Jerome “Jerry” LeBlanc of Storrs, Connecticut passed away surrounded by family on August 16, 2014. He was born on May 27, 1950 in Hartford, Connecticut and was one of six children of the late Clifford and Theresa LeBlanc. He attended E.O. Smith High School and was a union mason for 13 years. He was then a mason at UConn for 26 years.
He spent his life cherishing his family, which includes his loving wife of 40 years, Lauren Samuelson LeBlanc; daughter Erin LeBlanc Rychling and her husband Frank Rychling; and son Jesse LeBlanc and his wife Marie Pelkey LeBlanc. Jerry was also a treasured “Bumpa” to his grandson Ethan Rychling. He also leaves behind his sisters Paulette Pehowdy and Lee Hodgkins; his brother Marty LeBlanc; extended brothers and sisters: Jerry Hodgkins, Marilyn and Michael Higgins, and Charlene and John Meyer; as well as a large loving family of uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends-made-family, and beloved pets Abby and Sammy.
Jerry touched many lives through his family, his music, and by making genuine connections with people whether he knew them for ten minutes or ten years. Jerry was a gifted guitar player, and he shared his lifelong love of music by playing at family gatherings and with “The Natchaug Jam.” He was also a collector, often carrying a pocketful of coins, marbles, and “shiny bits” he’d find wherever he went. Jerry always enjoyed “getting out of Dodge” by being outside and travelling, but his favorite times were spent on the patio visiting with those closest to him.
A memorial will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Willimantic, Connecticut on Saturday, August 23 at 11:00 AM. Visitors are encouraged to share stories and memories of Jerry and also to bring any “shiny bits” to leave with him. Memorial donations can be made to the Connecticut Humane Society, 701 Russell Rd. Newington, CT 06111. For online memorial guestbook please visit www.potterfuneralhome.com.
A few brief rememberances. (These are my “notes” from the memorial service, which help me remember it better.)
- It was packed in the church. I have never seen a memorial service for someone who was not a dignitary or head of state receive so many visitors. It was a testament to the kind of man that Jerry was that he received so many visitors (from so many walks of life) to his memorial service.
- There were common themes. No matter whether they had known him for a single year or thirty years, everyone mentioned how warm and accepting Jerry was of them. He knew how to make you feel as though you were the only person in the room.
- I did not say anything. My wife Natasha ended up telling the story of how he made me feel welcome at the Natchaug Jam. I could not bring myself to say anything.