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Edward Ray LeGris
March 24, 1951 ~ January 9, 2024 (age 72) 72 Years Old
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Edward Ray LeGris went home to be with his Heavenly Father on January 9, 2024 after years of battling health issues. Ed, was born on March 24, 1951 to Lucille and Randall LeGris in Kankakee, Illinois. A middle son of 7 children, he spent his childhood with his brothers, best friend David and David’s brothers, often to be found skipping school, swimming and fishing at the Kankakee River or doing his best to win friendly boxing matches between the same crew. In 1969, Ed was being drafted into the U.S. Army to serve in the Vietnam War. Not wanting to leave his friend David, whom was being drafted by the Marine Corps, he decided to volunteer instead and became a Marine. He served three years, mostly in Vietnam, during which David’s sister Gloria (whom he’d known all through childhood) sent him many caring letters. Love blossomed between the two through their correspondence and they were married on September 4, 1971 - just a month after he separated from the Marines. They began their life together in Illinois. Ed picked up a love for carpentry working in a shop. Not only did he love wood working but he also had quite the talent for it. He even spent a few years building/remodeling celebrity tour buses. Burt Reynolds and Ronnie Milsap were just some of the buses he was most proud to have built. In 1973, Edward and Gloria welcomed their first daughter Serena Jean. The young family moved around for a few years, spending time in Illinois, Tennessee and eventually landing in Simi Valley, California where they spent the next 15 years and brought in three more children, Melissa Rose, Laura Marie and Danny Edward. Given an incredible opportunity by close family friends, Ed jumped on the chance to move the family to beautiful Stevensville, Montana in 1992. He was itching at the chance to fish the clear waters and maybe even try his hand at deer or elk hunting. Ed worked a few different odd jobs in Montana but spent many years as a courier for Farmers State Bank, where many employees, up and down the valley, enjoyed seeing his smiling face every day. Unfortunately his time in Vietnam and exposure to agent orange caught up to him and at the age of 50 he suffered a massive heart attack. God’s plans for Ed weren’t yet completed though. A very special young man, named Joshua James, and his family from Alaska chose to donate life to Ed through a heart transplant. He received a second chance at life on January 24, 2002 and Ed spent the next years with a new lease on life. Not only did he give his heart to Jesus, but he tried to become the world’s best papa to his growing list of grandchildren. His health did slow him down in later years but he still passed away as beloved Papa Ed to 21 grandchildren. His family would describe Ed as the friendliest introvert you’d ever meet. A man who would avoid large get togethers at all cost but could talk the paint off a wall standing in the grocery check out. His fighting spirit is what, no doubt, saw him through countless health events that would have taken down many robots. He is proceeded in death by his parents, Lucille and Randall LeGris, his brothers Ron and Danny and sisters Gail and Loretta. He is survived by his brothers Keith “Butch” (Suky) LeGris of Newark, California; Terry (Zula) LeGris of Chenoa, Illinois; his wife Gloria LeGris of Stevensville; his children Serena Jensen of Stevensville; Melissa (Levi) Weiss of Stevensville; Laura LeGris of Helena; Danny (Liz) LeGris of Stevensville; and his pride and joy 21 grandchildren that we know he would want all named here: Zachary, Ethan, Andrew, Madeline, Samantha, Luke, Elouise, Joshua, and Ava Jensen. Kasidie, Destannie (Zach Borkholder), Nate, Delaynie, Garrett, Kaytlin, Bellah, Sophia and Danielle Weiss. AJ, Knox and Emersley LeGris.