LA HABRA, Calif.—Tom LeClair, vice president of sales at Vip Rubber & Plastic Co. Inc., died July 13 of natural causes. He was 76.
LeClair was part of a second generation involved in family-owned Vip Rubber, which is headquartered in La Habra. He was the husband of Kathy LeClair, who is the company's chief financial officer and daughter of Vip founder Howard Vipperman Sr.
The two were married in March 1968 and have three daughters, 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. They began working with the family business after the couple moved back to California from Arizona sometime in the mid-1970s.
His daughter Cindy LeClair, Vip's vice president of marketing, called him a talented salesman whose customers were his friends.
"He always did what was best for the customer rather than looking to make a profit," she said. "He was a relationship builder who ultimately brought in some of the largest accounts that Vip has. He was instrumental in the success of the company.
"Tom has left a void that can never be filled, but he will forever be remembered. His imprint on Vip is woven into the foundation of the company. We were fortunate to have him with us for so long."
Tom LeClair was an avid golfer and a passionate fan of USC football, according to Cindy LeClair.
He also was active in the Orange County German Shepard Rescue, having helped train German Shepards when he was in the Army. The family asked that donations be sent in his memory to the rescue at: 120 Tustin Ave., Suite C-1111; Newport, Calif. 92663.