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Leif Konrad Tiahrt

1961 - 2009, Santa Barbara

Leif Konrad Tiahrt was a big man-Big of Heart, Spirit, and Body.

He was born on November 28, 1961, in Belleville, Illinois, and died from natural causes much too soon on February 5, 2009. Leif grew up in Germany where he developed a passion for body building. He won many contests, and was even named Herr Sud Deutschland (Mr. South Germany), Mr. Empire State and Mr. Midwest.

He attended college at the University of Maryland/Munich, and graduated from Southern Illinois University, where he met his long-time friend and future business partner, Jeff Harrison. Together they operated the Key 2 Fitness gym in Santa Barbara.

Leif was a very creative person. He always wanted to know how and why things worked. This led to discoveries for which Leif received several US patents.

Leif is survived by his daughter, Lake Olivia Tiahrt, who was the love of his life. He cared very deeply for her. He is also survived by his parents Harold and Patricia Tiahrt as well as his brothers and sisters: Harold ("Tiger") Tiahrt II, Tanya Donohue, Tamara Vahle, Nikko Tiahrt Conrad, Patrick Tiahrt, Eric Tiahrt, and Natasha Tiahrt Tafuri. He will be sorely missed by his family.

He leaves behind many friends. There are too many to mention them all, but among those special friends are Jeff and Susie Menelli, Ed and Diane Cateriano, and Tim and Melanie Julius.

We will always remember his gentle smile and easy laughter.

There will be a viewing at the Welch Ryce Haider Funeral Home on Friday, February 13, 5:00-8:00pm. A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at the ballet studio, 322 State Street, Saturday, February 14, at 10:00am.

In lieu of flowers, a scholarship fund for Lake Tiahrt has been set up at Santa Barbara Bank & Trust.

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I used to live in Santa Barbara and remember Leif from the gym. He was always so kind to me. My condolences to Leif's family and all my old gym friends in SB.

Karen Rossiter in Cleveland, Ohio

krossiter (anonymous profile)
February 11, 2009 at 11:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I use to be a resident of Santa Barbara. I met Leif on several occasions,one being the Santa Barbara Fitness Center. He was a man with a great passion in helping others to attain their fitness goals, a great sense of humor, and always wore a warm smile when greeting you.He offered me great advice in preparing for my competition and I left with great confidence and assurance. I send my condolences to all family and friends. He will leave a great legend for all others to remember. He is probably up in heaven doing dumbell presses with a big smile. Sally Loshelder, Thousand Oaks, CA

salgal (anonymous profile)
February 24, 2009 at 6:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't know why, but for some reason I decided to Google Leif's name the other day and to my shock I find out he had died. I want to extend my condolences to his family and friends.

I remember Leif very well from both Belleville Area College and SIU-C in the early-mid 1980's. I think his family may have lived on Ednick Drive in Swansea at one time...I'm not sure though.

I remember Leif organizing and then guest posing in the the Mr SIU show back in 1986. That guy sure was a bodybuilding fan, that's for sure! He was huge then and from the picture here on the obit he was pretty huge 23 years later!

BellevilleDave (anonymous profile)
February 26, 2009 at 12:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Wow, this is sad -- I also grew up in Germany, and used to train with Leif. I was with him at 17 years old, when he bench pressed 455 lb, and that was just shocking strength. Leif & I once sat in the bleachers on Sembach Air Base, discussing what we wanted to do with our lives. I even remember what he was eating -- a horn of cheddar cheese with a pint of chocolate milk. So sad to hear of his passing, and I know it's a year late, but my condolences to the family.

mtcirceo (anonymous profile)
February 8, 2010 at 3:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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