Raoul J. LeBlanc, Jr., a long-time resident of Newport News, VA, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 25, 2021. He was born in New Orleans, LA in 1933. Raoul was a graduate of Warren Easton High School and began his distinguished US military career while a student at Tulane University. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Business Management with dual majors in Accounting and Economics in 1955. Within his first fourteen years of military service, Raoul propelled to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 1973, he achieved a Master of Science Degree in Personnel with concentrations in Human Behavior and Labor Relations Administration from George Washington University. After twenty years of dedicated military service, including two tours of Vietnam as a combat helicopter assault pilot during which he was shot down eight times (that have been declassified) and wounded at least six times, Raoul retired from active duty in 1975. Finding so much leisure, not to his liking, Raoul accepted an administrative position at Fort Eustis in Newport News, VA, and dedicated the next twenty-five years of his career to improving the quality of life for soldiers and their families. Raoul was also a 32nd Degree Mason of the Scottish Rite, serving his community alongside his fraternal order since the age of 21.
Raoul met the love of his life as a teenager in New Orleans. He married Barbara Ann Wale on May 31, 1952, and built his life and family around her until her death in 2018. With his passing, they are reunited for their 69th wedding anniversary.
Raoul is survived by his son Raymond Gary LeBlanc and wife Ann of Portsmouth, VA, and son Glenn Steven LeBlanc and wife Ernest'teena of Windsor, VA. Additionally, he is survived by his grandchildren, Genevieve L. Kundert, of Monroe, WI, Autumn L. Sistare of Glenville, NC, Angela L. Bordelon of Fort Collins, CO, Carleigh M. LeBlanc of Glenville, NC, Kelsey P. LeBlanc of Windsor, VA, Megan L. Beckman of Portsmouth, VA, Raymond W. LeBlanc of Portsmouth, VA, Wendy M. Jenkins of Chuckatuck, VA, Angeleena M. Mercer of Windsor, VA, and Christina A. Compagnone of Alexandria, VA. Raoul is also survived by 11 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren.
Raoul was a man of honor, integrity, and radiant wit. His love knew no limits, and he will be deeply missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing him.
His favorite poem:
I rode the black horse into the sun
And his hoof beats were music and it was fun
Duty, honor, and country were tang in my ears
And I carried that banner throughout the years.
So exciting to be on life's narrow ledge;
To be totally alive and on the very edge.
But the art of war in any rational mind
Is the insanity, the madness of all mankind.
To friend and foe it was sometimes the same;
It was the ultimate high of the ultimate game.
Now I sometimes listen to the mockingbird's song
And ponder the blurred edges of right and wrong.
But I rode the black horse into the sun
And his hoof beats were music and it was fun.
I Rode the Black Horse ( anon. Circa 1965)
The family will receive visitors on Tuesday, June 1, from 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. for a celebration of Raoul's life at the Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd, Newport News, VA. A private graveside service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Disabled American Veterans at DAV.org
, or to Mercy Chefs at MercyChefs.com
Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home.
Published by Daily Press on May 30, 2021.