Leo Alton Reitan

Leo Alton Reitan, 90, of Friendswood, Texas, passed away Saturday, September 5, 2021.  He was born  August 8, 1931 in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, to Alfred Henry and Lillie Marie (Sogaard) Reitan.   Leo graduated from Waubun High School in 1949.  He served in the Army and was a Korean War veteran.  He graduated from the University of Washington in 1964 with a degree in Physics.  Leo went on to work at the Johnson Space Center for 29 years.  He was a member of the Sierra Club, the Bay Area Social Club and attended Peace Lutheran Church in Pasadena, Texas.  He was responsible for restoring the 900 acre John O’Quinn I-45 Estuarial Corridor and once completed it was renamed Reitan Point.  He was a big fan of Joan Baez.  Leo was a big hearted man and would help anyone.  Leo was preceded in death by his parents, brother Ralph Reitan and sister Arleen Johnson.  He is survived by his niece Mary (Lee) Newton from Washington, nephew Kevin ( Dianne) Johnson from California and great-niece Leann (Aaron) Newton from Washington. After cremation, his ashes, as well as his sister Arleen’s will be spread at the family farm in Minnesota.


  1. I used to go to church with Leo at Peace Lutheran Church in Pasadena but moved to New Braunfels 3 years ago. I just recently found out from a member at the church of Leo’s passing. Leo and I were Teller partners – counting money at the church. Leo also helped me each year for the annual audit of the Church’s books. We also did ushering together on Sundays. He was a very kind and gentle man but was not shy when it came to questions that arose in the audit and would definitely put in his 2 cents. Those 2 cents were always well thought out and always relevant. I will miss you Leo. God’s blessings on you and your family.

    PS: I know he also spent a good deal of time down towards Galveston in the marshes …cleaning up the area. He used to tell me stories of his times down there

    Bob Wells
  2. Leo was a good and faithful servant of God. He will rest in heavenly peace. He always added good points and conversation in our Sunday School classes.

    Joann Hutton
  3. Leo was a prince of a man, kind and respectful to all. I consider him a good friend of nearly 40 years, learning of his departure when our Christmas card was returned. He donated 160 acres to MN Dept of Natural Resouces to be part of the Waubun Wildlife Management Area which is open to public hunting. That area was formerly cropland and was restored to native plants to benefit the Greater Prairie Chicken and other native critters of all types. He would always leave a food plot within his adjoining croplands to help these birds and animals through each winter. I was Area Wildlife Manager with MN DNR for 29 years at Detroit Lakes retiring in Dec 2010. Leo was a joy for me to work with and help achieve his goals as he worked to restore God’s creation both here and in Texas. He will be greatly missed !

    Earl N Johnson
  4. Rest in peace, Leo.

    James Richard Roundtree

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