Longtime Taos artist, mountain man, and resident on the Carson mesa, Johnny Gayle “Blue” LeBleu, died peacefully at Taos Healthcare on Friday, July 7, 2023, at the age of 83. He is survived by his daughter, Monique Angel LeBleu.
Cajun-born from Lake Charles, Louisiana, Blue came to Taos, New Mexico, in 1976 as a painter, wood worker, and Native American jewelry maker.
While on the mesa in Carson, and with his travels through the wilderness areas of Tres Orejas that overlook his home, Blue connected with nature and learned the skills that would help him to survive on the harsh lands occupied by very few from the 1980’s through to 2021.
He fabricated his own clothing, leather goods, and often tools for hunting, attended Mountain Man competition events in Taos, and traveled to and attended other competitive events around the country.
Frequently the subject of other artists, he was painted by artists such as David A. Leffel and Sherrie McGraw and photographed by artists such as North Carolina photographer Amelia Fletcher. He was also the subject of a documentary film, “From Three Peaks to the Silver Screen,” by local filmmaker, Jeff Thomason.
A deeply spiritual person and raised a Christian, Blue embraced an all-faith quest for connection to his higher power and often frequented the Hanuman Temple for its lovely grounds and Ashram. Beloved and aided in his recovery journey, he was also an active participant in his community and at events through his volunteerism with church Food Banks and local Senior and Community Centers.
In his last few years, while suffering with congestive heart failure, Blue had been in recovery at the Taos Living Center/Taos Health Care, eventually became home.
A future Celebration of life and Memorial is to be planned in the coming months. Please feel free to contact his daughter, Monique, at email@example.com for more information.
The family of Johnny Gayle LeBleu has entrusted the care of their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home of Taos. 866-657-4019 www.devargastaos.com