Leon A. Labonte

Obituary
  • "To my Labonte, Roy, Lessard, Peloquin, Crane,..."
    - Michael T. Beachem, IV
  • "We have such wonderful memories of the times we spent..."
    - Ronald Albert
  • "Thank you for your service."

Leon A. Labonte, 72
BIDDEFORD - Leon A. Labonte, 72, of Saco passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 10, 2018 after a long, courageous, and inspiring battle with Parkinson's Disease. His wife, daughters, and siblings were surrounding him as he entered the loving arms of God.
Leon was born on Nov. 24, 1945 in Biddeford and graduated from St. Louis High School in 1964. He joined the army after graduation and served until 1967, including deployment to patrol the DMZ in South Korea. After returning home, Leon met the love of his life, Michele Roy, and they married on May 16, 1970. He graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 1974 with a bachelor's degree in accounting and followed that with a master's degree in finance from Bentley University in 1985. During his schooling and after, he was proud to serve on the Saco Police Reserve Force. Leon worked for 14 years at Unum, but his happiest work days were as Vice President of Risk Management at Kennebunk Savings Bank, where he worked from 1991 until his retirement in 2007. He was well-loved by his colleagues and was a source of knowledge, laughter, kindness, and compassion. Whether someone worked for him or not, they could always go to him with a problem and he would find an answer.
When not working, Leon's greatest joy was spending time with his family, Michele, and their two daughters, Julie and Lisa. Trips to Disney World and Hershey Park provided memories for a lifetime, and there was no greater cheerleader on the sideline of a field hockey game or track meet than Leon for his daughters. In his younger days, he was an avid runner and skier and earned his pilot's license. He went on to become a charter member of the Saco Bay Rotary Club, through which he received the Paul Harris Fellow Award for his community service. Leon enjoyed hunting trips and became an instructor in gun safety at the York County Fish and Game Club, also winning many blackpowder and turkey shoots. He was a long-time religious education teacher at Most Holy Trinity; a woodworker who loved building toy boxes, coat racks, and other things for his children and grandchildren; an artist who enjoyed painting and drawing cartoons for the bank's newsletter; and a prolific reader of history, particularly of the Civil War and WWII. After his diagnosis, he was thrilled to be able to take three wonderful trips with family: to France and Italy, where he fulfilled a lifelong dream of being in his ancestors' land and walking along the shores of Normandy; to Hawaii, including with two of his grandchildren; and to Quebec City, where he and Michele felt at home.
However, he will best be remembered for his deep, abiding faith. He never wavered in his trust of God. Leon's greatest gift to his children was the gift of faith, and through his long illness he never stopped praising God. His persistent faith and positive attitude will be a role model to everyone who knew him for a long time to come.
The family wishes to thank the first floor staff of St. Andre Health Care and the staff from Compassus Hospice and Palliative Care for the compassionate, loving, patient, and tender care they provided Leon over the past two years.
Leon was predeceased by his parents, William and Juliette (Lessard) Labonte. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Michele; daughters Julie Weissenburger and her husband, Michael, and their children Megan, Jack, and Brooke of Marblehead, Mass.; and Lisa Crane and her husband, Adam, and their children Catherine, Maria, and Sarah of Wakefield, Mass.; brothers Paul Labonte and his wife, Linda, and Charles Labonte and his wife, Peggy; sister Carmen Fournier and her husband, Robert; and many nieces and nephews.
Visiting hours will be from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, May 17, 2018 at Cote Funeral Home, 87 James Street, Saco. A Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Friday, May 18 at St. Joseph Church, 178 Elm Street, Biddeford. Burial will follow in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Saco.

Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider donations in his memory to:

www.michaeljfox.org, or
Donation Processing

P.O. Box 5014
Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014


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Funeral Home
Cote Funeral Home
87 James St
Saco, ME 04072
(207) 284-4464
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on May 13, 2018
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