Leonid (Leo) Dmitrievich Gladkov was born on May 30, 1995 in Tver, Russia. He tragically and unexpectedly passed away at home in Portland, Oregon on September 23, 2021 at the age of 26.
Leo attended early primary schools in Tver, Russia, where he was raised in a loving multi-generational home located in the historic part of the old city. At 10, he and his mother bravely immigrated to San Francisco, where he graduated from St. Anne’s Catholic School. After moving to Portland in 2009, he attended Jesuit High School, where he was among several valedictorians in the Class of 2013 and recognized as a National Merit Finalist. He then attended the University of Chicago to study mathematics and computer science, graduating with honors in 2017.
In March 2018, Leo moved to New York City and took his first job as a software engineer with Google. As an introvert and a family-loving young man, New York was not Leo’s kind of town. He returned to Portland, Oregon in August 2019. At the time of his death, he was working remotely as a software engineer with a bright team of engineers at Latch, Inc.
At 6 years old, he revealed preternatural talent on the button accordion, and could publicly perform a repertoire of Russian folk music even before he could open and close the bellows without assistance from his teacher. At the same age, Leo began to excel in ballroom dancing. By 13 he had won prizes and recognition at local and regional competitions in both Russia and California. Though his commitment to dance waned during adolescence, he could flawlessly dance Latin and European programs in the graceful company of partners who were his earliest best friends. His poise and stamina were acknowledged by all who witnessed his precocious grace on the dance floor, as was his stubborn refusal to smile on cue, if only to please the judges.
While outwardly quiet and studious, Leo had a sharp wit and a playful, daffy sense of humor more readily revealed in writing or through improvisational comedy, and more than anywhere else in his role as chief entertainer of his younger siblings.
Leo is survived by his mother, Maya Dalievna McGowan (neè Turdieva), his father, Bryan McGowan, his adoring siblings, Anya and Finn, his grandparents, Nadezhda Turdieva and Albert Garibyan, of Tver, Russia. He is also survived by countless aunts, uncles, and cousins, from around the world, who will remember him for who he was: a gentle, kind-hearted, and selfless young man.
Visitation will be on Monday, October 4th at Riverview Abbey from 5-7:30. A funeral mass will be held on Tuesday, October 5th at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church at 10 am. Interment will follow at noon at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Portland.
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