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Leone LapeyreSeptember 11, 1930 ~ July 20, 2017 (age 86)
Leone Lapeyre, 86, of Great Falls, was called home on July 20, 2017. A Visitation will be held at Croxford Funeral Home in the Rose Room Chapel at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, July 25th, with the Funeral Services directly after at 11:00 AM, followed by Burial at Highland Cemetery.
Leone was born on September 11, 1930 on the homestead in Flatwillow, Montana, to Harry and Tillie (Kuhlman) Wilkinson. In 1938 the family moved to a farm on the Fairfield bench, where she lived until graduation from Fairfield High School in 1948. Upon graduation, she moved to Great Falls. It was in Great Falls that she met her future husband, Robert (Bob) R. Lapeyre, on a blind date at the Black Eagle Country Club. They were married in January 1951, and later that same year welcomed a daughter, Loretta (Lori). During this time, she worked for the Home Insurance Company until she took a position with the American Casualty Company in 1954. In 1957, the family moved to Los Angeles, CA, where she continued her career in insurance, while Bob worked as an electrician. That same year the family grew a little more with the addition of a son, Harry. They later settled in Pomona, CA, where she made her mark in the world of insurance, becoming the first female claims representative for Allstate.
In October 1966, the family packed up again and moved back home to Great Falls and began work at American Adjustment Co., later joining up with Travelers Insurance. While Leone continued her career, so did Bob. He became an electrician at Malmstrom AFB. Somehow while working and raising her family, she found time to join the local chapter of the National Association of Insurance Women. She served as Treasurer, and later as President, obtaining her CPIW designation, and was awarded Insurance Woman of the Year and Claims Woman of the Year for her region. She then served as Treasurer and President of the Adjusters Association, receiving their Life Time Achievement Award. Needless to say her family was more than proud of her accomplishments, achievements and dedication to her career. In April of 1985, after 36 years in the insurance industry, Leone retired from Travelers.
Leone and Bob travelled extensively during their retirement, often bringing their grandsons, Josh and Heath, so they could experience the beauty of Montana. They both considered the births of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as the greatest moments in life. They loved them all dearly. Sadly, her beloved Bob became ill in 1992, and after 42 years of marriage passed away the following year. After Bobs’ passing Leone volunteered with the VFW and Eagles Auxiliary. She also gardened, raising wonderful tomatoes, all while staying in close contact with her retired insurance women that she considered sisters. She bowled on two ladies’ teams as well as the Elks Senior League and the Little Lanes Seniors, developing a close friendship with one of her teammates, Donald Mancuso. They shared many common interests and remained close until Leones passing.
Leone leaves behind her daughter, Loretta “Lori” (Michael) Walker; a son, Harold; grandson, Heath Walker; great-grandsons, Deston Walker and Corbin Walker and a great-granddaughter, Hailee Walker, as well as numerous nieces and nephews, and her longtime special friend, Donald Mancuso.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Tillie; husband, Bob; brothers, Clare and Bob; sisters, Evelyn, Ann, and Lola, and her cherished grandson, Josh.
Donation may be made in Leone’s name to the Great Falls Rescue Mission.