LeCLAIRE, Lionel Gerard – of Lapeer, MI, age 90, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Thursday, August 12, 2021. A Funeral Mass, with Military Honors, will be celebrated 12 PM Tuesday, August 17, 2021 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 404 North Dayton Street, Davison, MI 48423; Rev. Fr. Andrew A. Czajkowski celebrant. Cremation will take place following the Mass. The family will receive visitors 4-8 PM Monday, August 16, 2021 at Allen Funeral Home, 9136 Davison Road, Davison, MI 48423 and 11 AM-12 PM Tuesday, August 17, 2021 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, in Lionel’s memory.
Lionel was born in Flint, MI on April 16, 1931, son of the late Dona and Ada (Belanger) LeClaire. The family moved to Rock, Michigan, near Escanaba, before he was one year old and that is where he and his 5 younger siblings grew up logging, farming, playing sports of all kinds, and making lifelong friends. Lionel served proudly as First Sergeant in the Army during the Korean War spending much of his time in Japan working in receiving and sending telegraphed messages. After returning from the war, Lionel had various jobs, yet most of his career was as a State of Michigan employee for what was then called the Michigan Employment Security Commission. He started his rise through the ranks in Flint, moving then to Saginaw, West Branch and finally ending his career as Assistant Manager for the Employment Agency in Lapeer. He retired in 1984 with the first “early out” offered by the State. Always a thoughtful, quiet man, his family was his number one source of joy. The oldest of 6 children, his brothers, sisters, Mother and Father, Wife, children, and grandchildren were more than his family, they were his best friends for his entire life.
Left to remember his love are his beloved wife and best friend of 60 years, Brenda (Cornelius) LeClaire; their youngest children, Joe (Tina) LeClaire and Ann (Pat Lederle) LeClaire; daughter-in-law, Kathy LeClaire; former son-in-law, Stacy (Shannon) Mitchell; his grandchildren, Wendy (Kyle) VanTiem, Christopher Lowe, Austin Slemp, Maxwell Mitchell, Madeline Mitchell, Benjamin (Alex) Mitchell and Luke LeClaire; his great-grandchildren, Santiago VanTiem, Oliver Lowe and Aurora Mitchell; his two sisters, Mary Sevo and Eunice (Kelly) Elledge; brother-in-law, Dick (Margaret) Absher; sister-in-law, Barbara LeClaire; many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends. Lionel was preceded in death by he and Brenda’s two oldest sons, John David LeClaire and Thomas Michael LeClaire; his brothers, Bernard, Gerald and Ralph LeClaire; brother-in-law, Jim Sevo; his sisters-in-law, Sheryl (Cornelius) Absher, Leta LeClaire and Dorothy LeClaire.