Albert “Pitou” Clarence Lebel (1933—2017)
MONTEREY, Calif. — Albert Clarence Lebel (Pitou) died on Saturday, October 14, 2017, in Monterey, California, at age 84. Albert was born on September 10, 1933, in Van Buren, to Wilfrid and Ida Lebel.
He was an avid basketball player and boxer in high school and remained a sports enthusiast throughout his life (Go Crusaders). After graduating from high school, Albert joined the Air Force. He was stationed all over the United States, Europe, and Asia. As a young Airman, he served during the Korean War, and in 1968-69, he served during the Tet Offensive in Saigon, Vietnam, using his native French skills to negotiate contracts and procure supplies for the war effort. He served honorably more than 22 years and was a lifetime member of the American Legion. After retiring, he settled back in his hometown of Van Buren, where he managed the Ammex Duty Free International store on Bridge Street. He retired from Ammex, and in 1994 Albert moved to Monterey, California, to be near his children. He loved spending time with his family and visiting with his friends at the American Legion of Monterey.
Albert is survived by his two daughters, Regina Lebel of Monterey, Denise Lebel of Pebble Beach, his son, John Lebel of Monterey, California, and his granddaughter, Sophia Lebel Newman of Houston, Texas. He was preceded in death by his sister, Theresa Kellum, his brothers, Kit Lebel and James Lebel, and is survived by his brothers, Raymond Lebel, Dee Lebel, his sisters, Bobbie Lebel, Marlene Reed, Jeannine Daigle, Della Bentz, and Patsy Barth. A service for Albert Lebel will be held at St. Bruno’s Catholic Church in Van Buren in the spring.