Hugh Grenville LeClair, 92, died Saturday, September 22, 2018.
He was predeceased by his parents, Titus LeClair, Alice Bessie, and Amelie LeClair; two brothers, Richard and David LeClair; his second wife Jean LeClair; and a granddaughter, Caitlin Brianna Kirkpatrick, who was born in 1986 on the same date Hugh died.
Hugh was born on November 30, 1925 in Chicago, IL. He attended Virginia Military Institute for high school and then went into the Navy during World War II where he served as Chief Petty Officer on a destroyer in the Pacific, his ship being one of the first to sail into Tokyo Harbor following VJ day. After the war, he got his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 1950, and subsequently completed a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Harvard in 1953.
He married Mary Margaret Dodson on September 1, 1948, and from that marriage he is survived by four children: Kristin LeClair Kirkpatrick and partner, John Taylor, Lewis LeClair and wife Kaye Scoggin, Lise LeClair Blankenship and husband, Dennis McMillan, and Mary LeClair; eight grandchildren: Mark LeClair and wife, Heather, Doug LeClair and wife, Pearl, Duncan Kirkpatrick and wife, Lorna, Collin Blankenship, Kyle Kirkpatrick, Maggie Schade and husband Isaac, Chelsea Maples, and Bay Scoggin; and nine great-grandchildren: Lily McMillan, Ivory Tamez, Jonathan Maples, Rebecca LeClair, Catherine LeClair, Titus LeClair, Paxton Schade, Pierce LeClair, and Duncan “Cope” Kirkpatrick II.
His second marriage brought Jean’s six children into his life whom he cared about as his own: Charlene Botello, Laurena Rose, Howard Heath, Kathy Nalley, Skipper Heath, and Robin Watson; and grandchildren including Colton Buchanan, and Heaven Watson. They loved him as much as he did them, and are immensely grateful for the happiness he brought their mother and grandmother.
He is also survived by a sister Diane Sutton and husband Bob, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Hugh was a lifelong scholar and teacher, loving to share and communicate from his rich store of knowledge. His passions included classical music (especially opera), theater, and theology; he taught himself Greek in order to read parts of the Bible in their original language. He was an accomplished pianist and his playing was a big part of our family life. He loved Winnie-the-Pooh and Pogo who were our companions as children. And finally Hugh was a man of service to the end of his life; most recently he delivered the newspapers to and played the piano for residents of the Ussery-Roan Texas State Veteran’s home where he resided, played the organ at St. Andrew’s church until his early 80’s, and provided after-school care and “supplementary” education to his beloved granddaughter Heaven until he was in his late 80s.
Hugh was deeply lovely and will be sorely missed by family and friends, but each of us will carry a wealth of knowledge and his love for us throughout our lives. God needed a piano player and a teller of terrible puns, so he called Hugh home. Say hello to A.A. Milne, C.S. Lewis, Richard Wagner, and a host of others, Hugh, they’ve been waiting for you.
Services will be held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church on October 21, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Amarillo Little Theater, 2019 Civic Circle, Amarillo, Texas 79109, or online at http://amarillolittletheatre.org/.