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LEON GASTON VANDEKERCKHOVE December 3, 1923 - August 4, 2012 Peacefully, after a brief and courageous battle with cancer, with his family at his side, we announce the passing of our dear father, grandfather and great-grandfather Leon (Pops, Poppy) at Stonewall Health and District Centre. Predeceased by his wife Evelyn, daughter Judy Campbell, brothers George and Jerome Vandekerckhove, sisters Germaine Deprez and Alice Iverson, brothers-in-law Maurice and Robert Deprez. Survived by his daughter Bonnie Buckle (Jim), sons Dennis (Kerry), Jerry (Tammy), Ed (Dawn), son-in-law Jack Campbell (Rosalie); grandchildren Kim (Howard), Jim (Susan), Jackie (Ashley), Gerri-lynn, Corinne (Greg), Kristen (Denis), Scott (Tammy), Denny (Michelle), Brent (Sarah), Greg, Jeff (Genevieve), Kevin, Kristi (Ryan); great-grandchildren Breanna (Matt), Nicole, Chelsea, Mitch, Daniel, Sarah, Bethany, Rebecca, Brittany, Kourtney, Kayla, Kyle and Sara; sister Angele Deprez; sister-in-law Ruth Vandekerckhove and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Dad was born December 3, 1923 in Swan Lake, MB. In 1939, Leon's father purchased a farm in Stony Mountain, MB. In 1944, Leon married the love of his life, Evelyn Elliott and together they raised a family of five children. While farming together with his brother Jerome, Dad also worked at Majors Quarry in Stony Mountain. In 1959, Dad started selling Fords and set many sales records while working at Stonewall Motors, Wiley Mercury and Landau Ford, including receiving the Ford Summit Award three times for achieving the top 50 sales people in Canada. After a brief retirement he decided to join Standard Quarries of Stonewall as Marketing Manager. Dad was first elected to Rockwood Council in 1955 and served for 41 years. He served as Councillor for 25 years and was elected as reeve continuing for 16 more years. Dad retired from the R.M. in 2003. During his time as Reeve, the Stonewall and District Health Centre, a Branch of the South Interlake Regional Library and a new municipal office were all built in Stonewall. Over the course of his terms as Reeve, Oak Hammock Marsh saw additional development, the Village of Stony Mountain received sewer and water services and work began on a similar project in Balmoral. Dad had a love of sports where he travelled the province with his sons in baseball and hockey. His all time favourite and true passion was curling, where he excelled and spent many years curling with friends and his sons. Dad was a fierce competitor, competing in numerous men's and seniors provincial curling play downs. A few of the highlights was representing Manitoba at the Massey Ferguson National Championship in Toronto and competing in the Manitoba Curling Associations annual Bonspiel in Winnipeg with his three sons. Leon was awarded a Life Membership with the Stony Mountain Curling Club and he also received an Honorary Life Membership with the Manitoba Curling Association. After his active curling days were over, one could see Leon attending various curling championships and events throughout the community as a spectator. The Stony Mountain Recreation Committee honored Leon for all his involvement in community sports by dedicating the baseball sports field in his honour. The family would like to express special thanks to the staff at the Stonewall and District Health Centre and to the Homecare staff of the Interlake Regional Health Authority who took such good care of our dad. Also a special thank- you to Reg and Maureen Dixion. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at MacKenzie Funeral Chapel, 433 Main Street, Stonewall. Rev. Father Michael Wollbaum will officiate. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Leon's honour to the Stony Mountain Community Association, P.O. Box 449, Stony Mountain, Manitoba R0C 3A0. MacKenzie Funeral Home Stonewall in care of arrangements. 204-467-2525
As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on August 07, 2012
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