Bradford — Lorraine L. R. (Roberge) LeBlanc, 82, died peacefully on October 12, at the Lahey Clinic. She was the loving wife of the late Joseph L. LeBlanc, with whom she shared 55 years of marriage.
Born on June 23, 1931, in Somersworth, N.H., she was the daughter of the late Emile J. and Rose (Rouleau) Roberge. She grew up in a bilingual household. Lorraine’s older children remember going to Memere and Pepere’s house in Dover, N.H., a place overflowing with French-speaking relatives, good food, laughter, and love.
Lorraine graduated from St. Mary’s Academy and Dover, High School, and worked as a teller at the Strafford Savings Bank after graduation. She loved visiting Hampton Beach with her cousin, Marge Gagnon, and met her future husband at the Hampton Beach Casino.
Lorraine’s parenting skills were legendary. She was a loving and fiercely protective mother, who encouraged her children to work hard and to pursue their dreams, and live and love responsibly and well. She raised her eight children on Abbott Street and Hoyt Road in the Bradford section of Haverhill.
She was a passionate cook, and in recent years, was addicted to the Food Network. Her recipes for macaroni and cheese, pot roast, pasta sauce, Chinese pie, baked beans, her grandmother’s chicken soup, apple pie, whoopee pies, Congo bars, and many, many others have been passed on to her children and grandchildren. They are cherished family secrets.
In the 1960s, much to the initial consternation of her husband, she entered the workforce, learned to drive a car, and enjoyed her new-found independence. She worked at J.M. Fields department store, Chaucer Leather, Western Electric, and Lucent. When her husband took an early retirement in 1986, she put off her own retirement until she earned her own pension.
Lorraine and Joe lived a grand retirement. They traveled much of the U.S. and Europe. They wintered in Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet, S.C. They loved dining out. Joe claimed that Lorraine gave up cooking in her retirement, though she would give him a half-serious look of disdain at this assertion. Joe would give Lorraine much the same look when she dragged him along on shopping excursions. She loved finding a good bargain.
They attended hundreds of movies, concerts and plays. Lorraine was an avid reader of non-fiction. After suffering from two strokes in 2010, she still read every word of the daily newspaper. She loved her coffee club friends, lunch with Donna Millington, and an occasional trip to Foxwoods with Don and Mary Leavitt, all of Haverhill.
Lorraine is survived by her eight children, Judy L. and her husband, Robert Schenk of Windham, N.H., Susan R. and her husband, Guy Gobeil of Kingston, N.H., Christina H. and her husband, George Pereira of Bradford, Joseph T. LeBlanc and his wife, Gail M. Sullivan of Bradford, Thomas J. LeBlanc and his fiancée, Deanna Clarance of Sudbury, Lawrence J. and his wife, Tammie LeBlanc of Atkinson, N.H., William F. and his wife, Anne LeBlanc of Reading, and Gary M. and his wife, Caroline LeBlanc of Bradford; 22 grandchildren, Shay Sullivan, Stephen, Elizabeth, Michael, Neal, James, Megan, Kevin, Julianne, Griffin, and Reese LeBlanc, Samantha and Robert Schenk, Zachary, Rachael and Rebecca Gobeil, Jacqueline, Nicole, Michael and Holly Pereira, and Oliver and John Brian Clarance; two great-grandchildren, Ella and Amelia LeBlanc; brother and sister-in-law, Donald and Pat Roberge of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; a brother-in-law, John N. LeBlanc of Bradford; and cousins, nieces and nephews.
ARRANGEMENTS: Funeral services will be held on Friday morning, October 18, beginning in the Driscoll Funeral Home, 309 South Main Street, Bradford, at 9 a.m. Her funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Sacred Hearts Church, 165 South Main Street, Bradford, at 10 a.m. Interment will follow in Elmwood Cemetery, Salem Street, Bradford. Visiting hours will be on Thursday in the funeral home, from 2 to 4 p.m., and 6 to 9 p.m. Courtesy local transportation to the visitation will be provided on request by calling Patrick Driscoll at 978-374-0000. Flowers are welcomed, or expressions of sympathy may also be made in her memory to the Northern Essex Community College Foundation/LeBlanc Family Scholarship, 100 Elliott St., Haverhill, MA 01830. For directions, or to sign her guest book, please visit www.driscollcares.com.