Leland McPhie dies at 101; M95 record-holder in jumps and throws

Leland often wore his San Diego State cap. He set long jump and sprint records there in 1930s.

Leland often wore his San Diego State cap. He set long jump and sprint records there in 1930s.

In the run-up to Don Pellmann’s date with destiny, I had a secret hope that we might see another kind of history made at the San Diego Senior Olympics — the first-ever competition between two M100s. San Diego’s Leland McPhie hadn’t competed since March 2014, when he won three M100 throws at Boston indoor nationals, but I had hopes he might get back into the game. I heard that he was retired from track, and didn’t push it. Still, I was shocked to learn — from a USATF official at Mesa College — that Leland had died Sept. 3. I eventually confirmed this with his former employer, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. And Monday night, I phoned a relative. (My wife had interviewed him in 2007, and still had her number.) Leland’s great-granddaughter shared details for an obituary in Times of San Diego. Leland died of E. coli while fighting skin cancer. She’s not sure where he got the bug. I’ll miss old Leland, who joined the Masters Hall of Fame in 2010. What are your memories?

Print Friendly

September 21, 2015

8 Responses

  1. Jeff Davison - September 22, 2015

    Prayers for his family and friends.

  2. Steve Kloch - September 22, 2015


  3. Terry Parks - September 23, 2015

    Rest in Peace Leland.

  4. Mark Cleary - September 23, 2015

    Leland was a big part of the SoCal Track Club for many years. He had a great spirit and loved to compete. He was a true gentleman and was always very thankful for all who assisted him in anyway or just loved Track & Field in general. When I got the news I was sad to have lost a dear friend and team mate. It is hard to stay sad for long, for this man lived a life many dream of. He was exemplary in his career in law enforcement, as an athlete and family man. He was an inspiration to all who knew him. He was a great story teller also-we will miss this Great man. It was an honor to know him.

  5. Kim berry - September 27, 2015

    Mr.McPhie I can’t say enough about you! You were one of my favorites. What an amazing man with an amazing spirit. I’m so happy I had the pleasure of knowing you and caring for you. I will miss you. May you rest in peace

  6. Ken Stone - October 1, 2015

    Rochelle, Leland’s longtime caregiver, says the funeral is 10 am Oct.9 at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery — open only to immediate family and close friends. Let me know if you need Rochelle’s contact info.

  7. Luann Alba - October 7, 2015

    Hi Ken,

    Rochelle can’t dictate who will be at his Memorial Service. We called the San Diego Sheriff’s Museum where he used to volunteer to let them know of his passing. They were upset that they had to hear about his passing from your article that you wrote and that Rochelle had not called them. They have done so much for my Uncle. They have held and paid for several Birthday parties for Leland at the Museum. They put the information about his passing and his Memorial Service in their Retiree Newsletter and they will be having the Honor Guard come to the funeral. If anyone who knows Leland, they should be able to come to the services.

  8. Ingrid Mancini - October 23, 2015

    Rest in Peace Leland.
    I just found out that Leland passed away. I had competed with Leland for about 15 years in the Senior Olympics (shotput). When we did not have anyone in our age group – Leland and myself were always in competition. Such good memories. What a great sportsman Leland was. My friend Steve Weeks, also a shotputter, passed away at age 61 three years ago. We shared the greatest admiration for Leland. I am very sorry i missed the services.

Leave a Reply