Kenneth M. Leland, 56, of St. Joseph, Missouri, passed away October 3, 2017, at his home surrounded by his family. He was born August 20, 1961, to Phillip and Bernice (Delach) Leland, and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He went on to college and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business - Professional Golf Management from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. Ken married his best friend Peggy (Miller) Leland on April 21, 1992.
Ken was dedicated to his career as a PGA Professional. For 21 years, he was the Head Golf Pro and Director of Country Club Operations for Moila Country Club in St. Joseph, Missouri. Moila is where he built his legacy; he and his family felt like it was their second home. Ken worked most recently at Dick’s Sporting Goods and previously held positions at Oaks Country Club and Tulsa Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Brookhaven Country Club in Dallas, Texas; and Brookfield West Golf & Country Club in Roswell, Georgia. He was also the General Manager and Director of Golf for the St. Joseph Country Club. Ken received many honors throughout his career: 7-time recipient of the Midwest Section PGA Horton Smith Award for Leadership in Education; Midwest Section PGA President’s Plaque Award; 3-time PGA National Finalist for Horton Smith Award; and had the honor of being selected 5 times for PGA President’s Council on Growing the Game. Among his highest honors, Ken was awarded Midwest Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2003. And in 2014, Ken was inducted into the Midwest Section PGA Hall of Fame, an occasion that will forever bring pride to his family. Ken spent his personal time living for his family and giving back to the golf community in many ways. In addition to the thousands of lessons he gave, he served in a number of capacities on the board for the Midwest Section PGA, including a position as President from 2007-2009. He also sat on the PGA National Education Committee; was a member and apprentice of the South Central Section PGA; ran the Heartland Human Motion Institute Golf Clinic; served as a volunteer and speaker for the Kansas City Golf Show; and was an organizer for St. Joseph Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Bring ‘em Home event. Ken was also a member of the Savannah No. 71 AF & AM Grand Lodge and a member of Moila Shrine Temple.
Survivors include his beloved wife Peggy; children, Erin Haley (Adam), J.P. Leland (Hayleigh), and Leigh Ann Denny (Jay); grandchildren, Sullivan James Haley and Emma Leland; his parents, Phil and Bea Leland; siblings, Wendy Catherwood, Tom Leland, and Trish Leland; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. The family will gather with friends 3:00 to 6:00 P.M. Saturday, Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory. A service will be held in Kalamazoo, Michigan, details to come. Among Ken's proudest accomplishments was acting as founding member of the Midwest Section PGA Foundation. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Midwest Section PGA Foundation to honor Ken's dedication to the golfing community and his passion for the sport. Online guestbook and obituary at www.meierhoffer.com.
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