Jules Burton LeBlanc Jr.

Businessman, attorney, civic leader and patron of the arts, Jules Burton LeBlanc, Jr., died on Friday, July 26, 2013, at the age of 96. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM at St. Aloysius Church on Stuart Avenue in Baton Rouge. The Mass of Resurrection begins at 11:00 AM celebrated by Father Donald Blanchard at the Church. Burial will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park in Baton Rouge. Mr. LeBlanc was born on January 3, 1917, at his family home in Saint Gabriel, Louisiana. He was the only child of Jules Burton LeBlanc, Sr. and Jena Austerlitz DeSeay. He was from one of the oldest families in Louisiana, whose Acadian ancestors settled in Saint Gabriel about 1750. On his Mothers side of the family he was a direct descendent of Louis Charles Antoine DeSaix one of Napoleon's Generals, who died as a hero at the Battle of Marengo in Italy. At age 16, he was class valedictorian at Catholic High School, then graduated from Louisiana State University, where he was a member and President of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. He also played trumpet in the LSU Marching Band. He went on to do postgraduate work at Columbia University and the University of Colorado. He next attended both Tulane School of Law and Louisiana State University Law School, from which he graduated third in a class including Governor John McKeithen, US Senator Russell Long, US District Judge C. Gordon West and US Court of Appeals Judge Alvin B. Rubin. In 2012 he was honored by both the Louisiana and Baton Rouge Bar Association for 70 years of meritorious service in the legal profession. When World War II erupted, Mr. LeBlanc enlisted in the Navy and served in the South Atlantic and South Pacific with the rank of Lieutenant. He married the former Hazel Margaret (""Dear"") Butcher in 1943. For the next 60 years, until her death in 2003, they enjoyed a life together of traveling, entertaining, pursuing civic affairs, the arts and raising their six children. After the war, Mr. LeBlanc practiced law and was engaged in various businesses – a lumber mill, logging, oil and gas, and land development. He worked actively to bring major industry to the Mississippi River Corridor and was a pioneer in developing petrochemical sites along the River. In addition, he was one of the founders of the Baton Rouge Symphony, served for a time as its Board President and was awarded an honorary conductor's baton. For many years he was a member and President of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library Board. Under his leadership a dedicated library tax was passed, leading to many expansions including the Blue Bonnet Library. He was also one of the original members of the Baton Rouge Assembly, the Baton Rouge Country Club and the City Club. On a personal note, he was a well-read intellectual with eclectic interests. He loved to read and read in many different languages. On his frequent travels, he enjoyed visiting libraries throughout the world. He also loved to ride the elliptical in his plaid sport coat, as well as swim, and did so almost daily. As a teenager he swam across the Mississippi River at St. Gabriel. He also enjoyed nature and long deep walks in the woods on his properties, and made sure to bring his grandchildren on yearly expeditions to Aspen, Colorado, to share his love of skiing. Additionally, he and his wife, ""Dear"" spent summers in Chatham on Cape Cod with a steady stream of family and friends. He designed and built his home in University Acres, where he and Hazel hosted parties for well known opera singers, conductors, writers and artists. The house was partially built form the ruins of an old sugar mill located on a LeBlanc-family plantation known as Margaret. Mr. LeBlanc is survived by his four sons, Jules, Roger, and Jay, all of Baton Rouge, and Jesse, of New Orleans. He also is survived by his 15 grandchildren: Burton LeBlanc IV, Holly Lyons, DeSaix St. Charles, Jena LeBlanc, Margaret Woods, Sara LeBlanc, Laura Brandt, Amanda Manchester, Emily McGee, Christine LeBlanc, Robert LeBlanc, Taylor LeBlanc, Jacqueline LeBlanc, Gabrielle Ferrara, and Danielle LeBlanc, as well as 22 great-grandchildren: Maggie, Lauren, Lilly, Julia, Mitchell, Margo, Madeline, Burton, Grant, Emelie, Christopher, Nancy Grace, Annalise, Caroline, Tanner, Courtney, Major, Maxwell, Cameron, Henry, George, and Jane. His daughter, Sally LeBlanc Brinkley of La Jolla, CA. and a son Robert DeSaix LeBlanc, predeceased him. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren knew him as ""Pawpaw."" The family is forever indebted to The Hospice of Baton Rouge and their caring staff, including Suzi Boudinot, Lynn Wascom, Judy Pol, Marla Hives, Terry Vessel, and Pearl Wilson. They invested their hearts and hands into his care. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in his memory to The Hospice of Baton Rouge, 9063 Siegen Lane, Baton Rouge, La. 70810. The family wishes to express a sincere thank you to Roger and Sandy LeBlanc for the care they gave him in the final years of his life. Arrangements with Rabenhorst Funeral Home, 825 Government St., (225) 383-6831.

Funeral Home

Rabenhorst Funeral Homes Downtown
825 Government Street Baton Rouge, LA 70802
(225) 383-6831

Published in TheAdvocate.com from July 26 to July 30, 2013