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Born: Aug 21, 1942
Date of Passing: Oct 29, 2022Send Flowers to the Family Offer Condolences or Memory
1942 - 2022
Surrounded with immense love and compassion from his family, Laurel Blais, our rock, suddenly but peacefully passed away on October 29, 2022, at the age of 80 years, at the Health Sciences Centre. He was never alone for a moment.
Laurel is survived by his wife Kim; his children, Yvette (Ron), Denis, Eddy (Lisa), Cherie (Warren), Suzy (Derek), Faith; stepchildren, Jon, Justin, Shalini; beloved grandchildren, Kyle (Sarah), Desiree (Brock), Crystal (Gordie), Bailey, Jared (Alana), Halle, Zach (Sara), Terry, Max, Jaden, Lara, Gage (Hailie), Tawney (Tony), Taina, Brandon (Janessa), Sierra (Justin); and great-grandchildren, Preston, Hudson, Jem, Paisley, Brinley, Adam, Thomas, Dylan, Evangeline, Cooper, Staley, Kiah, Xyla, Olivia, and Katie. Brother Lynn; sisters, Berthe, Jacynthe (Ernie), Anne, Louise (Yvon), Jacqueline (Maurice), and many other relatives. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 49 years, Eileen Blais (nee Sloane); parents, Francois and Aline; brother Jerry; sisters, Olga, Rose, Therese, Nicole; brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Laurel was born on August 21, 1942 in Winnipeg. He lived in St. Laurent almost his entire life. He married Eileen in 1963 after they met at a rodeo in Oak Point. They built a house in St. Laurent where they raised their five kids.
Laurel was known for being a horseman, heavy equipment operator, the biggest teaser and building anything he needed especially his beautiful buggies and wagons, yes, he needed those. And, of course he would build anything anyone else needed and when he built something, it was built to last.
He made the best denver sandwiches and homemade soup and anyone who stopped by had to eat even if they weren't hungry. Being generous came easy to him he helped anyone as much as he could, he always said "it's just money".
Our dad loved history and we would sit for many hours and listen to him tell us about our family and stories of the old days.
He loved many and many loved him, he leaves a legacy behind and all his teachings and advice that we will take with us as we continue on without him. He will be beating in our hearts forever.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, November 5, 2022, at the St. Laurent Roman Catholic Church at 11:00 a.m., prayers at 10:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, if so desired, donations may be made to thebarefootranch.com horse rescue.
MacKenzie Funeral Home
204 467 2525
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 02, 2022
Condolences & Memories (6 entries)
On Saturday night I got the news that Laurel Blais died at the age of 80 years. Those news made me very sad, as I never expected him to leave this earth so early… I remembered him strong as a bear and as big as well. I thought he would at least turn a 100 years old and I would have the joy to meet him again at his wonderful place in Saint Laurent. Laurel was the breeder of my wonderful horse Luna who now lives with me in Germany (where I come from). She is a gorgeous Morgan Horse, who was born and raised at his place in Saint Laurent. I met her in 2014 and instantly fell in love with her. At the end of the summer he gave her to me. I first met Laurel in 2014 on a rainy evening sitting together with friends in a tack trailer in the Assiniboine Valley. He stopped by to visit his friends Alfred and Eleanor who were there on ranch vacation. I remembered being a little shy back then, but he was kind as always and laughing and enjoying life. A little later when I stayed at our friends Alfred and Eleanor in Beausejour he dropped off to mares for me to be tamed and handled. I instantly fell in love with one of them, although my friends all liked the other mare better. Later we named her Luna. As the summer went on I knew this horse was meant to be with me. But I didn’t know how. At the end of the summer we went for the last long weekend to the Portugese Parc which is right next to Laurels place (in fact it is on his former land). We took Luna with us to bring her back to Laurel. There, in Saint Laurent I went on my first trailride on Luna after riding her about five times before. But I never felt as save on a horse ever again. Laurel as a great horseman and horse lover was able to see the bond we made. At our last evening we all sat in front of the camper at the park and as Laurel was pretty drunk already he said to me: “she is your horse!” and “I will keep her for you until you know what you want to do with her. And if you want to bring her to Germany one day we will make it work.” Nobody there except me believed that he meant what he said and that he would remember it. They did now know