Obituary: Leo Lalancette, 1925-2022 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Leo Lalancette, 1925-2022

Essex man met future president John F. Kennedy while serving in navy

Published August 3, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.
Updated August 3, 2022 at 10:50 a.m.

Leo Lalancette - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Leo Lalancette
Leo "The Chief" Edward Lalancette, age 97, passed away peacefully at Maple Ridge Memory Care in Essex, Vt., on June 26. Born in Nashua, N.H., Leo was the oldest and last living child of the late Pierre and Eva (Belair) Lalancette.

Leo was predeceased by his wife, Solange (Maher), whom he married on June 12, 1948, in Portsmouth, N.H.; his brother William of Portsmouth; his sister Alberta and her husband, Walter Kitson, of Biloxi, Miss.; his sister Beatrice and her husband, Larry Gerlack, of South Burlington, Vt.; and his brother Roland of Portsmouth, N.H.

Leo leaves behind his son Michael and wife, Patricia Bouchard, of Essex Junction; his son Richard of Rutland, Vt.; daughter Denise Johnston of Santa Fe, N.M.; son Dennis and wife, Cheryl (Wells), of Williston; daughter Pamela Munsell of Fairfax; son Robert and wife, Terry (Cardinal), of Essex; and daughter Linda Corey and husband, Jeffery, of Fairfax. Leo also leaves behind 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Leo attended schools in Nashua and Portsmouth, N.H. He was 17 years old when he enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and was a member of "The Greatest Generation" and earned three battle stars in the Solomon Islands while serving on the USS Woodworth. He met future president John F. Kennedy while doing torpedo tube maintenance on PT109. After 20 years of service, he retired from the Navy as a shipfitter chief petty officer.

He began working at IBM in Essex Junction in 1965 in facilities maintenance and retired from IBM in 1987. Leo enjoyed taking visitors and relatives "on tour" and sharing the delights of the Green Mountain State. He also enjoyed woodworking with his "hobby lobby" buddies, carpentry projects with family and friends, and building bird houses. A skilled craftsman, he was known to be able to "fix anything but a broken heart." Leo was a loyal parishioner of Holy Family Parish in Essex Junction, a faithful husband, a dedicated father and friend to all.

The family thanks the staff at Gazebo Senior Living, where Leo was a long-term resident, and Maple Ridge Memory Care for assisting Leo over the years. Thank you, also, to Bayada Hospice Care for your assistance during a difficult time.
Visiting hours were held on July 6 at Corbin & Palmer Funeral Home in Essex Junction. A mass of Christian burial was held on July 7 at Holy Family Church, followed by interment at Holy Family Cemetery in Essex Junction.

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