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04 September 2012 @ 03:11 pm
Leonard Pung, 1961-2012  

Yesterday we lost the generous and wry Leonard Pung.  He had recently been diagnosed with leukemia, and suffered rapid respiratory consequences from the disease and/or the chemotherapy.  He had sent his friends an optimistic e-mail about his treatment within a day or two before he died.

I met Leonard at the Clarion Writers Workshop at UCSD in 2009.  He wrote stories full of yearning, but in real life was full of humor -- there was no context in which he would not utter the most outrageous pun he could think of.  He was a kind but firm critic, a supportive friend, and a good man at a party.  The warmth of his heart you could feel across a room; he loved people, and let them know it.  After many years as a whitewater raftng guide and middle school English teacher, he walked away from it all and devoted himself to pursuit of a Master's in Professional Writing degree at USC.

The personal loss hurts; the artistic loss we cannot know, as Leonard was just at the beginning of his career as a writer.  Like me, he discovered his ambition late in life, and he found the courage to embrace it without looking at the consequences.  How I shall miss him!

Go with the stars, Leonard; I hope that somewhere you are captivating angels with your tales and eliciting groans from the heavens with your wit.

Current Location: Providence, RI
Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: Silence
The Line Rapist: Desolationdien on September 4th, 2012 07:21 pm (UTC)
(Dana Huber here)
To Leonard. *raises a toast*

Lovely tribute, Ken.
Ken: Blowing Kissken_schneyer on September 5th, 2012 03:13 am (UTC)
Re: (Dana Huber here)
Thanks, Dana. Yes, here's to him. I hope to lift a real glass in his memory at WFC.
Richard S. Crawfordunderpope on September 4th, 2012 08:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you Ken. I wasn't sure what had happened at the end.
Ken: Cryingken_schneyer on September 5th, 2012 03:14 am (UTC)
You're welcome, Richard. We'll miss him.
girlspell: city and wheelgirlspell on September 4th, 2012 10:47 pm (UTC)
Very heartfelt. I'm very sorry about your friend.
Ken: Blowing Kissken_schneyer on September 5th, 2012 03:14 am (UTC)
Thank you, Rachel.
Kristiana MasonKristiana Mason on September 5th, 2012 06:38 am (UTC)
Wow, heartbroken.
I would just like to point out that Mr. Pung was literally one of my most favorite teachers ever. He had a personality that was different from the other teachers but he made his classes unique and interesting. It may not mean much but this student will miss him dearly.
Liz ArgallLiz Argall on September 14th, 2012 09:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Wow, heartbroken.
Heya Kristiana, I've known a couple of writers who are also teachers, including Leonard. It absolutely means something that he is missed by students. To make a positive impact is something Leonard cared about, and something a good teacher worries about. Sometimes good teachers can only see their failures and how they could have done better, so it matters that you miss him and it makes me glad to see your words here.
shweta_narayan: authorpic1shweta_narayan on September 5th, 2012 08:41 am (UTC)
I just heard from Shauna. I'm so sorry to hear this, and my heart goes out to all of you.

From the tiny bit I knew him, Leonard was made of awesome.
amamama: Bear - you've got a friend in meamamama on September 5th, 2012 09:52 am (UTC)

Edited to get the right icon...

Edited at 2012-09-05 09:55 am (UTC)
Peter Martini on September 6th, 2012 02:50 am (UTC)
The World Has Lost a Great Person
Leonard was my fraternity brother at San Diego State, my roomate, my drinking buddy and a great soul mate. Many hours were spent solving all of the worlds problems. Few men possed his wit, his smile and the passion for people. He was the embodiment of brotherhood, always taking care of his fellow fraternity brothers and sisters. I will always remember the day we met and his heartfelt welcome to the university, fraternity and life away from home. We put away several beers and talked about life, school and the future while enjoying Roxy Music.

There were roadtrips to the river, skiing at Bear Valley and adventures with automobiles, trucks and bicycles.

We lost contact with each other when he moved to the river to be a guide. But over the years, his impact on my life and attitude can not be diminished. I sit in shock at his departure and my thoughts and prayers go out to all of his family and friends.