Leon Louis Blais

Leon Louis Blais

April 28, 1931 - September 27, 2020
Laguna Woods Califronia

Leon Louis Blais

April 28, 1931 - September 27, 2020
Laguna Woods Califronia


Leon Louis Blais


Leon Louis Blais, age 89, died peacefully at his home in Laguna Woods, CA, on September 27, after several weeks of failing health due to coronary artery disease.  Born April 28, 1931 in Goffstown, NH, Leon was the seventh and youngest child of Oscar Blais and Desneiges Bouchard, both born in Canada. He married Therese Yvette Pinard of Manchester in 1951.  She preceded him in death on December 15, 2012 after 61 years of marriage.

Leon was predeceased by brothers Julien, Vital (Vic) and Maurice Blais; sisters Rose St. Pierre, Alice Delisle and Therese Boucher.  He is survived by 10 children, 22 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.  His seven sons, three daughters and their spouses are: Donald Blais & partner Michael McGinley, Diane Blais, Claudette Root & husband Robert Root, Armand Blais & wife Eve, Rev. George Blais, Arthur (Art) Blais & wife Annette, Roger Blais & wife Carol, Frank Blais & wife Beatriz, David Blais & wife Diana and Estelle Acuna.  All residing in California.

Born on a farm in Goffstown, Leon graduated from St Edmond grammar school and upon graduating from St. Joseph’s High School in Manchester, he studied accounting and worked as a bookkeeper for a local B.F. Goodrich tire company. An earlier job was at L’Avenir National newspaper where he met Therese (Terry). They raised 10 children in Manchester before moving the family to Garden Grove CA in 1973 so that Leon could take a job with Hughes Aircraft using his expertise as a precious metals circuitry plater, skills he had developed while working at Sanders Associates in Manchester. Upon retirement, he and Terry settled into an active lifestyle in Laguna Woods Village, enjoying thousands of walks at Laguna and other nearby beaches with their almost daily outings to the Pacific.  His love of camping put Leon behind the wheel of various RVs over the years as he took family and friends on camping trips throughout California and several cross-country treks to visit family in New Hampshire. Leon and Terry’s travels took them to American Samoa, several trips to Hawaii, and cruises in Europe, the Caribbean and Central America/ Panama Canal. A life-long devout Catholic, he and Therese also made pilgrimages to the shrines devoted to Our Lady at Medjugorje, Fatima, and Lourdes.

Family was very important to Leon.  He was devoted to his 10 children and to their families.  He loved being “pepere” to his 22 grandchildren and his great-grandchildren.  He didn’t shy away from holding a baby and gently talking to him or her with a big smile on his face.  He loved a good card game of Cribbage, usually beating his sons, daughters or grandchildren who took up the challenge.  As his family eventually settled in both Northern and Southern California, Leon and Terry travelled every year to participate in the annual Blais Family North Christmas party that followed a similar gathering as the Blais Family South party.   He attended every baptism, confirmation, graduation, wedding and other celebrations, especially ten 50th birthday parties and special gatherings at his milestone birthdays, such as his 85th a few years ago.  An avid baseball fan, rooting first for the Boston Red Sox, and later, after the family migration West, his allegiances were with the LA Angels.  For years, Leon could be found either at Angel Stadium with one or more of his sons, or watching the Angels on television, often with a very devoted grandson.  Leon’s love and support of his family will forever be remembered fondly.  He lives in our hearts.  Rest in peace, Leon.

O’Connor Mortuary is handling arrangements to include: 

Vigil and Rosary at St Nicholas Catholic Church, 24252 El Toro Rd, Laguna Woods, CA 92637    9:00 am to 11:15 am on Saturday, October 10, 2020 followed by a Mass of Remembrance 11:30AM

Graveside services will be held with the family, 



For those who will attend via Zoom

We’ll be opening the Zoom sessions 5 minutes prior to the start of each service.  
Mass for Leon Blais – 11:25am PT             [Funeral Mass]
Burial of Leon Blais – 1:55pm PT          [add in Family Graveside Service]

Vigil Service

  • Date & Time: October 10, 2020 (9:00 AM - 11:15 AM)
  • Venue: St. Nicholas Catholic Church
  • Location: 24252 El Toro Rd. Laguna Woods, CA 92637 - (Get Directions)

Funeral Mass

  • Date & Time: October 10, 2020 (11:30 AM)
  • Venue: St. Nicholas Catholic Church
  • Location: 24252 El Toro Rd. Laguna Woods, CA 92637 - (Get Directions)

