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William J. Lezotte Jr.

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William J. Lezotte Jr. Obituary
Lezotte, Jr., William J.
The musical world has lost a wonderful and gifted musician, father, and husband. William "Bill" J. Lezotte, Jr., 87, of Farmington, passed away on May 10, 2015. Born in Waterbury, CT, he was also formerly of Port Chester, NY, Port St. Lucie, FL. and Milford, CT. He Joined the Navy in 1946 and was part of the Seabees stationed in Seattle, WA. He was a sports car enthusiast owning a 1941 Ford coupe hot rod and a 1952 MG MTB. His favorite was a red, limited edition 1950 Jaguar XK 120 convertible. Bill worked for 36 years for the Bristol Company retiring as a Senior Service Engineer in 1988. While living in Milford, Bill bought his first sailboat, aptly named "Quatre Frers"- or "Four Brothers". His last sailboat was the "Eowyn" which he enjoyed cruising with his family, friends and fellow musicians in Long Island Sound, Florida and the Caribbean. Bill's real love was playing guitar, beginning in the late 1940's. He played gigs at the Red Garter; Dreschers, the Royal Footman, Macs, Le Jazz Hot Show, Birdland, 25th Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival and the Sacramento Jazz Festival with The Smith Street Society Jazz Band in 1988 and the Parke Frankenfield Jazz Band in 1992. He also played weddings and private venues. He collected vintage guitars which included a very rare 1939 Blond Gibson Super 400, a 1938 Epiphone Triumph, and a 1946 Epiphone Emperor. He formed several of his own Jazz bands including The Basin Street 4, the original Swing '39, The Swing of Things, Pearl River Jazz Band, The Wolf Pack Jazz Band, Hot Club of the Treasure Coast and Swing 'N Jazz. Among many others that he played with, were, The Galvanized Jazz Band and Jazz "A" Cords. During his career he played with various artists such as Woody Allen, Gary Burghoff, Glen Campbell, and Conrad Janis. Bills' final creation was a reiteration of his jazz band, "Swing '39" pulling talents from Steve Jones, Russ Whitman and Donn Doucette. After 14 years of his last steady gig every Friday night at La Trattoria in Canton, he retired in early 2015. He leaves to mourn his wife, Jeannine Otulak; his sons: William "Billy", Judd, Sean and Robert and his wife Leigh and grandchildren Garrett and Ethan; stepchildren: Laura Ann, Janice and Thomas; brother: Edward and his wife Judy Lezotte of Florida and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends. Bill was the son of the late William and Catherine (Millerick) Lezotte. He was also predeceased by his former wife, Carolyn "Chic" Turner Lezotte and his brother John "Jack" Lezotte.
On Saturday, May 30, 2015, family and friends will gather for an Interment Service with military honors to be held at 12:00 noon at the NEW St. Joseph Cemetery, Hamilton Ave. & Pearl Lake Road, Waterbury, CT. 06706: Section D / Lot 31; then all will gather at 1:30 pm for A Celebration of Life and Music memorial service to be held at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main Street, Unionville, CT, www.ahernfuneralhome.com .
Published in Connecticut Post on May 24, 2015
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