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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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James L. LeMay

James L. LeMay, 86, of Menominee, Mi., passed away March 3 surrounded by his family and friends.

Born on Sept. 22, 1927 in Marinette to the late Joseph and Mary (Sauve) LeMay, he grew up in the area and joined the United States Army as World War II was coming to a close. Training for the anticipated invasion of Japan, he was stationed in California and was aboard a military boat that caught fire while on routine maneuvers. Several crew members were killed, but he survived his injuries after spending 16 weeks in a military burn facility. He became a skilled mechanic before ending his term as an Army Sergeant. After service, he returned to Marinette in 1947 and worked multiple jobs while using his skills as a mechanic to repair cars on the side.

On a snowy night in Menominee as a Taxi driver, he met his future wife, Marjorie Kolberg, and they were married on Nov. 22nd, 1950 in Florence. Taking advantage of the G.I. Bill, he became a skilled private pilot and 1st Lieutenant with the Civil Air Patrol and developed a core group of friends. He survived a violent plane crash while test flying a single engine aircraft at Twin County Airport in 1967. That ended his flying desire and he chose to purchase lakefront property on Shakey Lakes, which became a gathering point for family.

Working as a laborer, he transitioned into the maintenance department for Prescott Factory in Menominee for 16 years, then took a position with Vernco/Emerson in Menominee and began studying for his electrical certification as a maintenance technician. While working full time, he started his own electrical business on residential and commercial projects. He became a supervisor of the maintenance department and retired as plant engineer of Emerson Electric.

He was board president of the Menominee Area Credit Union and was an active member of the Menominee Zoning Board. His early retirement was spent in Arizona and then wintered in Florida.

He enjoyed fine arts and music,with his favorite singer being Luciano Pavarotti. He enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren grow and prosper.

He is survived by his wife, Marjorie; three daughters, Donna (Bob) Gorenchan, Debbie (Brian) Chouinard and Diane Ravet; four sons, Jim (Mary Ann) LeMay, Jeff (Lori) LeMay, Jerry (Debbie Demille) LeMay and Rob (Julie) LeMay; 19 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; a sister, Alice Tuscan; a brother, William Bill LeMay and other family members and friends.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Mary Louise; a son, Joel and two brothers, Robert and Richard LeMay.

Friends may call at the Cadieu-Thielen Funeral Home on Friday, March 7 from 1 p.m. until the time of funeral services at 4 p.m. Military honors will be conducted by the Military 20 Year Club, followed by services by Chaplain Karen Anne Hanson with Heartland Hospice. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery in Menominee.


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