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DENIS JOHN MILTON BALL On Tuesday, April 22, 2003, Denis passed away peacefully at the Grace General Hospital at the age of 76 years. He leaves to mourn his wife Joyce of 43 years of marriage; his sister Marjorie (Alex) Payer of Bowser, BC; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Leona and Gordon Perry and niece Wendy of Victoria, BC; brother-in-law Victor Carson of Selkirk, MB and niece Anne Carson of Steveston, BC; sister-in-law Winnie Carson of Selkirk; as well as several nieces and nephews in Selkirk, Winnipeg and British Columbia. He was predeceased by his parents and his sister Wilma (2002). Denis began his hockey career as a rink rat at the tender age of 11. He would go to the Olympic Rink on a Saturday morning and his father would have to drag him home at supper time. From that time on he was hooked on hockey. He started his career as a Manitoba scout for the New York Rangers under Jack Wells. Denis moved on and started the Junior New York Rangers in Winnipeg and owned them for 11 years. He became western Canada scout and in 1966 sold his team to Ben Hatskin and the nucleus of this group went on to become the Winnipeg Jets. In 1969, he was invited to become assistant general manager of the New York Rangers in New York. He had a wonderful six years there and then became General Manager for the St. Louis Blues. Denis was joined in 1976 by Emile Francis and spent the next eight years together in St. Louis. In 1990, he was inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder. In 2001, Denis was honoured in New York for his 25 years with the Rangers and presented with an alumni ring which he cherished. He was a gregarious and fun loving guy - he never met a stranger. Denis knew everyone in hockey and his friends were legion. Denis funeral service will be held on Tuesday, April 29 at 12:30 p.m. in Chapel Lawn Funeral Home, 4000 Portage Ave. Flowers are gratefully declined. Donations in Denis memory may be made to the Grace General Hospital Foundation, Hospice Building Fund, 300 Booth Dr., Winnipeg, MB R3J 3M7 or a charity of ones choice. "Good Night Sweet Prince" WOJCIKS ALL BELIEFS & FAITHS FUNERAL CHAPEL & CREMATORIUM 897 - 4665
As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on April 27, 2003