Being seen in blue Jeans with a t-shirt or in a tuxedo is two of the many ways Mesquite residents get to see Larry LeMieux in public. LeMieux wears many hats in this community, but which one depends on what time of year you’re seeing him.
LeMieux can be seen daily at the Mesquite Municipal Airport where he has successfully managed the facility for the past decade. LeMieux wears several hats at the airport alone; he takes care of all customer concerns, works security, maintenance and as the airport’s Fixed Base Operator (person in charge of fuel) he’s happy to help the pilots fuel up.
LeMieux also brings events such as the Young Eagles program to the airport. The Young Eagles gives Mesquite’s youth the chance to go up in a plane and often times take the controls for a few minutes. The event earns the youngsters a Young Eagles Certificate for being involved in the program and helps to promote aviation interests in children.
LeMieux is happy to answer questions for those who fly into the airport and want to know what’s around town; since LeMieux is involved in many of the organizations he’s just the man to give Mesquite’s visitors the run down on just about everything in Mesquite.
Originally from the Detroit, Michigan area, when he was in high school his family moved to Phoenix, Ariz., where LeMieux was graduated.
After graduation LeMieux met and married his wife Ava and moved to Salt Lake City, Utah. The couple owned an Arthur Murray Dance Studio where they both taught dance for 20 years.
Many Mesquite residents have had the pleasure of watching the couple dance in several of Mesquite’s past theater productions.
LeMieux and his wife Ava have called Mesquite home since 1976. In 1997 LeMieux would begin wearing the hat of Newspaper Graphic Designer with the Desert Valley Times while they were still a privately owned newspaper.
LeMieux moved up in the ranks before the sale to Gannett Media happened and became the Layout Designer for the entire paper.
When the DVT sold the paper to the conglomerate, LeMieux decided to start his own newspaper and began publishing the Valley Journal, only this time he put on the hats of reporter, editor and owner all at the same time.
LeMieux would later sell the paper and embark on a new adventure with the city of Mesquite’s local airport.
LeMieux had a friend who was a pilot. When the pilot flew into Mesquite two days in a row and was unable to find the person in charge of fuel he began to discuss the possibility of LeMieux’s involvement with the airport.
LeMieux’s pilot friend was going to talk to the city about starting his own Fixed Based Operations (fuel) at the airport and LeMieux asked him, “Who are you going to have run it for you?” The pilot replied, “I’ll have to hire somebody.” That’s when LeMieux took the bull by the horns and said, “How about me?” The Valley Journal was in the process of being sold and LeMieux was ready for another hat.
Together they presented a plan to the Mesquite City Council but found that the insurance was far too expensive to maintain for a single person. This is when the pilot suggested to the city council members that they just hire LeMieux to run the FBO for the city. The city agreed and LeMieux was excited to add wings to the hats he would, from then on, be wearing.
LeMieux wears many public hats indeed, but he also wears many in private. LeMieux is a husband, father and grandfather who believes strongly in family love and support. LeMieux has two sons. Larry Junior is living, working and going to school in Las Vegas after completing three tours of duty in the Middle East and six years of service to the nation.
Larry Junio has a son Ryder. LeMieux admits he doesn’t mind wearing whatever hat Ryder wants him to wear and he wears them with love and good humor, because the grandson is “the apple of Grandpa’s eye.”
Larry and Ava have been instrumental in helping to raise Ryder during Larry Junior’s time in the service and now that he’s continuing his education.
Younger son Adam also works in Las Vegas. Adam graduated from the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Science, plays the drums and guitars and now works for a recording studio in Las Vegas where he wears the hats of Lead Graphic Artist and Recording Engineer -- It must just run in the family.
Ava is responsible for some of those hats, as well. Not only does the she wear the hats of Assistant Bank Manager, wife, mother and grandmother, she also wears the hat of actress and most currently singer and tap dancer can be added to her repertoire.
Ava is the person responsible for LeMieux’s semi recent transition to entertainment director for many different productions in Mesquite.
LeMieux first became involved with the theater because his wife was a member of the Virgin Valley Theatre Group. LeMieux stated that he noticed they were having a hard time finding directors. LeMieux said, “I like music, being a dancer and former musician I thought well, maybe I’ll direct a musical.” LeMieux got involved in VVTG’s production of “Nunsense,” where he wore the hat of choreographer and from there he went on to direct the musical “Cow Girls” the following season.
LeMieux said, “I thought rather than directing a play, I would take the vast amount of talent that Mesquite residents have and showcase it in a different type of musical production.” These thoughts led to the beginning of the Mesquite Concert series which debuted with only two bands, The Drifters and Southern Choice. From there the concert series brought forth productions such as “Mesquite Goes Broadway,” “Mesquite Goes Hollywood,”” The Christmas Concert,” “A Night at the Opera,””Mesquite has Talent” and most recently in the works is the VVTG’s production of “Radio Gals,” which is scheduled for Sept. 20, 21 and 22 at 7 p.m.
Those productions have all be held on the stage of the Mesquite Community Theatre, 150 N. Yucca St. Tickets are $10 for “Radio Gals” and for “The Big Band Concert,” which is scheduled for Oct. 12 and 13.
LeMieux says “The Big Band Concert” is the biggest undertaking so far because they are actually forming a big band.
No matter what hat you find LeMieux wearing, the man wearing it is all about music and entertainment and while LeMieux confesses that theatre isn’t his passion, music and the talent that Mesquite possesses is and you can be sure that the many hats he wears will continue to grace the stage at the Mesquite Community Theatre for years to come.