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Leo went home on February 5, 2013, at the age of 87.
He was born in Santa Monica, California, on August 10, 1925, to August and Celina Bourget.
Leo grew up learning the values of family, faith and hard work. Starting at the age of 7, he sold newspapers on the sidewalks of Santa Monica. His father would take his daily earnings to help support the family, and he would receive a 25-cent allowance every weekend to go to the movies and buy popcorn and candy.
Leo did not graduate from high school, as he enlisted in the Navy at 17 years of age to support the U.S. efforts in World War II. At the end of the war, his ship was stationed in Port Angeles, where he met his wife of 68 years, Marjorie Shamp, on a blind date.
After World War II, he worked at Rayonier Mill and picked strawberries to support his family. Within five years — and four children later — Leo and Marge moved to Santa Monica, where he started a business with his brothers.
Although Leo had only a seventh-grade education, he helped build a multimillion-dollar company.
He decided at the age of 35 that he needed his high school diploma, as he was demanding all his children graduate from high school. He worked an average of 12 hours a day and went to school at night in order to graduate.
Leo was a rare individual who could relate to poor, sick, famous, blue and white collar, all races alike. It was often said of him: "He is my favorite!"
Leo was warm, loving, sincere, funny, goofy, understanding, charismatic, passionate, vibrant, tough, wonderful, caring, eccentric, devoted, dynamic, forgiving — the list is never-ending.
Leo loved his family deeply and was always there for them, to protect and support them.
Leo's loves were his wife, Marge; family; God; fishing; golf; rummy cubes; stone cutting and laying stone; cards; horseshoes; his country; and, of course, chardonnay.
He touched the hearts of everyone who met him.
Leo, you will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.
Leo was preceded in passing by his son Vaughn and daughter Lorraine.
He will be waiting for his wife, Marjorie; daughters Sharon and Annette; sons Dennis, Larry and Jim; daughters-in-law Diane, Belen and Theresa; brothers Leonard and Johnny; 16 grandchildren; and 23 great-grandchildren.
A day of remembrance will be held Sunday, February 17, 2013, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Four Seasons Golf Course Clubhouse at 637 Strait View Drive, Port Angeles.
All who knew Leo are welcome to come and honor his memory.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on Feb. 15, 2013