Obituary of Joseph Henri LeBlanc
Passed away peacefully on September 2, 2023, with the love of his family surrounding him, just 1 month shy of his 92nd birthday. Born in Margaree, Cape Breton in 1931, Joe was a son of the late Arsene and Rose Ann (Cormier) LeBlanc. He met Thelma Jenkins in Halifax and they built a life together in the little blue house on Main Avenue in Fairview that lasted 65 years. Joe and Thelma will be lovingly remembered by their children, Jody (Faye), Rosanne (Roger), Denise (Shannon), Dan, daughter-in-law Kim, and cherished grandchildren Rita-Clare, Cora-Lee (Jorden), Sloan, Luke, Nate and Elle. Joe will be missed by his sister, Zoe (Wayne). He was predeceased by sisters, Lucie Marie (at birth), Lucie Mae, Mary Louise, Julia, Theresa, and Anne Rose; and brothers Francis, Louis, and Levi.
Joe had a long career as a photo-engraver with the Chronicle Herald, and Maritime Photoengravers. He was a proud life member and local president of the Graphic Communications International Union. He was particularly proud of being the president when the Halifax local gained affiliation with the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour in 1961.
Joe was a superb athlete; hockey and baseball prowess came naturally, but it was his skill as an archer that brought him to National prominence. Joe was the Nova Scotia provincial archery grand champion in 1962, and won individual provincial trophies many times over. He often recounted the story of his first trip in an airplane to Vancouver, BC to compete in the Canadian National Archery Competition. He was a long time member and president of the Scotian Bowmen Archery Club and served as provincial coach and president of the Nova Scotia Archery Federation. He was also well known for his ability to perform technical tricks with a bow and arrow, including the archer’s “hole-in-one” (6 arrows in the bull’s-eye), and shooting arrows into small, far away balloons to mark special occasions (such as the opening of Halifax Shopping Centre).
After retirement, Joe found 2 new hobbies: golf and wood-working. He was a long time member of the Airlanes Golf Club and was granted a lifetime membership by the club owners. Not only was he able to achieve a hole-in-one as an archer, he reached the same milestone at the Fox Harb’r course when he was a spry 87 years old. If you knew Joe, you knew this story – and saw the pictures. He set up his workshop in the backyard, and began producing sought-after turned bowls and furniture. The family enjoyed bringing a project to “Grampa Joe” and watching him figure out how to make it. Always a perfectionist – there were many prototypes before you got the final product. One project he was very proud of was the Little Free Library in Fairview. He enjoyed working on projects at his children’s homes, and undertook many home repairs with Kim.
Joe was a force to be reckoned with; often stubborn and always a fighter. He fought his illness at every step; he wasn’t ready to leave his wonderful life. His passing was quick and peaceful, on his own terms to the very end.
The family would like to send a special thank you to Joe’s caregivers, Carol Finch and Linda Bennett. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Joe’s name to the Northwood Foundation (www.northwoodfoundation.ca; 902-454-3069). In keeping with his wishes, cremation has taken place. A drop-in Celebration of Life will take place on Sunday, September 10, from 1-3 pm at T.J. Tracey Cremation and Burial Specialists, 71 McQuade Crescent, Halifax. An at-home reception will follow.
Online condolences can be made by visiting: www.tjtracey.com
“Do not go gentle into that good night; Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” – Dylan Thomas