Born August 17th, 1935, Joseph H. Leckich arrived at the legacy of a seafood workforce that he would help shape throughout his life. His father Joseph P. Leckich and his partner R.A. Fayard established the Leckich & Fayard Seafood Company situated on Bayview Avenue in Biloxi. Raised by his father and his mother, Thelma Tremmel Leckich, Joseph attended Notre Dame High School. As early as his summer vacations during high school, Joseph H. Leckich assisted his family by working at the processing plant following the death of his father in 1950. During this time, he would gain firsthand experience with many aspects of the company, including operation of the peeling machines, shrimp heading tables, and graders.
After completing high school, Leckich attended Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. Following his college graduation, he served in the U.S. Army for four years. He returned to Biloxi and became a managing partner of his family’s business in 1959. As a managing partner, Leckich supervised the day-to-day operations of the processing plant. He was directly involved in every aspect of the factory’s process, from raw product purchase to the point of sale. Leckich & Fayard sold fuel and ice to various boats in the area, they also purchased raw shrimp from many of these independent captains they provided fuel. A signature aspect of Leckich & Fayard was the branding of their product under the name “Jumbo Brand” a name which carries all the connotations of luscious and flavorful shrimp.
Joseph H. Leckich remained in his position as a managing partner until 1989 at which point his brother, Wayne, sold the brothers’ shares in the company to the descendants of the Fayard family. Leckich’s time as a managing partner saw “Jumbo Brand” rise to a respectable position as a known and valued seafood brand throughout the country. Following the sale of the business, Leckich established his own business in 1989 under the name Flagship Seafood which specialized in seafood wholesale. He also owned and operated a shrimp trading company entitled Leckich Sales between 2000 and 2006. Joseph H. Leckich was respected and admired among fisherman and plant operators across the coast. From the company’s inception in 1945, Leckich & Fayard constructed and operated a variety of boats many of which were named after prominent members of the family including The J.P. Leckich and the R.A. Fayard.
Leckich married Cordelia Girouard Leckich. From their fifty-five-year marriage, five children were born. Three sons continue to work in the seafood processing industry. In his letter of recommendation, David J Leckich writes, “I had the privilege to see firsthand the dedication Joseph had for making sure Leckich & Fayard Seafood Company was the most respected of companies in the seafood business. So much so that at one time the State of Louisiana required vendors who wanted to sell shrimp to state agencies to be up to the standard set by “Jumbo Brand.”” Joseph continued to operate Flagship Seafood until his death in June of 2012. Today he is remembered for his many contributions to the seafood industry of Biloxi.