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Pastor remembers union 'giant'

Lee Daigle, 93, who died Dec. 28, helped wire the stoplights of Orange County.

January 03, 2012|By the Rev. Sarah Halverson, Special to the Daily Pilot
  • Lee Daigle
Lee Daigle (Daily Pilot )

Fairview Community Church was filled Tuesday morning when mourners gathered to grieve and celebrate the life of Lee Daigle.

Lee recently died of natural causes. He was 93.

A 70-year member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Daigle was a giant in his union. He began as an electrician in Montana, but moved to Orange County in 1954. He laid lines in the young community and literally helped empower it to grow into what it is today.

Present to honor and memorialize Lee's life were the executive director of the Orange County Labor Federation, Teferi Gebre; IBEW local 441 leaders Doug Mangione and Mike Paulsen; family; friends and members of his faith community.

"Every time you are stopped at a stoplight here in Orange County, you can remember Lee," Gebre said. "He trained the electrician who worked on that stoplight, or he trained the trainer who trained the electrician. Everywhere we go we are reminded of his impact upon our county."

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Paulsen's eulogy described how dedicated and hardworking Daigle had been. He was always looking forward, learning new technologies and embracing the future, he said.

Even after he retired, well into his 80s and 90s Daigle was a staple at union hall meetings.

"If there is one word to sum up Lee Daigle, it is 'integrity,'" Paulsen said, visibly moved by the loss.

Daigle was an active member of Fairview Community Church, a man of great faith, a devotee of Robert's Rules of Order, a dedicated grandfather and a committed member of organized labor ever loyal to the IBEW.

He lived an extremely full life, was on no medications, worshiped with his church on Christmas Day and ate dinner with his son Dec. 27.

He died of natural causes sometime early Dec. 28.

Present to remember, honor, grieve and celebrate his life were the Daigles: his sister, Tempie, two sons Charles and Joseph, his daughter in-law Melody, and grandsons Alec and Nolan.

We all loved him dearly.

SARAH HALVERSON is the reverend at Fairview Community Church in Costa Mesa.

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