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Yves Armand Hebert

He was a Canadian native who became a proud American, an upright lawyer with a broad smile, a fast talent on the ice, and a doting grandfather.

Yves Armand Hebert, an Oakmont resident since 2003, died at his son's Sebastopol home on March 14. He had just finished listening to the Fifth Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven, one of his a favorite composers.

Hebert was 80 and the cause was congestive heart failure, said his son.

He was born Oct. 19, 1933, in a poor Montreal neighborhood. Flashing hockey skates on frozen ponds carved his future.

"It was a way out for him," said his son, Colin Hebert. "It got him an education. It got him out of Montreal and all the way to sunny California."

Hebert won an athletic scholarship to the University of Michigan, a storied NCAA hockey power, and was a speedy forward on the 1955 Wolverines champions. He also demonstrated his mettle when in an accident during practice, he was knocked out and remained unconscious for 17 hours, Colin Hebert said.

Hebert graduated with a bachelor's degree in French literature in 1956, then returned to Canada to earn a law degree from the University of Montreal.

Then he left for warmer climes — Los Angeles.

"He was trying to get as far away from the cold Montreal winters as he could," Colin Hebert said.

After working as an insurance adjustor, he was admitted to the California State Bar in 1966, once he had become a United States citizen.

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