WATERBURY Loretta LeBlanc of 45 Savings St. died on Feb. 4 after a long illness. She was 78.
She was the first and only commissioned lay minister for health care at St. Mary Magdalen Parish. For that parish, she also was an extraordinary minister of holy Communion and annual blood drive organizer, a lector, religious education teacher, parish council member, promoter of womens retreats, school carnival worker, chaperone for confirmation class retreats and church collection assistant.
In 2005, the parish honored her for 45 years of service to the church, school and community. Father Stuart Pinette, pastor at the time, credited Miss LeBlanc with "150 years of living out the Gospel" in recognition of her concurrent volunteerism.
She also received, in 2002, the Nelson Bridges Award from the American Red Cross, honoring her as the outstanding volunteer in the Waterbury area for her many voluntary efforts for that organization.
After her mother, the late Adele LeBlanc, moved to Abbott Terrace in 1979, Miss LeBlanc distributed holy Communion to residents there from many parishes. She continued to do that for 20 years.
A professional duckpin bowler, Miss LeBlanc won a number of titles, including the 1970 National Duckpin Bowling Congress Singles Championships, and twice qualified for the all-stars.
She retired after 43 years from the Sealy Mattress Co.
She is survived by two brothers, Robert of Watertown and Ronald of Waterbury; a sister, Anita Siarkowski of Plantsville; 15 nieces and nephews; 27 grandnieces and grandnephews; and one great-grandnephew.
Besides her mother, she was predeceased by her father, Ernest LeBlanc; and brother, Ernest.