Leona May Rumberger was born on November 29, 1928, in Los Angeles, California. It happened to be Thanksgiving Day that year, which was a most appropriate day for her. She was the second child and the first daughter born to Sarah Leona and Harvey Arthur Makemson. She had one older brother, Frank, and later got one younger sister, Jean. They did not live in Los Angeles for long. They moved to Mesa, Arizona, close to her mother's family, and Leona was raised there until she was about 13 years old, when the family moved to Lakeside, California, where her father bought some land in the country and began farming.
After graduating from Grossmont High School, Leona began looking for a place to rent in town, so she could more easily commute to a job. She ended up renting a room from Ferne Murdock, a good woman, whose husband was overseas in the Navy. Soon her sister, Jean, also joined her, and they shared the room. This was the best tenant-landlady relationship that ever was. It turned into a never-ending lifetime friendship with Ferne and Harvey, who, having no children, somewhat "adopted" the sisters. They also became "Godparents" to Leona's children. They were with us from then on, every Thanksgiving (which was hosted at their home each year), as well as Christmas, New Years, and Easter, hosted at other families' homes. They became part of the family forever.
While renting from Ferne, Leona took a job waitressing in a cafe in the Thrifty's store in El Cajon. There she met Buford Trelikes, who worked closeby and came in regularly for coffee. He flipped a coin one day to see if he could win a date with her. That led to their marriage on October 1, 1949. They were married in Ferne Murdock's house. Later, Ferne and Harvey build a home in Lakeside, and gave Buford and Leona a plot next door as a gift so they could build a home next to them. But instead, they lived half of their married life in El Cajon, and the other half in Lakeside...all in the same county. They had two children, a daughter, and a son---10 years apart. Leona used to say she raised her children one at a time!
Leona was known for her goodness, gentleness, cheerfulness, faith, and service. She was a homemaker. She loved God, her family, her country, animals, hard work, and serving others. She was a fine seamstress, and had many other talents as well...drawing, ceramics, gardening, cooking, and singing, to name a few. She grew the most beautiful roses! She had no degrees, but was always studying and learning. She joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when she was 30 years old, and was devoted to her faith the remainder of her life, serving in many callings...including visiting teaching, Primary President, Relief Society President, a full-time mission after she was widowed in 1992, followed by about 20 years of service as a Temple worker.
In 2008, after about 16 years of widowhood, at 80 years of age...love came into her life again, and she married Joseph Rumberger. They lived in the lovely home he had built in the country....curiously, right next to the land that her father had bought and farmed when she was 13! So her address was again on the very same road as when she was young! And her sister-in-law and nephew were two of their neighbors! They lived there about 3 years, and then decided to move to Utah. There they were both in close proximity to their daughters. They enjoyed good friendships with their new neighbors, with horses nearby, and a dog, and cat. They also served together as Temple workers in the Oquirrh Temple close by. They grew gardens, and planted fruit trees...and they lived to enjoy plenty of fruit.
Leona is survived by her two children: Nancy Codner (John), and Jim Trelikes (Sophia), Six grandchildren: Wendy Opthof (Jeremiah), Michael Codner, Janae Williams (Jason), Valerie Anderson (Richard), Benjamin Codner (Tiffany), and Brenda Dandridge. Also, 15 great grandchildren. She also enjoyed her three step-daughters, Karen, Susan, and Janet, and many step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren. In full circle of her birth on Thanksgiving Day...her final slow, whispered words before she left this life were: "I--am--Thankful--for--my--blessings."
A viewing for family and friends will be held on Saturday, March 6, 2021 from 9:00-10:30 am at Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street, Orem, with Funeral services immediately following at 11:00 am also at the Mortuary.
The Facebook live can be viewed by clicking HERE.
Interment will be in the Eastlawn Memorial Hills Cemetery. Condolences may be left on this page.
To send flowers to Leona's family, please visit our floral store.