Jean Olive (Herzog) LeBlanc passed away into the arms of her heavenly father at the age of 96 at her home in Brutus on June 9, 2020. Jean was born in Dearborn on Feb. 22, 1924. She graduated from Saint Alphonsus High School in Dearborn in 1942 and married the love of her life, Joseph Andrew LeBlanc, on Sept. 12 that same year. Joe and Jean were blessed with 17 children, forming a group that was often referred to as “Joe and Jean’s Club 17.” They lived in Plymouth until 1975, when Joe and Jean moved to the Burt Lake and Wolverine area. Joe ran Machine Tool & Gear with his eight sons from the 1950s to 1998. Both Joe and Jean had a deep devotion to their Catholic faith and, in 1989, they opened a K-12 Catholic School in Burton called Saint Thomas More Academy. It is still in operation.
A lover of the outdoors, Jean enjoyed boating, skiing, hiking, Red Wings hockey and hunting. (She bagged a black bear in her late 60s!) She also loved a clean house, a good garage sale, a ruthless game of Pinochle and a houseful of well-fed guests. Nothing could light up Jean’s face more than holding a new baby, and there was always room for one more. She spoke kindly of everyone, embraced life with a constant smile, and was optimistic and determined in the face of any challenge. Her positivity, faith and kindness will live on through her 17 children, her 139 grandchildren and her 160 great grandchildren.
Jean is survived by her 17 children: Jean (Mitch) Sysko, Dorothy (Larry) Leahy, Joseph (Charlotte) LeBlanc, James (Kathy) LeBlanc, Donald (Jane) LeBlanc, Jon (Margaret) LeBlanc, Margaret (Dave) Carlson, Timothy (Colleen) LeBlanc, Thomas (Catherine) LeBlanc, Susan (James) Gow, Donna Suter, Mary Jo (James) Allen, Michelle (Larry) Forton, Patrick (Teresa) LeBlanc, Therese (Edward) Mackowiak, Daniel (Nicole) LeBlanc, Anne Crittenden. She also is survived by her brother and sister-in-law Don and Annette Herzog.
Jean is preceded in death by her husband Joe, her parents Tom and Olive Herzog and her sisters Dorothy Gallagher and Joan Herzog.
The family will receive friends beginning at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, June 11, with the Mass following at 11:30 a.m. then a reception, all held at the LeBlanc family property, 15600 Perry Road, Wolverine (off Trowbridge Road). Internment will take place at 6 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery in Riggsville. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial contribution to Saint Thomas More Academy, 6456 East Bristol Road, Burton, Michigan 48519 (http://stma-mi.org/support/).