SVENSEN - A former commander of the U.S. Coast Guard's Group/Air Station Astoria and former Astoria City Manager Rod Leland died Tuesday.

Leland lived in the area for decades, and leaves behind a legacy of community service and contribution that made a lasting impression on many in the area.

"Rod contributed so much to the community. He made it a better place to live, and he'll be greatly missed," said Astoria Mayor Willis Van Dusen.

Leland moved to the area in 1991 as commander of Group/Air Station Astoria and stayed in the position for three years. He was a pilot, who had worked his way up the ranks after starting as an enlisted man on Coast Guard cutters. After 30 years in the Coast Guard, he finished with the rank of Captain.

After retiring from the Coast Guard, Leland and his family chose to live in the area.

"He fell in love with the community and wanted to raise his daughter here," Ostermiller said.

He built a home in Svensen, on property that his wife, Lynn, kept horses on.

In the late 1990s, the city of Astoria found itself without a city manager, and Leland stepped in temporarily to fill the gap. But after interviewing a dozen candidates for the permanent job, the city chose to hire the best person for the job - Leland, Van Dusen said.

? For more on this story read Wednesday's edition of The Daily Astorian or log back on this website later Wednesday

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