Leonard Nijssen, age 86, of Mena, Arkansas, died Friday, April 21, 2023, at the National Park Medical Center in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He was born on Monday, July 13, 1936 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.\n\nLeonard was an accomplished, intelligent man whose legacy will be felt by many for years to come. Leonard's passion for learning and education took him around the world, as he studied in New Zealand, England, and California. Throughout his academic career, Leonard never failed an exam, a testament to his intelligence and strong work ethic. He earned three optometry degrees in different countries, with his first degree in The Netherlands, where he became the youngest ever licensed optician/optometrist at the age of 20.\n\nHis success in the field of Low Vision practice was unparalleled. Leonard's expertise attracted patients from various countries who would fly in for consultations, and his accomplishments were featured on television and in newspapers. His dedication to his patients and his craft will long be remembered in the optometry community.\n\nLeonard's interests extended beyond optometry, as he was also an avid outdoorsman and animal lover. He spent considerable time training horses and dogs, and he volunteered with the Sheriff's department mounted search and rescue team. Snow skiing, boating, and fishing were among his favorite outdoor activities.\n\nHe was a well-rounded and cultured individual who enjoyed reading, writing, and meditating in his free time. Leonard's curiosity and pursuit of knowledge enriched not only his life but also those around him. \n\nHe is preceded in death by his parents.\n\nHis warmth, intelligence, and spirit will be deeply missed by family, friends, colleagues, and his church family at the First United Methodist Church of Mena.\n\nNo services are planned at this time. Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Bowser Family Funeral Home in Mena, Arkansas.