Lt. Col. James R. LeGros

Friday, April 21, 2023
Lt. Col. James R. LeGros

A Mass of Christian Burial for Lt. Col. James R. LeGros (Ret.) will be held at on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at 2:00 PM at Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Jennings, LA with Father Keith Pellerin, Dec. Frank Cormier & Dec. Art Bakeler officiating. A burial will follow with full Military Rites in Andrus Cove Cemetery.

A Gathering of Family and Friends will begin on Friday, April 21, 2023, at 5:00 PM with a Rosary recited at 6:00 PM with Dec. Art Bakeler officiating and will continue until 8:00 PM.

The Funeral Home will reopen on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at 11:00 AM and remain open for family and friends until the time to proceed to Church for Mass at 2:00 PM.

Jim was born August 23, 1932, in Mermentau, LA, to Oneal and Eliza (Henry) LeGros, the youngest of 10 children, where they lived on the family rice farm. Losing his mother to illness at the age of 11 and his father prior to graduation from high school, LeGros moved with his sister and brother-in-law Anthony and Lillian Egger to New York City. He graduated from Newtown High School in Queens, NY, before returning to his home state to attend Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, on an ROTC scholarship. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and was then commissioned as an officer to the US Air Force.

Depending on his locale, “Gutsy” or “Frenchy” as he was known, served his country honorably flying 3000+ hours as one of the first navigators in the F-101 to reach that milestone. From the Voodoo Surfers to the Happy Hooligans, his distinguished military career saw him participating in the William Tell aerial gunnery competition as a function of his training and skill set to defend the Continental United States. His skills as a Weapons School Officer were instrumental in the success of the North Dakota Air National Guard unit winning 3 years in a row. Upon retirement from the Air Force, LeGros moved his family from his last station in Fargo, ND, to Roanoke, LA, where he joined the security service for Citgo Petroleum. They later moved to Lake Charles and finally to Alamo Heights, TX in retirement.

LeGros met his sweetheart and love of his life, Sue Casey, in 1958 at a snow cone stand in Mermentau and they were married 1 year later in Goose Bay, Labrador. They started a family in Montana with the birth of their daughter, Brigitta, followed by the birth of daughters Jennifer and Deborah while stationed in Oxnard, CA. A son, James O’Neal LeGros was born in Fargo, ND, who’s name honors his father, Oneal LeGros and Jim’s brother McNeal who perished on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor.

James lived his life honorably, respectfully, with grace, profound kindness, and an unwavering faith. He taught his children and grandchildren the understanding of true love and to embrace the relationships of those in their lives. He was 4th degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus which he served in for 74 years.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Barbara Sue Casey LeGros, children Jennifer (Billy) Andrew, Deborah LeGros, and James LeGros as well as grandchildren William Jr. and Allison Andrew, Casey Andrew, Jackson LeGros, and Kylee Andrew. He leaves one great grandson, William “Trae” Andrew III.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Brigitta, his parents Oneal and Liza LeGros, as well as his 9 sibilings; Olive (Joe) Liechty, Hazel (Cornelius) Bienvenu, Laura (C.P.) Woods, Bessie (Verne) Alston, Lawrence (Melba) LeGros, Lillian (Anthony) Egger, Eula Rodrigue, McNeal LeGros, and Lucille (Don) Bailey.

In Lieu of Flowers the Family ask that donations be made in honor of James to St. Jude’s or Tunnel 2 Towers Foundation.

To extend online condolences, please visit our website at Arrangements have been entrusted to Matthews & Son Funeral Home.