June 9, 1963-Feb. 22, 2019
On Friday, February 22, Lee LaBreche passed away suddenly at his home, taken away far too soon. Lee was born in Great Falls, Montana on June 9, 1963 and was adopted by Ellen and Moon LaBreche. Lee came from Moon’s family in Browning and was the precious boy that Ellen and Moon had been awaiting.
Lee was raised in Butte, Montana, attended Emerson Elementary and spent his childhood growing up on Florida Street. Lee was a mischievous child who was always up for an adventure and constantly looking for a new pet. Lee created lifelong friendships with the kids in his neighborhood including the Schultes, the Blankenships, and the McGrees. These friendships lasted throughout junior high and high school, as these boys went on to play sports at Butte Central. As a child, Lee loved sports and participated in all of them. He played baseball, football, and wrestled. He started playing these sports as a small child and his love of competition kept him active throughout high school. Lee was a great athlete, but his true passion was coaching.
Lee attended Butte Central High School and graduated in 1981. He loved his classmates and had so many memories he would share about them. He graduated a Maroon and was proud to be one. He attended MSU before moving to Western Montana College where he earned his degree in education. His passion for teaching, coaching, and mentoring made him a great role model for the kids lucky enough to be around him. He coached football for over 20 years and was a defensive genius. He loved the challenges that each game presented, as he spent hours creating new plays and watching films to find the weaknesses of his opponents.
In July of 1993, Lee married Kim Boognl. Lee and Kim met while playing softball and dated for 3 years before getting married. On March 5, 1995, Lee and Kim welcomed their daughter, Aleesha, to their world. Aleesha was the light of her daddy’s eye. Lee would do anything for his daughter and always encouraged her to be witty, spontaneous, and up for adventures. Aleesha gained her dad’s competitive spirit and she played sports with him in the stands cheering her on at every event. If he was unable to be there, Aleesha would get a pre-game pep talk. Lee and Aleesha were the best of friends and could laugh and make light of any occasion. Lee raised Aleesha to be a die-hard Broncos fan. Some of their fondest memories together were spent attending games and watching the Broncos on Sundays. The best of friends they were and will always remain. There is not a truer Daddy’s girl than Aleesha, she and Kim were Lee’s entire world.
Lee developed a great passion for the sport of golf, which eventually collided with his passion for coaching. Lee started playing in the summer of 1992 and never stopped. Every time he was given the opportunity, Lee golfed. He would play with whomever was up for a game, however, he had a crew whom he loved playing with. This group could play for days, often planning trips to see new courses, and get away from the winter. The stories and bets grew bigger every season, but the love of the game never changed. Lee accepted the position of head coach for both men’s and women’s golf teams at Montana Tech. His players respected him as a coach but could always find a friend in him as well.
Lee was elected coroner for Butte-Silver Bow in 1996 and won his last election making him the longest elected official in the county. During his time as coroner, Lee worked with law enforcement and county officials to protect the deceased, as well as provide support for the families as devastation ensued.
Lee was an amazing man. He had an infectious smile, a charming grin, and a love for Butte, America and its people. He truly wanted what was best for the community and served on many boards and groups, including the Shriners, to help better Butte in any way he could. He was always open and always there for his friends and family. His shoulders were a mile wide and would provide comfort to anyone needing them to lean on. Lee was a friend to everyone he met and all who knew him will miss him dearly.
Lee was preceded in death by his parents, Ellen and Moon LaBreche; his great grandma Nellie; and his family in both Butte and Browning.
Lee is survived by his loving wife Kim and the apple of his eye, his daughter, Aleesha. Lee is also survived by his brother, Rick LaBreche, and Rick’s special friend, Eileen of Butte, nephew Billy (Cindy) LaBreche of Florida, Dr. Carli and Hersh Hoagland of Seattle, his extended family, the Pepions of Browning, and many other family members including Kim’s mom, Alice Boognl, of Las Vegas, Nevada and her family. A special recognition to his Montana Tech golf teams.
The LaBreche family would like to extend a sincere and heartfelt thank you to Lori Durkin, A-1 Ambulance, Sheriff Ed Lester, the Butte-Silver Bow Police Department, Emergency Responders, and Duggan Dolan Mortuary for their care and services.
We invite you to join us in a celebration of Lee’s life Thursday, February 28th, at St. Ann’s Church. Visitation will begin at 9:00 a.m. and funeral services will be held at 11:00. Immediately following, a reception will be held at the Maroon Activity Center.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Butte Central Foundation, the Butte Animal Shelter, Shriners’ Children’s Hospitals, or Digger Athletics.