Jacques R. Legros1933 - 2023
OBITUARY: JACQUES R. LEGROS
1933 – 2023
Today, we gather here to honor and pay tribute to the life of Jacques R. Legros, a remarkable man who touched the hearts of many during his 89 years on this earth. Jacques was a loving father, a dedicated mason, a connoisseur of Haitian, Spanish & world music, and a loyal employee of John Hancock Insurance until his retirement. As we remember him today, let us celebrate the legacy he leaves behind and the profound impact he had on the lives of those around him.
Jacques R. Legros-Bastien was born on September 9, 1933 to parents Rodolphe “Dodof” Legros and Elizabeth Anna Bastien in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Hispaniola. His father was a talented singer, songwriter, and musical composer. Dodof sang cutting edge poetic songs to audiences in packed ballrooms throughout the French Caribbean Islands, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the USA, Canada and France. Manman Nanotte was a love song of sorts written, composed, and sang by Dodof for his love, Elizabeth Anna Bastien, when Dodof was courting her in the late 1920s and early 1930s. From this beautiful melodic love song and relationship, Jacques was born. He was the first-born of his dear mother, preceding his five (5) siblings: Laura Bastien Moliere, Dr. Wiener Bastien, Gerald Bastien, Marie-Francelie Calixte and Marie-Violette Regis.
Jacques was affectionately known by many nicknames to many, including Ticobert, Jack, Jacko, Daddy, Champ, and of course Papa Jacques. He attended primary studies at Lycee Petion, secondary studies at the prestigious private school Chez Penetre, and Accounting in English at Krane Business School. His first job in Haiti was as an Adjunct Accountant, and eventually the Minister of Education. Wanting to fulfill a need he recognized in his community, he, along with a few family members and friends successfully founded a primary school named Solon Menos. The school lasted a few years until he moved to the United States in the early 1960s. He then attended business school in New York and embarked on his first job in the Accounting department of a major bank utilizing his French language skills. He then worked as an Insurance Agent at John Hancock Financial for many years until he eventually retired.
Jacques married Josette Tiffau, became widowed. He and his best friend, Leon J. Mars eventually married sisters. Jacques married Simone Jean-Louis, and Leon married Elida Jean-Louis. Jacques & Simone were married at Notre Dame de la Salette in Montreal, Canada. Together, with the assistance of their mothers, Elizabeth Anna Bastien and Constancia Jean-Louis, they raised five (5) children: Marjolie Legros-Sanders, Chantal M. Legros (deceased), Donald J. Legros, Linda J. Legros, and Evans J. Legros. He also became guardian / father figure to his loving nieces Natasha Calixte and Alexandra Bates-Calixte who were also raised in the home. As a father to them all, he nurtured and guided each of them with a kind and gentle spirit. His love knew no bounds, and he instilled in them values that have become the foundation of their lives. Jacques and Simone celebrated over 42 years of marriage until her passing in 2010. He and Leon remained close friends and lived like brothers until Leon’s passing in 2021 where he was survived by his wife, Elida, and their children Wilhelm, Marie, & Harry Mars.
Jacques’ life passion was generally People, particularly family, neighbors, fraternal lodge brothers, and friends. He would host countless large Sunday Dinners and Christmas Eve gatherings at his Queens home, welcoming and having a small gift for all who would stop by. Jacques was a devoted father, godfather, grandfather, uncle, neighbor and friend. His loyalty in whatever role he played was unmeasurable. He enjoyed the simple things in life and mainly relationships with family and friends. He would go on short excursions, taking long drives with a car full of family members and friends, going to camp grounds, amusement parks or the beach or some playground, anywhere the young family members would enjoy. He and Simone travelled throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean Islands. Jacques, a charismatic man, also would spend his free time with friends and family over a game of Dominoes or Bingo. He simply enjoyed being around people and being the life of a party!
One of the passions that brought Jacques immense joy was his love for music. Through the melodies and rhythms of his father’s music, he found solace and happiness. It is through this music that he connected with his roots, keeping a piece of his heritage alive wherever he went. The sound of music will forever be a reminder of the joy he found in life’s simplest pleasures.
Jacques faced every challenge with courage and resilience. His strength of character was evident in the way he persevered and conquered obstacles, leaving behind valuable lessons for all of us to learn. He has accumulated countless photographs and videos to journal the family’s journey. His presence will continue to be felt in the lives of his children and the generations that follow.
Jacques is survived by his children, his sister Marie-Violette Regis, brother-in-law Gary Regis, sister-in-law Elida Mars, cousins Jocelyn, Mario, & Patrick Denis, the Legros family, the Mars family, and the following families: Cherenfant, Bastien, Calixte, Celestin, Cherubin, Regis, Bates, Bazile, Blake, Boone, Bourjolly, Dabady, Dorcely, Fequiere, Goldman, Jean-Louis, Juste, Marcy, Moliere, McMorris, Massillon, Miloje, Thomas, Orange, Pasquet, Pierremont, Prophete, Sanders, Sanon, Sorel, Toussaint, countless nieces, nephews, god-children, by his three (3) grand-children: Chrysandra, Brianna and Davante Sanders and countless neighbors from Haiti, Brooklyn, 225th Street in Rosedale, Queens (Stuart, O’Connor, Ross, Florio, McNeshie, Moore, Johnson, Pride, Tranquille), his caring health aides, and throughout the USA.
Though his physical presence may be gone, his spirit lives on in the hearts of those who loved him. May he rest in eternal peace. May his soul find serenity in the embrace of eternity. His life was the beautiful melody from which he was born, and his memory will forever resonate in our hearts.