Leslie Joseph Bertrand Jr.

November 9, 1946February 25, 2016

Leslie Joseph Bertrand, Jr., 69, of Jacksonville, FL passed away peacefully on February 25, 2016.

He was born in Anahuac, Texas on November 9, 1946 to Leslie Joseph Bertrand, Sr. and Ruth Savoy. Les, as he was known to everyone who knew him, graduated from East Chambers High School in Winnie, TX in 1964. Prior to his graduation he enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1963 and converted to active Navy in February 1965. He spent 23 years serving his country in the Navy until he retired in in August 1986.

During his military career he served one tour in Vietnam from 1971 to 1972. He served his country aboard the USS Hancock working on various types of aircraft as well as being part of the aircrew on the P3 Orion aircraft as a radio operator and inflight technician. He spent time in San Diego, Memphis, Chicago and finally was sent to Jacksonville where he finished out his Naval career.

After retiring from the Navy, Les worked for the City of Jacksonville as a fiber optic technician with JEA where he retired in 2011. Despite being retired, Les kept himself very busy with his involvement with the Vietnam Veterans Association of Jacksonville Chapter 1046. First he served as the Director of Public Affairs for the chapter and then ultimately served most recently as the President of the chapter. He was also active with the Patriot Guard Riders.

In addition to his extensive military service, Les never failed to make time for his family. He is survived by his wife of over 30 years Imelda Bertrand. In addition, he is survived by his daughter, Cathy Ghourley of Jacksonville, FL, his son Michael Ray (Janis) of Eau Claire, WI, his step daughter Jessica Sears of Jacksonville, FL, two grandsons, Christopher Ray and Nicholas Ray of Eau Claire, WI, his sister Betty Woods of Jennings, LA, and two brothers, Jim Bertrand (Hazel) of Kansas and Anthony Bertrand of Louisiana. He is also survived by many other friends and numerous Vietnam veteran brothers. He was preceded in death by his parents and his step son, Christopher Sears.

Funeral service will be held at 1:30 pm on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at Jacksonville’s National Cemetery. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a military veteran charity of your choice.


  • Graveside Service Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Leslie Joseph Bertrand Jr.

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Mike Hynes

April 6, 2016

Though our paths never crossed while employed at JEA I'm glad I had the pleasure of knowing you through the Vietnam Veterans of America 1046. May your soul rest in eternal peace.

Chris McLester

March 4, 2016

I'll always remember Les for his generous time and leadership contributions to VVA 1046. His star shone brightest after his significant contributions to the first VVA National Convention here in Jax. He will be sorely missed - a Veteran of true Honor.

Bob Johnson

March 4, 2016

While I only knew Les for about a year, it was clear to me from the start that he was a true Veteran and American. His heart was as big as any man I have met and he will be sorely missed by those of us at VVA 1046, V4V and our community. God Bless you and your family, Les. May you rest in peace.

Margaret Wright

March 3, 2016

Les was a Patriot of great proportions. His collection of his military service was full of interesting items. I am sure he had many stories. I've known him around 5 years since he got active in VVA #1046. He was at every event and expected everyone to do the same. I was proud to know and work with him. Margaret E. Wright (former Navy Nurse Corps).

Michael T. Montgomery

March 3, 2016 will be missed for not only your knowledge and good nature, but for your big and kind heart.... you will be missed brother ... peace ...

William (Kombat) Karandos

March 2, 2016

Thanks for your help, I could not have gotten in front of that class room and talked without your support. Thank you again for your encouragement and that slight push. You will be missed.

CJ Gauthier

March 2, 2016

I knew Les for about three and a half years. Unfortunately he and I never got to know each other, other than VVA activities. Just before he passed I met his family, Karen and I were so impressed and delighted to meet such nice people in such a sad time. Nice going Les, you obviously lived your life respectfully, we couldn't ignore the tremendous respect and love they have for you. Your going to be missed my brother sailor.

Ronald Johnson

March 2, 2016

This hero will be missed

Jerome Domask

March 2, 2016

Les you have been a most honorable man to family, friends,Country and all veterans of all wars and services!Love you "Fox Hole Buddy". Thank you for your friendship!

Blane Wilson

March 2, 2016

Ride on Brother, you are missed.
John 16:22, Amen. Bobcat