Elvin Joseph Leger, age 93, died on April 30, 2019 at St. Joseph Hospital of cardiac arrest.  He is survived by step-daughters, Donna (Jerry) Richardson of Ferndale and Sandra Sullivan of Fortuna. His legacy includes 7 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, 11 great-great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews of Louisiana.

He was the last surviving sibling of five and was predeceased by his wife, Karla, of almost 50 years, in 2007.  He was born November 19, 1925 in Rayne, Louisiana to Lozen Joseph Leger, a farmer, and his wife, Nola Marie Dupont.

Jay, as he was known to his friends, entered the military in July of 1943 when he enlisted in the US Navy in New Orleans.  After recruit training in San Diego, his first assignment was aboard the USS Blackhawk, AD-9, a destroyer tender of the Pacific Fleet. Their duty was to support small ships in the invasion of Attu Island. He also served aboard the USS Springfield, USS Eldorado, USS Missouri, USS Wisconsin, USS New Jersey and the USS Tolovana. He also applied for and was sent to crypto repair school and teletype repair school. Eventually, he was sent to NAVFAC Centerville, somewhere in the middle of a cow pasture. The first compliment of sailors had trouble finding it at first but arrived in l957. The new base was commissioned during his watch in March of 1958. During this time he met and married Karla Cox.

In 1960 he spent a year in Bainbridge, Maryland attending Advance Radioman School and after that was transferred to COMSTRIKFORSOUTH in Naples, Italy for four years.  Upon returning stateside, served as an instructor at NAVSCOICOM, Mare Island in Vallejo.

When he was separated from active duty, he was transferred to fleet reserve with the rank of RMCS on April 1, 1968.  He and Karla spent retirement years traveling in their motor home and enjoyed hosting family holiday gatherings at their home in Trinidad.  In later years he looked forward to spending time with his fellow Lion Club members and morning coffee with the Dog House Gang.

During his military service he was awarded four Good Conduct Medals, the Korean Service Medal (2 stars), the Vietnam Service Medal and three United Nations and National Defense Service Medals.

A private burial was held at Ferndale Cemetery with plans for a Memorial Service to be held later this summer.

“Wishing you Fair Seas and Smooth Sailing, Chief.  We all love you.”


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Jay Leger’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.