Russell Lalevee

Obituary of Russell R. Lalevee

Russell Reeve Lalevee, Sr., 94 Creative great-grandfather RARITAN TWP. -- Russell R. Lalevee, Sr. died on Wednesday, December 12, 2007, at Independence Manor, an assisted living residence in Flemington. He was 94. Mr. Lalevee was born on April 13, 1913 in Newark to Rudolph G. and Edna Mae (Johnson) Lalevee. He was predeceased by his wife of 63 years Anne (Hiney) Lalevee in 2000, and a brother, Rudolph. Mr. Lalevee led an active, creative, diverse life while always loving and looking out for the welfare of his beloved wife and family. He lived in Hillside for most of his life before retiring to Chatham, MA in 1979. He moved back to Annandale, New Jersey after the death of his wife. For 31 years he was a sales manager and dental office designer for the L.D. Caulk Co. and Walter Dental, from which he retired in 1978. He designed many dental offices in northern New Jersey. Along the way he was a weekend dental ceramist, brokered hundreds of dental practices and earned U.S. Patents for an automotive dip stick guide, a no-drip tooth brush and an attached pencil eraser cleaner. After graduating Hillside High School, he took classes in pre-law, electrical engineering, drafting, naval architecture, optical theory and advanced engineering drawing. These skills led to civilian assignments during World War II at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, NY and then as a mechanical engineer and technical illustrator at Frankford Arsenal in Philadelphia. He is credited with resolving the optical design flaw in the gun sight in tanks. Mr. Lalevee was an avid organic gardner long before it was fashionable, and also enjoyed fishing, boating and hunting in Vermont and Wyoming. He made his own wine and spirits, read voluminously and played the cello. He also designed and built his home in Hillside, and designed and helped to complete his retirement home on Cape Cod. To the delight of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Mr. Lalevee wrote and self-published an autobiography highlighting his adventures and pranks growing up in Hillside in the 1920s. He was a member of the Pico-Killington Gun Club and a founding member of the Cape Cod Inventors Club. He is survived by his son, Russell R. Lalevee, Jr. and his wife Joan of Minnetrista, MN., and four daughters, Mary Jane L. Copenhaver and her husband Ronald of Millville and North Wildwood, Nancy Lalevee of Willingboro, Rosemary L. Carroll and her husband Edward of Annandale, and Marian Lalevee and her husband Paul Dubovic of Chatham, MA., and 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A private service will be held at Martin Funeral Home in Clinton followed by private interment in Hilltop Cemetery, Mendham.
A Memorial Tree was planted for Russell
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Martin Funeral Home
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