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Leland Dale Budreau

Leland Dale Budreau was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on November 24, 1912 to Laura and Johnnie Budreau. He passed away on Wednesday September 5, 2001 at the Rainy River Hospital.

Leland grew up in Morson. A true lake man, Leland spent his entire life in the Rainy River area. Upon his marriage to Mary Beckman in 1933 he began a commercial fishing operation. After the death of his father-in-law, Al Beckman, and due to his mother -in-law Edith’s failing health he moved to the Beckman fur farm. Together with Mary, he operated it until the mid 1950’s. Fluctuating fur prices forced them to diversify and in 1956 they opened Oak Grove Camp. Leland continued to commercial fish until the mid 1960’s as well as running the camp.

Upon his retirement in 1975 Leland turned to his favourite pursuits. He purchased a pleasure boat and was able to enjoy many years on his beloved Lake of the Woods sport fishing with his friends. A skilled and talented craftsman and woodworker he created many beautiful bowls, carved birds and even dabbled in oil paints. We will treasure his gifts. Leland’s home was always open to everyone. His kind and generous heart will forever be missed. His love of entertaining was immense. Any newcomers to his vast circle of friends soon were initiated in the Budreau “high ball” club. He loved to sing and dance. He would often be heard singing with gusto in the activity room at the Rainy River Health Care Facility where he and Mary had resided for the past two years.

He was famous for his Tom and Jerry’s and Christmas was never complete without them. This is a tradition that his children have continued. His grandchildren all have fond memories of sand cherry picking excursions on Sable Island where a ten minute swim was a highlight after three hours of picking berries. He delighted in all his grandchildren and great grandchildren eagerly awaiting each summer and their annual visits. He challenged them to checkers, chess, and always found time to listen to the stories of the littlest ones.

Leland was a member of Ionic Lodge #461 in Rainy River for over 55 years and daily practiced the principles of masonry setting an example for his children of honesty, integrity and loyalty. One of his proudest moments was to be present at Lodge the night Larry was installed as Master.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 68 years, Mary, two daughters Lela (husband Ernie Zurkan) of Windsor, Ontario and Gail Lambert of Hiawatha, Kansas; son Larry (wife Linda) of Rainy River, Ontario; seven grandchildren Jay Zurkan, Sandy Snavely, Dan Zurkan, Joni Bennett, Laurie Murphy, Jodi Bodnaryk and Lisa Lambert; ten great grandchildren Leanna Snavely, Brittney Bennett, Adam Murphy, Laura Bennett, Steven Murphy, Britany Lambert, Garrett Bodnaryk, Joshua Murphy, Dillion Lambert and Gabrielle Tull.

He was predeceased by a daughter, Laurel Joy in infancy, his parents John and Laurie, one brother Jack killed in action overseas, one sister Virtue in infancy and his son-in-law Floyd.

Funeral services were held on Monday, September 10, 2001 at 2 p.m. at Knox United Church in Rainy River, Ontario. Pastor Pat White officiated with interment in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Rainy River, Ontario.

The honorary pallbearers were Art Tooth, Gordon Black, Henry Jarvis, Don Sheridan, Rena Budreau, Jay Zurkan, and Dean Zurkan.

The active pallbearers were Kim Hannam, Kory Bodnaryk, Rigo Wittich, Ken Pentney, Ted Biggs and Rob Budreau.

“Always leave them laughing when you say goodbye. Never leave them with a tear dimmed eye.”