Arthur "Art" LeBlanc Jr.
Major Arthur René LeBlanc Jr., USAF, Ret., “slipped the surly bonds of earth” on April 12, 2018. He was warmly embraced by the love of his life Angela, his wife of 58 years and his adoring children as he transitioned to a better place. Art was born on July 10, 1932, in Salem, MA to warm, loving parents Bertha and Arthur LeBlanc. He is pre-deceased by his parents and his younger brother Officer Paul LeBlanc of the Salem, MA Police Department.
Art lived every day according to his motto of “work hard, play hard” graduating from St. John’s Preparatory School and Bates College in the “great class of 1954.” Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Air Force during the Korean War and was selected for the Air Cadet Program. He received his Navigator wings in 1956 and from that point on, he enjoyed every minute of being “in the wild blue yonder.”
Art had an adventurous spirit. He spent a thrilling year in Iceland flying the Scorpion F-89 with a Maverick-type pilot performing aerial gymnastics. It was followed by a more sedate mission on Cape Cod where he endured 12-16 hour missions on the RC 121 Super Constellation protecting the eastern border from Cold War protagonists. It was during a lull in flying that Art met Angela, proposed on their first date and the rest is history.
He proudly served his country for twenty-one years as a Master Navigator on C-130’s and KC -135’s, including three tours in Vietnam, for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, an Air Medal with 8 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and many other commendations. He also served abroad in Germany, Greece, the Philippines, and Vietnam, making countless lifelong friends along the way.
After his Air Force service, Art moved on from planes to plates as he and Angela, despite being complete novices in the hospitality industry, purchased The Kennebunk Inn. The whole family helped to transform the establishment, leading to his favorite phrase, “We bought a streetwalker and turned her into a lady.” The experts agreed, as they were selected for the Maine Innkeepers Association Hall of Fame. He and Angela later opened Seascapes, an award winning restaurant in Cape Porpoise, Kennebunkport. Art also served in town on the Kennebunk Planning Board and was an active member of the Rotary Club.
Art’s passion for travel, adventure, and the outdoors were constants throughout his life. He was the first man to water ski in Marblehead Harbor, skied throughout Europe, and caught his trophy fish - a 10 ½ pound rainbow trout - in Turangi, New Zealand. An avid fly fisherman, he spent countless hours on the water at his home in Rangeley and served on the board of the Saco River Salmon Club.
Above all else, spending time with family was Art’s favorite activity. Whether building his camp in Rangeley, skiing Saddleback’s Grey Ghost with his children, enjoying a coffee ice cream cone at Big Daddy’s, teaching his grandchildren how to cast on the front lawn, telling tall tales, or simply doting on his wife; he was a family man through and through.
The legacy of his love for family, travel, and the outdoors continues through his beloved wife Angela of Kennebunk, children Arthur III & Holly LeBlanc of Kennebunk, ME; Alan and Cynthia LeBlanc of Atlanta, GA; Alyse and Mario Rodriguez of Bronx, NY; Amira and Douglas Bixby of Chatham, NJ; and his “favorite,” Alaina and Michael Tridente of Kennebunk, ME; grandchildren: Christina, Alexander, Ali, Cameron, Margaux, Alan Jr., Riker, Matias, Schuyler, Noah, Maxim and Cole; many nieces, nephews, and cousins; and will continue for generations to come.
We ask to help Art’s legacy “finish up strong” via donations to the Rangeley Outdoor Sporting Heritage Museum: P.O. Box 521 Rangeley, ME 04970, Hospice of Southern Maine – Gosnell House: 180 U.S. Route One, Scarborough, ME 04074, or Saco Salmon Restoration Alliance, PO Box 115, Saco, ME 04072.
Friends and family are invited to visit with the family 2-4 and 6-8 PM Thursday, April 19, 2018 at Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer St. Kennebunk, ME. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10 AM Friday, April 20, 2018 at St. Martha’s Church, 30 Portland Road, Kennebunk, with Rev. Fred Morse and Rev. John Allen co-celebrating.
To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit Arthur’s Book of Memories page at www.bibberfuneral.com.