Dana LeMoine (1960-2011)

by Shawna Lewis


“He loved tornadoes,” wife Lynne LeMoine remembers. “When a bad storm was coming, he would be up on the roof with the video camera, never mind the wind and lightning. He would stay up there until I would finally come out and demand that he come inside.”

Dana and Lynne met when he spotted her at a restaurant, but was too daunted to make a move. “So he followed me home,” she said with an amused chuckle. “And got pulled over by the cops.”

But it led to a conversation that spawned their relationship. “He was the wittiest person I’d ever met. Anyone who had one conversation with him wanted to be around him again.”

His clowny, daredevil tendencies were only sharpened after their marriage. “He would start getting ready for Halloween on the first of October. He decorated the lawn every year to look like a realistic cemetery with tombstones, a fog machine and a real wrought iron fence.”

LeMoine dressed up in ghoulish outfits and devised flabbergasting scares, including a thunder and lightning machine he built himself. Their house greeted over 600 trick-or-treaters each year.

“His sons loved it. They knew Dad was just having fun.”

Photo courtesy Lynne LeMoine

His sons also enjoyed LeMoine’s game room hobby—that is, his penchant for collecting arcade games and turning his home into a funhouse. “At one point,” his wife recalled, “we had seven pinball machines, two jukeboxes, a photo booth and three arcade games.”

Shortly after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, LeMoine began to lose functionality in several parts of his body and taught himself to type with his feet.

Lynne said, “The first thing to go was the use of his hands, so he started using his feet to do things. He designed and updated the Broken Arrow baseball team’s website—and did it so well that the other athletic departments asked him to run their sites too. He did it all with his toes.”

In addition to websites, LeMoine began to write autobiographical short stories about growing up in Tulsa. One story is a tribute to his beloved Walter Reed elementary school:

“Just the threat of a paddling helped to keep us on good behavior. I remember sitting in class and hearing the sound of a kid getting licks echoing in the hall. That sound sent shivers down every kid’s spine. Being one of their own, you couldn’t help feeling sorry for the kid, but still felt it was better them than you. Not that I didn’t get my fair share of paddlings over the years. Mine were usually due to talking out of line, or for my uncalled for (but timely!) comments.”