Gerard A. LeBlanc, Sr. 1928 – 2021
Norwich – Gerard A. LeBlanc, Sr., 92, of Norwich, CT returned to his heavenly Father on January 19, 2021.
He was born in Memramcook, New Brunswick, Canada on August 3, 1928, the 9th of 13 children of George and Leonie (Landry) LeBlanc. He attended St. Joseph University in St. Josephs, New Brunswick, Canada.
At the age of 21, Gerard immigrated to the United States. He proudly served in the US Marine Corp during the Korean War, honorably discharged on Nov. 4, 1953 as a corporal. He received the Navy Occupation Medal w/ European Clasp and the National Defense Service Medal.
He was united in marriage on January 9, 1954, to Loretta M. Dauphinais at St. James Church in Danielson, CT, recently celebrating their 67th wedding anniversary. He attended the University of Connecticut earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1959. He worked as a time study engineer at various points of his life. Always a dreamer, Gerard purchased his own business, Brine Jewelers, in 1962. He became a certified gemologist. He loved selling a diamond engagement ring at well below market prices to a young couple just starting out. Upon closing his business in the later seventies, he returned to industrial engineering.
Gerard was a devout member of Sacred Heart Church in Norwichtown, CT where he was a Eucharistic minister, commentator, lector, Bible study and prayer group leader. He loved “coffee with God” and was well known for his religious skits performed for his parish family. He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus, Council 13; Chapter 78 of the Alhambra; AARP Mohegan Chapter #1004; CSEA SEIU Local 2001; and Toastmasters International. He wrote and delivered many speeches, both here in the US and in Canada.
He had an avid love of animals raising chinchillas and never turning a stray cat away. He built a house for the 17 cats that found their way home to him. He was widely read, loved to write, enjoyed communication with people of other ethnicities, and was multilingual, speaking English, French, and Spanish fluently. Gerard was a worldwide traveler, even donating his time and energy in Haiti with the Haitian Health Foundation, but he especially loved returning home to his beloved Canada.
He is survived by his loving wife, Loretta; his children, Leonie LeBlanc of Norwich, CT, Gerard LeBlanc, Jr. of Keller, TX, Tina LeBlanc of Thousand Oaks, CA, and Lynn Pickup of Jewett City, CT; his grandchild, Christopher S. Avery of Norwich, CT; and his great grandchild, Aidyn Avery of Jewett City, CT; his sisters, Therese Dunn of Uncasville, CT, Annette (Albert) Armstrong of Griswold, CT, Jerie (Joe) Catillo of Norwich, CT; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was predeceased by his parents, George and Leonie LeBlanc; his brothers, Edouard, Ola, Leonard, Roger, and Jean Paul; his sisters, Mary Ethel Belliveau, Doris Dauphinais, Stella Brine, and Geraine Lassonde; and his beloved grandchild, Roy Douglas Gerard Avery.
Gerard’s family would like to thank the Directors; Nurses; CNA’s; Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapists; Office; Kitchen; and especially the Recreational Staff at Beechwood Post-Acute and Transitional Care, New London, CT for the tender loving care, respect, and consideration they showed Gerard and his family for almost four years. They were his extended family.
Funeral services will be celebrated at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to the Knights of Columbus, Council 13, 52 West Town St., Norwichtown, CT 06360-2296 or the Haitian Health Foundation, 97 Sherman St., Norwich, CT 06360.
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