NOEL SALEM LESSARD
October 8th, 1920 - November 1st, 2020 (Age 100)
Noel Salem Lessard was born to Theodore and Christina Lessard in Omemee, North Dakota on October 8th, 1920. In Portland Oregon at the age of 19, he met and married his lifetime sweetheart, Dorothy Jane Walker. They remained married for more than 78 years until Dorothy's passing in April of 2019. Noel'Rocky' and Dorothy have three sons, Aaron Douglas (Molly), Stanley Dean and John Edward (Nancy). He was preceded in death by his brother Ted. Rocky is survived by his brother Oliver (Leoda) as well as several nieces and nephews. Noel held great warmth and pride whenever reflecting upon his 8 grandchildren, Michael, Jennifer, Matthew, Andrew, Anne Marie, Laura, Katie and Kristin. Additionally, Grandpa Rocky was blessed with 16 great grandchildren.Sharing an update on his family was one of his favorite topics. He considered them to be "His People" and when told he was loved, he was always quick to reassuredly respond, "I know all of my people love me!"
Rich memories of his early life on the farm caused Rocky to frequently reflect on his experiences and accomplishments. From trapping, skinning, plowing, driving teams of horses and driving a car at 10 years old, his stories were detailed and could take you to another place and time. At 16, he moved west to Oregon with his family to escape the impact of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression. He was quick to apply his entrepreneurial talents, owning his own washrack business in downtown Portland by his late teens.
Soon married, a new baby boy and a World War on the horizon, Noel re-educated himself and became a Welder, Lead-man and Ship Fitter building Liberty Ships for the war effort. Following, he served in the Navy during WWII as a 1st Class Petty Officer and Cook, 'claiming' to make the best Boston Cream pie in the Navy. At the war's end, with a growing family, Rocky entered into a Truck and Hauling business that he successfully developed and expanded until his retirement.
Rocky's interests included traveling with Dorothy, automobiles, outdoor adventures and yard projects. But more than anything, he was attracted to challenges. Conquering puzzles that couldn't be solved. Philosophising over things that couldn't be understood. He showed great patience in fixing things that couldn't be fixed. He recently said, " I like to take old tools and fix old things so they are new again." He took great joy in simply making things better. Above all things, the theme that resonated throughout Noel's life was his solid trust in God at all times; the dedication of his life and actions to follow Jesus directly in the way that he lived. Attending church, Bible studies and spiritual discussions captivated his interests and formed the foundation for the humble and kind man that he was. He was fascinated with and appreciative of every aspect of nature. In all cases, he would take time to point out how the miracle of God's creation was found in everything he observed, no matter how large or small. His standard exclamation was ,"See.... Only God could do that!."
Recently approaching the 100 year mark in October, Rocky stayed up watching the clock until midnight, "just to make sure he made it." And with God's help, he did!
Through the years, one of Noel's favorite songs could frequently be heard on his lips or whistled as he worked around the house or in the yard....'This World is not my Home...I'm just a passin' through.... gonna have a little talk with Jesus makes me whole.' And, we are so pleased to know that Rocky's song has now come to fruition. He has found his new home with Jesus.
To those who met him, Noel Lessard was a man of integrity, strength and wisdom. But to those who knew him, he was purely a man of kindness and love.
We love him so much. We will miss him so much. But, we are so truly happy for him today!
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