In memory of
Lewis La Salle
Lewis La Salle Dec. 17, 1922 - Oct. 12, 2016 Lewis Noah La Salle was born on December 17, 1922 in Atwater, California and slipped peacefully away to be with his Lord at age 93 on October 12, 2016, while surrounded by family members. Lew was extremely industrious and worked hard all of his life. He began working at age 6, selling the Merced Sun Star on the streets of Merced. Among other jobs, he was also an usher at the Merced Theatre, and a bellhop at the Tioga Hotel during his school years. After graduation and the outbreak of World War II, Lew joined the Army Air Corps in 1941 and became a B-17 pilot. His co-pilot often played Debussy's "Claire de Lune" on the harmonica, and it quickly became Lew's favorite piece. After the War Lew received an honorable discharge from the military and returned to civilian life in Merced. It was there that he met, and then married, Eleanor (Ellie) Baldasare, in 1947. She was the love of his life. They would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in February of 2017. Lew always said, "It was love at first sight." Throughout his life, Lew was a faithful and loving son, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Lew joined the La Salle Floor Company, working with his brother and his father. He became a licensed building contractor in 1955, eventually building custom homes of the highest quality throughout Merced County. He did most of the finish work on his homes because he wanted perfection. When he made a remark at home about something Ellie had done that wasn't quite "right," she would laughingly say, "Honey, I can't do perfect like you." Nothing was impossible for Lew to make. He was a master craftsman who could build anything out of wood or metal and he made many items to be auctioned off for charitable organizations. After his retirement in 1987, Lew and Ellie had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout the world. Lew loved nice clothes and was an impeccable dresser. He got grubby at work, but "washed up real good." He was also a member of the Elks Lodge for 57 years. Lew was preceded in death by his mother, Stella de Neves; his father, Thomas Edward La Salle; brother Carl La Salle, and sisters Opal Welter and Marion Reeves. He is survived by his devoted wife and soul mate of 69 years, Ellie La Salle; his son Rod (Judy) La Salle, and his daughter Cindy Smith. Lew leaves four granddaughters: Amy (Glen) Mauzy; Jeanne (Ryan) Bair; Christina Smith and Angela Smith, and three great-grandsons – Matthew Mauzy, Danny Mauzy, and Drake Bair. He also leaves behind nieces and nephews. Friends are invited to a luncheon celebration of Lew's life at noon on Friday, October 21, 2016 at Stratford Evans Reception Hall, 1490 B Street, Merced. A private family burial at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery will precede the luncheon. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to a charity of choice. Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, Love leaves a memory no one can steal. (Author Unknown) www.cvobituaries.com
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