MALTA - Dawn E. (DeCelle) LeClair died peacefully at home on November 2, with her devoted husband, Jim, by her side following a brief illness. Born on November 14, 1949, she was the daughter of the late Leon “Frog” and Betty DeCelle. In addition to her parents, her in-laws, John Edward and Margaret LeClair, and her niece, Jocelyn LeClair pre-deceased her.
Dawn was a proud graduate of the Mechanicville High School class of 1967 and received her bachelor’s degree from SUNY Plattsburgh, a master of arts in teaching degree from SUNY Albany, and an additional master’s degree from North Adams State College. She taught English at Ballston Spa High School for 33 years, retiring in 2004. Dawn always loved teaching and was extremely proud of her students and their accomplishments and developed rich, decades-long friendships with many of her colleagues.
Following her retirement, she continued to contribute to higher education. She supervised student teachers pursuing their master’s degrees in education in the field of English at the Sage Colleges and scored tests for the New York State teacher certification exams for the Pearson Company.
Throughout the years, she remained friends with several former classmates. She enjoyed getting together with them each year on the night before Thanksgiving, and planning class reunions and trips with “the girls.”
Dawn enjoyed reading, doing crossword puzzles and “the Jumble,” feeding the birds and squirrels (whom she referred to as her “kids”) in her yard, making the best fried dough in the world, and attending the races at the Saratoga Race Course. She was unfortunately an avid supporter of the New York Mets and enjoyed traveling, especially to Maine with Jim every summer. She also cherished the memories of her trips to New York City with her goddaughter, Nicole DeCrescenzo.
In addition to her husband Jim, survivors include her lifelong friend Ann “Chuck” (Sullivan) Lawrence; her daughter, Janine Iamunno (Hannibal Hills) of Wilmington, NC; her son, Vincent (Candace) Iamunno of Apex, NC; and her cherished grandson, Vincent “Enzo” Iamunno. She is also survived by her devoted sister, Doreen (Anthony) DeCrescenzo and her favorite brother, Dan (Jill) DeCelle, and her nieces and nephews: Nicole (Adam Suslak) DeCrescenzo, Dean (Jennifer) DeCrescenzo, Aaron (Andrea) DeScisciolo, Sean DeScisciolo, and Samantha DeCelle and their children: Talia, Emerson, Scarlett, Aleena, Adelyn and Leo. She also leaves behind many beloved cousins and friends.
To quote Dawn’s beloved “Romeo and Juliet,” which she taught for many years: “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” Her family and friends will miss her dearly, but will always cherish the memories and traditions they shared, and remember her kindly with deep love and laughter.
Calling hours at the DeVito-Salvadore Funeral Home, 39 So. Main St, Mechanicville, NY 12118 on Thursday from 5-7 PM. A Funeral Mass will be held Friday at 1 PM at St. Luke's on the Hill Church, 40 McBride Road, Mechanicville, with burial to follow in St. Paul's Cemetery. Pandemic safety practices will be followed during all services with mandatory mask wearing and social distancing procedures in place.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to St. Jude Children's Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or The Community Hospice, 310 S Manning Blvd, Albany, NY 12208.