed his foot.
He remained at Stanford, graduating in 1955. During his time there, he joined the Marine Corps Platoon Leader Corps, a form of Marine Corps reserve unit that existed at that time. He served active and reserve duty until 1969. During that time, he began his career in insurance work, for the most part with Travelers’ lnsurance in Beverly Hills.
ln 1955, Len married Joan Kettenberg and they had three children. They lived in Southern California, and the family later moved to Placerville in 1969. Len had a wine and liquor supply business for a short time and then went to work for Vaught, Wright, and Bond General lnsurance Agency. He remained with that company until his death, and for a great many years served as owner and general broker. Those who have been associated with VWB have remained some of the people most dear to him.
Len loved his community and served it in a number of capacities. He was foreman of the El Dorado County Grand Jury, was chairman of the Placerville Planning Commission, participated in the Placerville Downtown Association, was a long time member and also president of the Placerville Rotary Club, Chairman of Residents lnvolved in Positive Planning (RIPP), board member for the El Dorado County Taxpayers’ Association, board member of the El Dorado County Fish and Game Commission, twice Commandant and also co-founder of Marine Corps League Post 697, and served with a number of other organizations. He also played Santa Claus at Marshall Hospital at Christmas for children who were patients. During a trip to China in 2007, many excited children there followed him and called him Santa Claus.
His devotion to his business, community and friends was remarkable and unwavering. lf Len was your friend, you had the very best friend you could want. And he was so very proud of his children and their spouses, his grandchildren and spouses and his step-sons and spouses. They knew he loved them. He loved camping and fishing with friends and family, most notably in Mexico many times and also on the Oregon Coast. He also loved Hawaii. After being very cold so many times during Marine Corps maneuvers, he said he never wanted to be cold ever again, and his vacations involved places where he could be warm and be in the sun. His love of history served him well, as books about history were his favorite reading, along with the Hoover Digest. He was a season ticket holder for Stanford football games, and was especially happy to see Stanford do so well in recent seasons, especially when they beat Cal and USC.
Len leaves so many people who love him, including his wife, Laurel, who he married in 1993; and children, Andrew (Shelley) of Sacramento, Greg (Linda) of Menlo Park and Shannon Mosbacher (Don) of Folsom. He also leaves his grandchildren, Allison Stroud, Melissa Stroud, Caroline Stroud, Sam Stroud, Will Stroud, Henry Stroud, Nicole Wheeler (Tim), Christine Sallee (Brian), Katelynn Mosbacher and Emily Mosbacher; and step-sons, Andy Kreft (John) and Matt Kreft (April). Len was looking forward to being a great-grandpa twice this year as both granddaughters Nicole and Christine are expecting baby boys in the next few months. We know he will be watching them grow up.
The family wishes to thank all the wonderful staff at Marshall Hospital for the excellent care and support for Len and his family throughout his illness. Per Len’s wishes, there will be no services, but a gathering will be held during the summer to which all who cared about him are invited. Further notice will be given at that time. ln lieu of flowers please donate to Toys For Tots or plant a tree in his memory.