Leland Ellison Ruiz passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 26, 2023, at the age of 85, at Colusa Medical Center. His last remaining days were spent with his family and friends by his side.
The eldest of three children to Dick and Mary (Munoz) Ruiz, Leland was born on March 7, 1938. First residing in Winters, his family later moved to Arbuckle in 1944 when Leland was in the first grade. He attended Pierce High School and was active in FFA and sports, playing both football and base-ball. He graduated high school in 1956 and went on to study at UC Davis.
A proud farmer and rancher, Leland grew almonds and raised beef cattle on the western edge of Colusa County. He was also active in agricultural organizations and in his community. He served for nearly 20 years with the Arbuckle Fire Department. He was one of 30 young agriculturalists selected for Class VII of the California Agricultural Leadership Program. He also served in a leadership capacity on the Colusa County Farm Bureau Board of Directors.
While in the Ag Leadership Program, Leland traveled to China and Russia—of course passing out sample packets of California-grown almonds along the way to promote the industry. These travels fueled his desire to see the world, and he enjoyed many international travels visiting Costa Rica, Mexico, and Spain to name a few. Though he’d visited places all over the globe, his heart was always in Colusa County. Some of his best memories were spent working, deer hunting, and picnicking with family and friends at his cattle ranch in the foothills west of Arbuckle.
Leland is survived by his daughter, Kathy (Paul) Sankey; son, Robert Ruiz; stepsons, Jeff (Sabrina) Hass and Kevin (Judy) Hass; grandchildren, Brett Sankey and Alyssa (Matt) Rolen; step- grandchildren, Daniel (Krystal) Duarte, Diana (Jacy) Anderson, Blayne Hass, Braiden Hass, Julian Hass; great-granddaughter, Jayne Rolen; and numerous step-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his beloved daughter, Jayne Ruiz; loving girlfriend of 30 years, Carolie Long; and brothers, Glenn Ruiz and Clyde Ruiz.
A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, September 5, 2023 at 10:00 AM at the Arbuckle Cemetery. A reception will follow at the Arbuckle Fire Hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like to request a donation be made to the Arbuckle Fire Department or favorite charity of your choice.