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19 responses to Leon Louis Blais

  1. Eulogy delivered at the Funeral Mass of the Resurection for Leon Blais 10-10-2020

    Good Morning. Thank you all for being here or for joining us online. I am Donald LEON Blais. Yes, I have the honor of having my Dad’s name as my middle name.
    As the oldest of 10 siblings it’s natural for me to have some of the earliest memories of our Dad, Leon, but I want to tell you about the day that I saw Leon cry. It was Nov 2, 1963. Dad was 32, I was 11.
    I witnessed not just the shedding of a few tears, but a loud grief-filled sobbing. He had just gotten a phone call from one of his brothers in Manchester or from a sister in California. Their mother Desneiges had died at the age of 68, leaving her husband Oscar, 7 adult children and their families.
    What a beautiful name my grandmother had: Desneiges. Literally “of the snows”. This was a popular French-Canadian name at the time honoring Our Lady of the Snows or Saint Marie of the Snows. The reason I’ve so easily remembered the date my grandmother died is that exactly 20 days later the President of the United States was assassinated. I’ve remembered Dad’s reaction because it was shockingly different from his usual demeanor.
    The history of Leon Blais will not be taught in schools the way the history of John Kennedy is taught. But to most of us gathered here, it is a big history, our history, our legacy. Leon and his wife Therese, or Terry as he usually called her, are responsible for 10 people coming into this world, 8 of whom provided them with 22 grandchildren. The next generation numbers 14 great-grandchildren and counting.
    [Now that’s history in the making!]
    Let me focus on the years in New Hampshire. Like Leon and Therese, all 10 of us were born in Manchester. It seemed that Dad was always working to provide for his large and growing family. Often working 2 jobs and sometimes a 3rd side job, just to make ends meet.
    I don’t remember thinking that we were poor. We had good “Sunday-Best” clothes to wear to church. We had everything we needed for school, and at Christmas we somehow usually got the gift that was at the top of our Dear Santa Claus list. Leon gave us tricycles and bicycles; Tonka Trucks and Baby Dolls. There were a great many camping trips in the summer, days at Hampton Beach, sleds and toboggans for the winter snow and plenty of fun and good times all year round.
    While being determined to provide for us on his own, Leon sometimes swallowed his pride, accepting help from others. One of his occasional jobs was to do handyman work for an eccentric, neighborhood “cat lady”. He would till her large garden plot in late Spring, mend or paint a fence and do other chores. Her name was Mrs. Mellon. And though she was often ridiculed by some of our neighbors because of her many cats and odd habits, she had a generous spirit. She knew that Leon was an honest, hardworking man who would do anything for his family. In addition to the few dollars she must have paid him, he would also bring home some of her garden’s late summer harvest. One memorable day she told Dad to take all of us to a shoe store in downtown Manchester. We were maybe 6 children older than toddler age, and we all came home with a new pair of shoes, thanks to the so-called crazy cat lady. Mrs. Mellon appreciated Dad for treating her with respect and for being a good worker. Leon led by example and his work ethic is one of his greatest gifts to us.
    During his working life, Leon put in many hours at jobs that were physically difficult and that no doubt contributed to the health issues that plagued his later years. At Genest Brothers, a large commercial bakery in Manchester, he worked graveyard shift on the loading docks. His job meant constantly going into the hot bakery, loading up pallets of baked goods, and pulling them outside using only a manual hand truck. The extremes of heat, cold, humidity, rain and snow made for very harsh work environment. The nighttime hours meant trying to sleep during the day in a small house where up to 11 people were going about their daily routines. You can imagine that it was not ideal for a good night’s rest.
    At Sanders Associates in Manchester and later at Hughes Aircraft in Long Beach, Leon was among the earliest workers in the specialized new field of printed circuit boards. He developed an expertise in precious metals plating. Again, the work environment was difficult and even dangerous. In addition to breathing in hazardous chemicals, Leon developed severe carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists due to the repetitive motions involved in work that these days would be done by robots. In his last work years, even surgery did not reverse the effects of these injuries. His so-called early retirement due to this disability wasn’t so “early” when you consider all of the overtime hours and multiple jobs worked over all those years. He had to wait a couple years for Mom to retire from her job at St Columban’s in Garden Grove, and then they moved to Laguna Woods Village where they settled into active routines: nearly daily walks at Laguna Beach, hosting family meals & gatherings, craft & sewing projects for Mom, Angels baseball games and cribbage card games for Dad, and always, they were planning their next vacation trip.
    Having grown up in Manchester at a time when the 38-mile trip to the Atlantic, or the 50-miles to Boston were considered a big deal and rarely undertaken, Leon and Terry never expected to enjoy as much world travel as they did in their retirement. In addition to regular trips back to New Hampshire to visit family and friends, they enjoyed many cruises in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Central America and a Danube River cruise. They went to American Samoa and the Hawaiian Islands. As lifelong Catholics with a devotion to Our Lady, when serious illnesses challenged one or both of them, Leon and Terry made pilgrimages to the shrines at Medjugorje, Lourdes and Fatima.
    Leon loved music and as a teenager learned to play the piano. He would play the standards from the Great American song book as well as other popular tunes and light jazz arrangements. At his boyhood home, he often played piano while accompanying a sister in a song or with his brother Vic joining him on the ukulele. Dad passed on this love of music to most of us: I play the piano, Diane the accordion, Armand is a big band leader and plays trombone, to name a few. Leon encouraged all of our passions. He loved his family and made sure we always felt that love and his pride in us.
    Of course, we have many more memories. Leon will always live on in OUR histories.
    He loved to play the lottery – just look at that fun picture of him with a winning ticket in his pocket. He loved to give and to receive, lottery scratcher tickets. We were never surprised to see one in our birthday cards or slipped into our Christmas stockings. Leon always believed that one day his numbers would win and he’d get the jackpot.
    Well Dad, Congratulations!
    After 89 years, you’ve won the SWEEPSTAKES: having redeemed your ticket, you are re-united with Desneiges & Oscar, with your 3 brothers, your 3 sisters, and with your beloved Therese.
    We love you. Enjoy your rewards. Rest in Peace.

