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U.S. Coast Guard Trailblazer Capt. Eleanor L'Ecuyer Passes at 97

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By The Maritime Executive 02-11-2020 10:20:00

U.S. Coast Guard trailblazer Eleanor C. L’Ecuyer, 97, of Sun City Center, Florida died February 5, 2020. 

Eleanor was born in Boston Massachusetts, to Eleanor Creed L’Ecuyer and Eugene W. L’Ecuyer (both deceased). She was the oldest of three daughters: Eleanor, Vivian (deceased) and Rosalie of Fairbanks, Alaska. As children, they all attended the Girls’ Latin School in Boston, their mother’s alumni.  Eleanor was voted president of the Alumnae Association in 1939. 

In 1944 Eleanor enlisted in the Coast Guard Reserve and was honorably discharged in 1946.  She then attended Suffolk Law University and obtained a Law Degree.  After graduation she was given a direct commission in the Coast Guard (the first female to have this distinction) and was put on active duty in Washington, DC.  Eleanor retired in 1975 with the rank of Captain. 

During her career she was awarded the WWII Victory Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Hourglass and the American Theatre Medal.  One of her greatest accomplishments was to have uniforms designed specifically for women in the Coast Guard.  She contacted Edith Head at Universal Studios and together they designed new uniforms. 

Eleanor was active in SPARS (Semper Paratus Always Ready), an organization for women in the Coast Guard and remained supportive her entire life.  She was also very active in the establishment of the WIMSA (Women in Military Service for America) Memorial at Arlington Cemetery.

When she retired she moved to Sun City Center, FL where she became very active in the local community.  She started the Kings Point Travel Club and was also active in the local American Legion where she served as President in 1988. In 1982 the Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce named her Woman of the Year for her accomplishments in the community.

Eleanor left a legacy for all - never limit your possibilities and always exceed the expectations of others.

A Memorial Mass will be held at Sun City Center Funeral Home Thursday, February 13, at 2:30 PM and internment will be at Arlington Cemetery at a later date.  

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.