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.