Communication Builds Our Community

Leland K. Young, 1931-2023

Citrus Industry Legend

Leland K. Young, Citrus Industry legend, died peacefully on March 24, 2023, at Good Shepherd Hospice in Auburndale at the age of 91.

Leland was born to William Henry and Flora Lee Young on September 15, 1931, in Falco, Alabama, the second of their eight children. Leland attended Alturas Elementary, where, in second grade, he met his future bride, Wanda Perdue. He graduated from Summerlin Institute in 1949. Leland and Wanda married on March 15, 1953.

He served in the Army as an MP at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. Once they returned to Alturas, they never left. Hard work and innovation were the hallmarks of Leland's career. After working at Kraft Foods and Evans Packing, he started his own business, Peace Valley Enterprise. Initially a sod and hauling company, Leland eventually turned Peace Valley into a thriving citrus business.

As with everything else in life, Wanda was Leland's partner in business, and together, they became icons of the industry. Out of their success came The Barn, which Leland designed and built himself in 1979. And what a Barn! The Barn has hosted gatherings of all stripes.

With walls bedecked in the trappings of a long and storied life in agriculture, The Barn is a physical representation of Leland himself and his and Wanda's generosity, raising millions for charity and hosting hundreds of thousands of people. The Barn houses many of the antiques, engines, and equipment that Leland passionately collected and restored, but, more importantly, it served as the gathering place for Leland's equally expansive collection of friends.

Right up to the end, Leland would sit in The Barn in the evenings to hold court with the parade of people from all generations and walks of life who came to visit, to listen to his stories, and to seek his counsel.

Young's mischievous, sharp-tongued sense of humor was infectious. He was a man of deep and abiding faith. His passion for his community, his industry, and his family have left an indelible mark on all who knew him. He is preceded in death by his parents, four siblings, and his beloved wife, Wanda.

He is survived by his children, Scott Young (Myrtice) and Lisa Jensen (Joe), his grandchildren, Savannah Cerullo (Anthony), Chelsea Young, and Leslie Foti (Anthony), two step-grandchildren, Alick Gerard and Erin Scarborough (Brian), seven great-grandchildren, and three siblings, James Young, Flora Conley, and Doniece Bennett.

A graveside service will be held at Wildwood Cemetery on March 30, 2023, at 4:00 p.m., with a Barn celebration at 5:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend. Memorial gifts may be made to [email protected] through PayPal or to Boswell & Dunlap, LLP, with The Barn Foundation noted in the memo.

 

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