  2. Linda Joy says:

    My deepest sympathy to all.
    This world has lost a great man a kind, generous, family man and an icon to us all. The last patriarch of our parents generation has now passed and will be missed by all who new him. I hope you find solace knowing that he is now with God and is no longer missing his beloved wife. The joy Uncle Leon brought to our family will not be forgotten but words fail to express my sorrow for our loss. Prayers are sent to you all in this time of grieving that God may help you through this
    difficult time and ease the pain you feel and replace it with loving fond memories of him for years to come. Love Linda DeLisle Joy and family

  3. Roger Blais says:

    My Dad was a quiet gentle man who tried to teach us things and I tried to learn, like when he was teaching us to fish when I was young. We were camping and he was showing some of us boys how to do it, put the worm on the hook, press the button on the reel, look behind you swing the pole back while holding the button down and then swing it forward and release the button. Simple right, well I followed almost all of the steps.
    I put the worm on the hook, I pressed the button, I swung the pole back, and I started swinging it forward, but something was wrong, thinking it was caught on something I just tugged hard a couple of times. Then we heard ow, ow, when I looked I had caught something all right. It was Arthur, right in the neck. Dad didn’t get mad and yell at me. After getting the hook out of Arts neck he just said “Okay you’re done”.

    When we would get in trouble and he would come over he sometimes said, “I have never hit you guys but I can start you know”. He never did. I use to get mad at him because I thought he couldn’t remember my name, he would say to me, “George, Arthur, Armand, who ever you are get over here” it would make me so mad, How could he forget MY name? Well, I can remember the exact day when I finally understood that he wasn’t forgetting but was just overjoyed by me. It was April, 23rd 1991 the day my son Ryan was born. We had just left the hospital to bring him home when I called Ryan, Brewser, which was my dogs name. It hit me and I knew I had to call my Dad and apologize for getting mad at him about that. I called him when I got home.

    We loved to play cribbage and he almost dealt me the perfect hand at Diane’s house one Christmas time a few years ago, he dealt me three 5’s in my hand and a jack that didn’t match suit with the 5’s, but, I didn’t quite cut the deck at the right spot to get the last 5. But, looking back on everything i realize he had dealt us the perfect hand, because he was the perfect Dad. I love you Dad and we will miss you.

    Ps, For the record, I did not break all those sissors!

  4. This is Claudette,
    My father Leon Blais funeral took place Saturday, October 10, 2020;
    Everything went well and a beautiful Life celebration took place!
    Thank you to all who participated and all family and friends for being there and praying for our family.
    It seems reality of his absence is more profound now that he is truly physically absent to us.

    We must remember that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Dear Dad I’ll see you in heaven thanks to God’s GRACE!!


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