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Lionel R. Levac


Lionel "Leo" R. Levac, 94, passed away peacefully at Coulee Medical Center, Tuesday, July 25, 2017, ending a courageous one-year effort to combat cancer. He was surrounded by his loving family.

Born to Calise and Alice Levac in a farmhouse overlooking the Saint Lawrence River near Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, Leo was one of fourteen children. When he was six years old, his family immigrated to the United States and settled in Massena, New York. Leo's formative years were spent first in Catholic and later in public schools in Massena where he excelled at math and claims to have read every history book in the school library. As a young man, Leo served as an altar boy, worked on a farm and in a bakery prior to enlisting in the U.S. Army on his 20th birthday. He served in the Western Pacific from January 1943 until December 1945.

After his military discharge, Leo returned home to New York. In 1946, he moved to Washington, initially to Seattle, but within months relocated to the Coulee area. In August 1951, he met and married D. Mildred Crawford, and Grand Coulee became his home for 66 years.

Leo's employment history in Washington includes driving taxi in Seattle and a laundry delivery van between Grand Coulee and Ephrata, and working on the siphon and tunnel portion of the Columbia Basin Project near Coulee City. Later, Leo worked for the George Nolte Company, pouring curbs and sidewalks in Coulee Dam and throughout the Pacific Northwest. He left the Nolte Company in 1972 to work for Vinnell-Dravo-Lockheed-Mannix on the Grand Coulee Dam's Third Powerhouse. He retired in 1987 as Maintenance Supervisor for the Bureau of Reclamation.

Leo was a member of the Grand Coulee Dam Seniors Inc., and served on the Grand Coulee City Council and as Commander of the local VFW. An avid golfer, Leo helped build and maintain the Banks Lake Golf Course. He also helped establish the gazebo and park area at North Dam and construct eagle roosts along the Columbia River. Until recently, he enjoyed bowling three times a week and a daily workout at the fitness center.

He is survived by his daughters: Linda (Richard) Black, Grand Coulee; Pamela Levac, Chino, California; and Teresa (Mark) Nash, Spanaway, Washington; his son, Richard (Maureen) Barnes, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada; his sister, Annette Rombough, Massena; nine grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial mass and celebration of Leo's life will be held Friday, August 4, at 11 a.m. at St. Henry's Catholic Church, 590 W. Grand Coulee Ave., Grand Coulee. A private burial has taken place at Spring Canyon Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, if you wish to honor Leo's life, you may make a donation to the Grand Coulee Seniors' Meals Program.

Please sign Leo's online register book at

Strate Funeral Home of Grand Coulee is honored to be serving Leo's family.

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