Arthur Francis Lessard was born on June 9, 1933, to Alphonse and Marie Anne (Samson) Lessard in Oakwood, North Dakota, one of six children. He passed away with his niece, Glenda Frazier, by his side on April 11, 2019, in Mesa, AZ at the age of 85 after a brief illness.
Art attended school in Grafton and the Lessard family moved in 1943 to settle in Moxee City, to join other family members in the area and take advantage of job opportunities. There he attended Holy Rosary Grade School in Moxee and Marquette High School.
He had various jobs throughout his adult life including working on Grand Coulee Dam and delivering milk for Carnation and was a truck driver for Safeway. He was a member of the Teamsters Union.
Art married in 1960 in a union that produced two sons, Alan Troy and Gregory Todd.
He met Cleo Davis on her birthday in 1979, at the Bamboo Terrace where they were introduced by friends. They were married in Hawaii on Feb. 15, 1980. They shared the story that they had wanted to marry on Valentine’s Day, but were unable to do so since it seemed the entire island had wedding bookings that day. Art retired in 1984, and he and Cleo spent half of their retirement traveling the entire Continental US in their fifth wheel RV. To mark their 50th state, they took a cruise to Alaska. They moved to Arizona in 1989, where they lived for the rest of their retirement.
He was known for his sense of humor and his family enjoyed his many goofy and entertaining stories and his love for a good beer and maintaining his cars.
Sadly, his wife, Cleo, passed away on Oct.17, 2018. Art was preceded in death by his parents, siblings Ray L., Don, and Dean Lessard, brothers-in-law Dick Schmidt and Bernard Hammermeister, sister-in-law Nancy Lessard and nephew Dale F. Schmidt.
He is survived by his two sons, Alan Lessard and Gregory Lessard of Oregon; his granddaughter Britney Ray Lessard and many nieces and nephews. Other survivors include his sisters Anna Belle Schmidt of Yakima and Linda Joyce Hammermeister of Las Vegas, sisters-in law Fran Lessard and Vi Lessard of Yakima, and Sharon Lessard of Arizona. Step-sons Jerry (Marcy) Davis of Selah and Dan (Nadia) Davis of Tacoma and their children and grandchildren.
The family wishes to recognize Hospice at Home of Arizona, as well as Rowena, Rommel and Jimmy at the Group Home, who went above and beyond to make sure that Art was well taken care of in his final days. His niece, Glenda Frazier, and her daughter, Chante Frazier and her friend, Alec Carpenter, were a strong support system for Art’s needs in the last year of his life.
Family and friends are invited to a celebration of his life on Aug. 18 at the Yakima Arboretum from 1-3 p.m.