Leslie Dubé

Obituary of Leslie David Dubé

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Born in Wynyard, SK on February 16, 1933, to Joseph and Jennie Dubé, Les began his life working on the family farm while getting his education and excelling in sports. By the age of 18 he had spotted and was courting a young town girl by the name of Irene Sigurdson. During high school he worked in the local OK Economy store doing various jobs. After graduating high school, he came to the University of Saskatchewan to take classes in Vocational Agriculture. He returned to Wynyard and took a job with the Canadian Pacific Railway as a brakeman and cook. This experience led to a lifelong love of cooking. Les moved to Saskatoon to take a job opportunity with an OK Economy store and Irene followed and they were married on April 18, Easter Sunday 1954 at St. Joseph’s church. He worked at various stores around the city before welcoming their first daughter Deborah in 1955. In 1957 he accepted a store manager position with the company in Eston and moved the family. In late 1957 the family moved back to Saskatoon to accept the position of Head Produce buyer for Shelly Brothers which later became Westfair Food and Loblaws. They welcomed their second daughter Dawna in 1962 and a son David in 1964.  In 1967 he started a fresh produce importing and distribution business, The LID Company. In 1968 he partnered with Martin Hector to purchase a large piece of land in what is now known as Greystone Heights. Business proceeded for decades with Les and Irene building a diversified portfolio of businesses including apartment blocks, motels, commercial properties, the Pizza Hut franchise for Saskatchewan and additional produce businesses. In 1972 they renamed the conglomerate the Concorde Group of Companies because at the time it was the fastest aircraft in the world and the company was growing so fast.

As Les and Irene made the decision to wind down their business careers, they spent more time at their homes in Arizona, Calgary and at Nemeiben Lake but always kept the family home in Saskatoon. They made the decision to ramp up their second career which became their mission ……philanthropy. Les’ last 20 years were spent focused on philanthropy, but he always kept a toe in the business world to keep his mind active and young. His and Irene’s contributions to charity, community and country have been well noted in other places but these years of work for, and contributions to, healthcare, scholarships, education, research, poverty, homelessness, international works in Malawi and Nicaragua and mental health to list only a few, brought him incredible joy and peace. His life of service included working on the boards of many trade associations including the Canadian Fruit Wholesalers Association (CPMA) he was a founding board member of the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority, a Director of the Canadian Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation and served on multiple school and church boards and committees.

Les loved to play billiards and cards, fishing and as a pilot he always had a great love of flying. More than anything he enjoyed being surrounded by his family & friends. For decades his Friday lunches with his friends were legendary and he so looked forward to them. The people changed over the years, but the Friday lunches always remained. Les was known for saying that if you found one good friend in life you were lucky but Les made friends wherever he went. And his friends were loyal and kind to him and kept him young as he aged. Not having had one since childhood, Les and Irene decided to bring puppies into the family and they were instantly a huge focus of Les’, and he loved nothing more than taking them out for long walks chatting with the neighbors along the way. They were his faithful companions and he doted on them.

Les and Irene were each bestowed with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Saskatchewan in 2007, were awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2008 and were invested with the Order of Canada in 2016. In 2013 they were awarded the Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year for North America by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Les was a man of tremendously strong Catholic faith. He was a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus and a dedicated churchgoer. The Catholic Church was the pillar on which he lived his life but Les loved all people of faith no matter the religion. His many friends included many clergy over the years and a particular affinity for the Grey Nuns with whom he worked directly on the board and as Chair of St. Paul’s Hospital for 16 years.

The family extends their most heartfelt thanks to the Emergency Room staff and doctors, the neurology team, and the Spiritual care team at RUH for their expertise, professionalism, and compassionate care of him during his brief stay.

Les is survived by his loving wife Irene. April 18 would have been their 70th wedding anniversary, three brothers Arnold (Muriel), Bill (Alma), Al (Carole) and three children Deborah (Bill) Dubé-Dean, Dawna (Curtis) Dubé-Veitenheimer and L. David (Heather Ryan) Dubé along with 3 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

Les was predeceased by his parents Joseph and Jennie Dubé, sister Alice (Carl) Stolaryk and his brother Leo Dubé. 

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation, Royal University Hospital Foundation, City Hospital Foundation, Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation or the Canadian Red Cross.

The Prayer Vigil will be held Thursday, March 21, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, March 22, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. Both Services will take place at the Cathedral of the Holy Family. For those unable to attend the service, the family invites you to join the service via livestream. 


Prayer Vigil

7:00 pm
Thursday, March 21, 2024
Cathedral of the Holy Family
123 Nelson Road
Saskatoon , Saskatchewan, Canada

Mass of Christian Burial

10:30 am
Friday, March 22, 2024
Cathedral of the Holy Family
123 Nelson Road
Saskatoon , Saskatchewan, Canada
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