Damon Paul LeBlond
July 29, 1942 Ė April 15, 2014
Early in the evening of April 15, 2014, our beloved Damon passed away at his home in Milwaukee due to complications arising from a heart attack earlier in the month. He was at peace and resting comfortably with his loving and devoted partner of 31 years, Jeffrey Gesser, at his side. He was 71 years old. Damon was born in Chicago on July 29, 1942, the second son of Earl and Elizabeth LeBlond. The family moved to Wisconsin to a life of dairy farming, where Damon grew up and learned to drive by tearing through the barnyard with his dadís old Jeep. In his early teen years the family left the farm and finally settled in the Town of Merton on Lake Keesus. Damon loved the lake and enjoyed ice skating and water skiing. Damon attended Arrowhead High School in the Town of Merton, where he was a star member of the senior choir, and graduated in 1960.
Forgoing a music scholarship to UWM, in the fall of 1960 Damon enlisted in the Air Force. He spent the next eight years serving his country, including two tours in Vietnam in the intelligence division. In 1967 he received the Air Force Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service for exemplary and honorable behavior in carrying out his duties.
After the service, Damon returned to Hartland, where he joined the local American Legion post. He spent the majority of his working years at Dorner Manufacturing becoming a systems installation supervisor. His work took him all over the world, but he said Ireland was his favorite destination. Damon was a pilot and flight instructor and an active member of the Experimental Aircraft Association. In the early 1970s, from a set of blueprints, he constructed an all-metal, single-place, racing aircraft capable of 300 mph. For several years he was a welcome exhibitor at Oshkosh AirVenture.
In 1982 Damon and Jeff moved to Milwaukee and began their life together, finally making their home on 53rd Street. Damon retired from Dorner in 2007, and has since enjoyed gardening, volunteering for annual gay pride events, Silver Sneakers exercise class at the YMCA, and his kitties (kids) Bootser and Abbott.
Damon was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Elizabeth LeBlond. He is survived by his partner Jeff Gesser, and by two brothers and a sister: Ladd (Esther) LeBlond of Grand Rapids, Mich., Claude (Gerianne) LeBlond of Irvine, Calif., and Robin (Tom) Eckert of Milton. He is also survived by mother-in-law Phyllis Gesser and sister-in-law Pam Hodson. Many cousins, nieces and nephews, and friends and neighbors also grieve his passing.
A memorial will be held on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at the Church and Chapel Funeral Home on 7626 W. Greenfield Ave. in West Allis. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The service beginning at 1 p.m. will include a time of sharing and a veterans salute.