Paul Andre LaBlanc
July 1, 1966 – December 26, 2020
Paul Andre LaBlanc was born July 1, 1966 and for many years knew the fireworks that followed during his birthday week were to honor him and him alone. He died on December 26, 2020. Paul skipped school with great regularity, spent time at the Tin Soldier with his friends, loved to play games and have adventures, and ride his bike all over Minneapolis. He loved and hated his sisters, depending on the moment (mostly loved at the end). Paul joined the US Army and served on a tank crew both here and abroad, on active duty and in the reserves. While rattling around in an overly hot/cold unsteerable dumpster that could explode at any moment seems like a dream job, he didn’t recommend it as a long-term career and please know that it’s really not a good activity if you want to keep your hearing intact. After the military, Paul worked for a number of local companies, among his favorites were Sims Security and the Star Tribune, because of the good people he met and worked with. His favorite Broadway musical, first attended under extreme protest, was Mamma Mia! and he recommends anyone who turns their noses up at musical theater get off their butts and try really watching a season of shows before making a final decision either way. Once he had paid his bills, he was the first person to buy lunch or send flowers or make a donation. He loved the Minnesota Golden Gophers Football team and was a long time season ticket holder. Paul’s favorite activities during the last decade of his life were spending time with his family and good friends Russ, Kerry, David, Josh, and Megan Irwin, and spending time at the Fairview Achievement Center. Preceded in death by parents Ambrose W. LaBlanc and Doris Pauline LaBlanc Kjeseth; brother John LaBlanc, step-sister Sue Fields, and nephew Robbie Long. Survived by his wife, Carrie Meyer; sisters Paula Wallace (Pete), & Cathy Dorn (Joe); step-brother Mark Kjeseth; out-law parents Allen & Cindy Meyer; brothers-in-law Pete Meyer & Joe Meyer (Susan, who he said is indeed the greatest); his favorite aunt by marriage Theresa Scott; nieces and nephews Michael Wallace, Sidamo Wallace, Katherine Meyer, Rowan Meyer, John Meyer, Elizabeth Meyer, Elizabeth Stromberg, Joshua & Christopher Kjeseth, Marquita Jones, Carol Brickman, Jamie Fields, & Kristin Schaffer; godchildren Emily and Erin Bohmbach; aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Paul has asked that we hold a celebration (a party!) in his memory and we may arrange an online event as well. The in-person event will take place at a later date, given the pandemic. Paul promised live music, an open bar, and little ham sandwiches where the ham is pretty much guaranteed to shoot out of the bread as soon as you take a bite.
Want to do something right now to remember Paul?
1. Flowers/plants? Please consider patronizing Paul’s friend Lyn’s shop Brown and Greene Floral Market https://www.bgfloral.net/ and share the beauty with yourself, your loved ones, or neighbors. Brown and Green is located at 4400 Beard Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410, 612-928-3778. Paul loved Lyn’s artistry.
2. Memorials? Paul asked that any donations go to the Fairview Achievement Center (no gift is too small). Checks should be written to Fairview Achievement Center, Suite 140, 2200 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55114. To donate online, visit https://www.fairview.org/giving (Fairview Foundation) and click the Make a Gift button. In “Where would you like to designate your gift?” choose “Other” and then in the “Other fund designation” field, state Fairview Achievement Center.
3. Volunteer? The Fairview Achievement Center and similar organizations–programs for people living with diseases that impact mental or physical abilities–always need volunteers. Call and see what you can do, and everyone can do something. Read to people over the phone or on Zoom. When in person activities start again, head over to a day program or nursing home once a month and help people eat lunch for an hour. Take a morning off and help with an art project. Set up a gig where you practice your kazoo with people. Help decorate the place for a party. Call Bingo games. Stop by with a toolkit and help tighten up all the loose gizmos on wheelchairs and walkers. Sew bags/blankets that fit wheelchairs.
4. Consider having a tough conversation with your family and friends about your health care if you develop a disease like Multiple Sclerosis. Are you cool with a catheter (these things are a godsend)? Never want to be wheelchair-bound (though they make some really cool off-road chairs now)? Talk about your end of life journey too. What do you want your last months or days to look like? How would you like to be remembered? Start small, maybe you prefer cremation or burial in a casket? Pick up the conversation later with how much money people should spend on a funeral for you or a celebration of life. Then start talking about details for your celebration or funeral or burial/memorial site. Do you hate gladiolus flowers and want to ban them, or would you love to have old car parts festoon the event? Want everyone to wear a kilt/skirt? Soon it will be less troublesome to talk about whether you want a DNR/DNI, discuss organ donation, comfort care, etc. If you start now it will be easier or even effortless when these decisions are needed, and it will be a weight off everyone’s shoulders. You can always change your mind as you grow and learn, too.