Obituary for Vincent F. LeBlanc
Deacon Vincent F. “Bob” LeBlanc died on March 11, 2018 in his home in West Harrison, NY, surrounded by family. He was ninety years old.
Bob led a life of loving service to community, faith, and family. He was born to Hosanna and Servand LeBlanc on September 3, 1927 in Hardwick, a vibrant French-Canadian enclave in northern Vermont. He left his parents’ dairy farm to enlist in the US Army, serving in Korea from 1950–1953 with the 65th Infantry, 3rd Division, Company G. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge and attained the rank of corporal, though he remained humble about his service for the rest of his life.
After the war, Bob returned to Hardwick to marry the love of his life, Mignonne LeCours, who grew up on the farm next door. They were wed on May 21, 1955 at St. Norbert’s Church, and would go on to have six children, eighteen grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Together they raised a family filled with love and faith.
Bob and Mignonne moved to Purchase, NY in 1955, where Bob maintained Mary Louise and Ogden Reid’s Ophir Hill estate. He later worked as the maintenance supervisor at the Purchase Community House, where he poured his craft and ingenuity into many projects, including the design and construction of the miniature golf course that bears his name today.
In 1980 Bob was ordained a permanent deacon of the Roman Catholic Church at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. He served the people of St. Anthony of Padua Church in West Harrison, NY and the Purchase Fire Department as chaplain from 1980–2003. Especially devoted to the sick, particularly children and the elderly, he volunteered countless hours ministering to patients at Westchester Medical Center, Blythedale Children’s Hospital, and Ruth Taylor Geriatric and Rehabilitation Institute.
An avid artist and craftsman, Bob loved transforming everyday and discarded objects into furniture, appliances, jewelry, and works of art for his patients, family, and friends. Affectionately known as Pépère, he delighted his grandchildren and many others with his hand-painted magnets. In recent years, Bob spent his days devouring word puzzles and blessing visitors with his quiet presence and unexpected humor. He brought joy to all who knew him.
He is survived by his loving wife of sixty-three years, Mignonne LeBlanc; a brother, Joseph LeBlanc; three sisters, Louise (Charles) Nye, Rose (Robert) Carlson, and Georgette (Louis) Gianuzzi; six children, Daniel LeBlanc, Nicole (Charles) Decker, Claire (David) Kapusta, Michele (Leon) LeBlanc, Monique (Mark) Miculcy, and Elisabeth (Adam) Emerson; eighteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews, and his beloved parish family at St. Anthony of Padua.
Calling hours will be Wednesday, March 14 from 4:00–8:00 p.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Church in West Harrison, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, March 15 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Church. He will be buried in Hardwick, VT. Memorial contributions can be made in Deacon Bob’s name to St. Anthony of Padua Church, 85 Harrison Street, West Harrison, NY, 10604.