Laurel! Anyways, I had to fly back to Germany and start university. At the next holidays, even though I had only 6 weeks time, I knew I had to fly back to Canada. So I did and when asked what I wanted to do, I always said: “I want to see Luna”. So finally the long weekend came and we went to Saint Laurent. I remember that we called Laurel by the time we arrived at the park and he said: “Your horse is waiting for you!” Then I knew I was right and all my doubts in the last six months had been wrong. I rushed over the fields to the neighborhood to see my Luna. Back then Laurel had 20 black horses in the field. She recognized me. As I had been told she was in the stall I didn’t look for her in the herd I passed through, but turning back to lock the gate I wondered about this one horse staring at me: it was her. Long story short: in December 2017 she came home with me to Germany and since than lives here with me. I saw Laurel last in the fall of 2017 when I was visiting him, Kim and Faith in Saint Laurent for a week and helped tidy up the farm and train some horses. We had a wonderful time and it was hard to leave. I was always looking forward to my next visit at their place, just the thought of it made me very happy. Now I am very sad to know, that he won’t be there anymore. He leaves a great legacy, five children and lots of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. My thoughts are with his family especially his wife Kim and Faith. I will never forget his big smile and his loud laughter. He was such a kind and loving man and by far the person with the biggest heart I’ve ever met. In loving memories and RIP Laurel! - Posted by: Berenike (Friend) on: Nov 10, 2022
I did not know him well but I carry with me one vivid memory of Laurel and his team of horses . They were silhouetted against a beautiful orange sunrise early on a crisp fall morning as I drove to work. It was an unforgettable sight and for some reason gave me a sense of hope and strength that carried me through my difficult day ahead. That is how I will remember your loved one . I pray your memories console you and give you the strength you need now. - Posted by: Corvino Family (Friends ) on: Nov 05, 2022
Uncle Laurel was one of the greatest people I've ever had the opportunity to know and I am so incredibly thankful that I was able to have a relationship with him. He was one of my biggest inspirations and meant so much to my family and I. Uncle was a hardworking, kind and funny man that was always the life of the party. I will never forget my last interaction with him back in August. I got to spend his last birthday with him and brought him a bottle of Dock 57 Whiskey. I said to him "uncle I brought you a bottle for your birthday. You can never have enough" and he laughed, smiled at me, gave me a hug and one of his big old man kisses and said to me "thank you my girl". While growing up, I had the great privilege to watch uncle work the horses and build the buggies, spending many weekends alongside his grandkids on his property. I will never forget how much of a hardworking man he was and how he never once seemed to be bothered by growing old. Uncle lived a long, beautiful and hardworking life and that is the life I strive to live. Uncle will be missed tremendously❤️ - Posted by: Shay (Great Great Niece) on: Nov 02, 2022
Laurel, was a great man and I love the speaking of his teachings cause he did that with such pride and grace. Laurel was a good friend to my dad Nick and we enjoyed a many miles on horse back, wagon trains together. My deepest condolences to everyone who cared for him. May he rest at peace and be together with the family and friends who preceded him. - Posted by: Rocheen (Friend) on: Nov 02, 2022
We always knew laurel as a happy person. Danced the jig at all dances in ST. Ambroise and he was very good at it. We were all young sitting on the floor in front of him watching him dance. Then he'd put his hands in his pockets and throw a hand full of nickels and dimes in front of us. We'd all wait for that moment. He was well known for his big laugh. He had the kindest eyes we had ever seen. You were always welcome at his house. We will never forget you Laurel, rest easy. Till we meet again. Sandra Sharpe (saltise) - Posted by: sandra d sharpe (friend) on: Nov 02, 2022
Another true pioneer and horseman is gone - so very sad. My dad, Allan Coverdale (deceased) knew Laurel and was also another pioneer and horseman gone too soon. We also knew Laurel thru the Wish Rides at the Dziedics, etc. Hugs to all the family. You are in my thoughts. Hopefullly, all the good old horse guys like Ray Taplin, my dad and Laurel will be sitting around heaven discussing good horses, and swapping stories. - Posted by: Donna Valen (friend) on: Nov 02, 2022
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