SPRING HILL, Fla. - Deann LeBeau, 77, of Spring Hill, and Bernard, Maine, died peacefully Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, in Brooksville, surrounded by family and friends.
She was born June 13, 1938, in Springfield, Massachusetts, the daughter of the late Emmanuel P. and Doris M. LeBeau, and was raised in Easthampton, Massachusetts, where she attended public schools and graduated from Easthampton High School with the class of 1956. She went on to further her education at West Virginia Weslyan University and received her master's degree from Michigan State University.
She lived and taught in several locations before settling in Watertown, Connecticut, where she was an educator and coach of boy's and girl's sports teams at Newtown High School, Connecticut, for 35 years until her retirement. In 1979 she was named both women's swimming and track and field "Coach of the Year" for the state of Connecticut.
She also worked tirelessly to make schools safe for students; work of which she was very proud. Along with many other activists in Connecticut they successfully lobbied to have anti-discrimination laws put on the books in 1997. Recognizing these efforts, Out Magazine named Deann one of the "Out 100 of 1997 - 1998, the 100 most interesting and influential gay men and lesbians in America".
An avid sports fan, she was a lifelong Red Sox fan, but most notably a University of Connecticut Huskies Women's Basketball fan. Go Huskies! She and Susan would travel around the country to see their teams or to attend Final Four games right through another national championship last season.
Deann is survived by her partner of 25 years, Susan Mayne also of Spring Hill, and Bernard, Maine; two brothers, Donald and his husband Willem of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Richard of Easthampton, Massachusetts; and three sisters, Barbara of Sandwich, Massachusetts, Janet LeBeau Hill and her husband Rob of Westport, Massachusetts, and Cynthia LeBeau Garrison and her husband Arthur of South Hadley, Massachusetts. She also leaves four nephews, a great-nephew and a great-niece, all of whom she loved dearly. She leaves cousins and many friends across the country who will miss her very much.
Arrangements are being handled by The Neptune Society of Palm Harbor. Memorial services are being planned for the spring. Burial will be at the convenience of the family.
Donations in her name may be made to the American Diabetes Foundation at www.diabetes.org
or to the Easthampton Dollars for Scholars, P.O. Box 494, Easthampton, MA 01027.
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Published by Daily Hampshire Gazette on Dec. 16, 2015.