Larry Joe LeClerc, 78, of Lake Santee, passed from this life Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013.
Born March 24, 1935 in Shelbyville, he was the youngest of eight children of Elmer and Pearl (White) LeClerc.
His early life was spent in Shelby County. He first attended Addison Elementary, then Waldron. When Larry was in sixth grade, his family moved to Manilla, where he would spend most of his life.
An outstanding athlete, Larry was a 1953 graduate of Manilla High School and a four-year letterman in baseball and basketball. In his junior year, he led Rush County in scoring average. After graduation, he was spotted at a Major League tryout camp by a scout from the Washington Senators who sent him to an instructional league in Florida where he played for a while. He was to be sent to play next in South Carolina, but he decided instead to return home.
Larry could still recall the first time he saw Marty Miller as a blonde-haired fourth grader riding her bicycle in Manilla. After high school, they married June 5, 1955, and were married for more than 58 years.
Early in his career, Larry worked for Guarantee Auto and Nankivell Chevrolet in Shelbyville and also owned a Standard Oil station in Shelbyville. In 1964, he went to work at Allison Gas Turbine in Indianapolis and remained there until his retirement in 1993. After retirement, he worked several more years for GECOM in Greensburg as a layout inspector. He also farmed in both Shelby and Rush Counties.
Larry was an avid fan of the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers and the Purdue Boilermakers. In the early 1960s, he drove race cars at the Indianapolis Speedrome. For a number of years, he was president of Rushville Babe Ruth baseball and also served as a coach for the Babe Ruth all-stars and the league’s 16 to 17-year-old team. He attended Manilla United Methodist Church and the St. Paul United Methodist Church in Rushville.