Leah L. LaBounty, age 77, of Bruce Badger Memorial Hwy, North Danville, Vt., passed away with her family beside her Early Tuesday Morning, May 5, 2020, at the St. Johnsbury Health & Rehab following a tiring battle with kidney disease and dementia.
Leah was born on April 6, 1943, in St. Johnsbury, Vt., daughter to the late Judes and Beulah (Bean) Couture. She grew up on the family farm in N. Danville. She attended the one-room school house in North Danville near the farm. She worked on the family farm every day to help with the farming chores. Her favorite chore was taking care of the horses. In particular riding them at times for them to get exercise. She always told us she would give them extra feed because they worked hard for the family. She met the love of her life one day in St. Johnsbury while doing errands with her sister Blanche and their mom Beulah. They were driving in town and spotted two young guys. It was love at first sight. Leah made it clear to her sister that the one driving was hers. And the story continued for 50-plus years. While raising the family, Leah always had family pets. In the early years raising the kids Leah had cows, pigs, chickens, goats, geese, and horses. There was always some sort of pet around to care for and love. Leah raised Pekinese dogs for years. She would stay up for hours caring for the small pups and hand feeding them on many occasions.
As the family started getting older and her kids started having kids is when she was at her happiest. She loved to see and love on the grandkids. They always had to give hugs and kisses or she would just take them and it was always a lot more than if they would have just done it. In truth they loved when she would just take them. She loved all her family with all her Heart. She was a favorite to most of her nieces and nephews because Aunt Leah, smoked, swore and even drank on occasion. Everyone always waited to see what might come out of Leah’s mouth during card games. Cards were a very big part of our family traditions and family functions. Leah and Ray would play cards multiple times a day when both were retired. It would be nothing for Leah to wake Ray up at 3 a.m., start the coffee and get the cards ready. Sooner or later there would be a few new words as the card games became more serious. When Ray passed Leah still had a passion for cards. Rummy and solitaire was her favorite. Leah had a great sense of humor and could make you laugh either when needed to or not. Leah had a passion for wrestling. This passion ended up being in the life of her grandkids. On Monday nights Ray, Rick and Ross would bring friends to stay over and watch their grandmother watch wrestling. She performed as good if not better than the wrestlers. She didn’t always like the nice or good guy. The grandkids and their friends would spend many years of Monday nights staying over at her house watching wrestling together. The kids who stayed and watched Leah still talk to this day of watching her watch wrestling. Leah worked extremely hard over the years. She worked at Littleton shoe factory, NVRH in housekeeping and eventually into her own House cleaning and carpet cleaning business. Leah and Raymond worked for NEKHS as a respite home. Leah and Raymond took many people into their home and treated each one like family. To this day we see people who lived with Leah and Raymond and tell us how much they appreciated and loved them for how they took them in and treated them like part of the family. This was one of the strongest life lessons they taught our entire family. Leah and Ray worked as a team whether it was for work or family. Almost every weekend they would make a huge pot of food in anticipation of people stopping to visit. At the end of the day a lot of family stopped and had a bite to eat and visit about what was going on in the family. Leah lived almost 11 years after Raymond’s passing. These times will ever be remembered by us all and got to know our mom at another level. We had many family functions where she was without him but would always tell us Dad was proud and he missed us as much as we missed him.
As health issues arouse where Leah needed additional help it was a pleasure to have her live at The St. Johnsbury Health and Rehab. This was a very difficult decision but one of necessity for Leah’s safety. In the two years Leah was there the family met many people who helped care for our mom. They got to know her as we did as her children and grandchildren. With all the restrictions with the world crisis going on we thank our mom’s caregivers and staff at St. Johnsbury Health and Rehab for loving and caring for her when we could not. There are some special people who work there and we were lucky to have you as part of our LaBounty Stronger team. Rest in Peace MOM you are now reunited with the Love of your life and your grandson Ray 3rd and many others family members. You will be Loved and missed by the ones you have touched.
She is survived by her four children: Myrtie Alexander and her husband, James, of Bedford, Ky., Raymond LaBounty, Jr., and his wife, Catherine, of St. Johnsbury, Beulah Nickles and husband, James of St. Johnsbury, Lee LaBounty and Fiancé Missy Rabtoy, of N. Danville, two sisters: Blanche Couture of New York, Alberta Gosslin of Maine, nine grandchildren: James & Darren Alexander of Bedford, Kentucky, Rick & Ross LaBounty of St. Johnsbury, Jake and Kaeleigh Demers of St. Johnsbury, & Kelsea Demers of Monroe, N.H., James and Keith Nickles of St. Johnsbury, James Nickles Jr of Bradford, six great-grandchildren: Laney & Koltin Alexander, Brady Nickels, Addison Demers, Brody Davis and Landon Moyse and sister in law Jackie Couture of Vergennes, VT and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by three siblings: Josephine Church, Edward Couture and John Joyce, and her grandson: Raymond LaBounty, III.
Memorial donations may be made Kingdom Animal Shelter, 1161 Portland St., St. Johnsbury, VT 05819.
The family will be available for a Processional Visitation from 10-noon on Saturday, May 16, 2020, at the Sayles Funeral Home, 525 Summer St. in St. Johnsbury. Guests are asked to drive south onto Summer Street coming in the Entrance driveway to the funeral home and circling around the building remaining in your car to greet family who will be on the front porch. Anyone on foot may greet the family while remaining on the front lawn and observing physical distancing.
A Private Graveside Service will be held via Livestream on the funeral home’s Facebook page at 1 p.m. from the Mt. Calvary Cemetery with Rev. Kirk Thompson officiating.