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Mass of Christian Burial for Connie LeBlanc (nee Tirabasso), age 98, of Wickliffe, will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, January 22, 2024, at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church 29850 Euclid Ave., Wickliffe.
Connie LeBlanc passed away January 15, 2024, at Brookdale Senior Living of Wickliffe.
She was born on November 25, 1925, in Wickliffe, Ohio. Connie lived in Wickliffe her entire life. She was one of three children of Angela and John Tirabasso. Both had emigrated from Italy to the United States through Ellis Island and moved to Wickliffe when they were young. Connie and her two brothers, Henry and Albert, were never taught Italian because their parents believed they needed to become part of their new country.
All three attended Wickliffe public schools. Connie participated in any sports that girls were allowed to play at the time. She was always frustrated that girls could only play half-court basketball just because they were females. She also played volleyball and badminton. She loved to write letters and papers and wrote her brothers weekly while they were serving in the US military during World War II in the European theater. She graduated from Wickliffe High School on June 1, 1943 as her class valedictorian.
After high school, Connie attended Fenn College to become a secretary. Although she was studying secretarial work, she never lost her love of writing. She rode a bus every day into Cleveland from Wickliffe with the same group of people Thinking that they would want to know about each other, she started a newspaper that quickly became a favorite. Every week she and a couple of other bus riders would interview the passengers and type up a newspaper for everyone on the bus. She left school and got a job as an executive secretary at TRW in Euclid.
Beyond work she loved to travel. Her father, John, was not happy about a single woman traveling with her friends, but our mom felt she needed to see and experience as much as possible. She met Henry, who would become her husband, on a golf course where he apparently “fell in love with her swing.” They both loved to golf, bowl, and travel. She was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. She was an active member of several organizations including the Lady’s Oratinese Club, the American Legion Auxiliary Post 7, the Legion of Mary at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and the Richmond Heights Garden Club. She managed funding for the Wickliffe Well Baby Clinic that was created to support young unwed mothers. She also was a Troup leader for the Girl Scouts of America. Connie was a strong supporter of the democratic process and regularly volunteered as a poll worker during elections. While participation in such organizations already says a lot about Connie’s character, she also sought out leadership roles within the various organizations she was passionate about.
Connie always demonstrated dedication, commitment, and resilience. She even became part of cutting-edge research in stroke recovery, though not by choice. She had a significant stroke that would have likely ended her life, but she ended up as part of a research program that revolutionized the treatment of strokes. She may not have enjoyed the helicopter ride to the University Hospital in Cleveland, but the treatment resulted in a near full recovery and several interviews on local TV stations.
Above all else however, she loved her family. She gave up her work to become a full-time homemaker and never regretted her choice. Late in life, she spent as much time as possible with her six grandchildren. One of her grandchildren, Rachel, ended up being the valedictorian of her high school class following in her grandmother’s steps.
Survivors are her son, John (Gwen) LeBlanc; daughter, Cindy (Michael) Yanasak; and grandchildren, Matthew and Rachel LeBlanc, Derek, Brett, Ryan and Jacob Yanasak.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Angela (nee Fatica) Tirabasso; brothers, Henry and Albert Tirabasso.
The family will receive friends at The Orlando-Donsante-Previte Funeral Home 29550 Euclid Ave., Wickliffe, on Sunday, January 21st from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Entombment will be in Knollwood Cemetery in Mayfield Hts.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Connie’s memory to the Hospice of the Western Reserve P.O. BOX 72101 Cleveland, OH 44192.
Hospice of the Western Reserve
P.O. BOX 72101, Cleveland OH 44192