Christopher Bruno DeLeeuw
November 29, 1956 – June 20, 2008
Chris Bruno DeLeeuw, of Tumbler Ridge, formerly of Ponoka, was born on November 29, 1956 in Lacombe, coming very early to the delight, surprise and worry of his parents Alphonse and Esther DeLeeuw weighing in at 3lbs 4oz. His first months of life were spent eating, and sleeping in a drawer that was by the wood stove to keep him warm, and of course being held lots by his older brothers and sisters. Being born early didn’t stop him from growing into a loving and mischievous little boy. He loved to talk about when his sisters were washing the floor, how he would wait to ride his truck across the wet floor to make tracks and then, of course, having to run like the dickens away from his chasing sisters. He was a very hyper young guy and his family’s nickname for him was BOPPY as he would bop around all over the place and trying to find him was probably a full time job. He was a very hard working farm boy and he kept his working habits throughout his life. He attended school in Mecca Glenn up to grade nine and finished his schooling at the Ponoka Composite High School. After School, in 1976, he worked for the department of Highways and the Hinton Saw Mill. He worked for a while with his brother Paul hauling gravel. One time Chris thought his brother told him to move the truck so he did and Paul had been doing his job beside the truck and got his pants full of gravel and sand. I guess Chris turned off his radio for awhile that day. In 1977 he started working for Great West Feeds in Ponoka until it burnt down. He belonged to the Knights of Columbus and was the Treasurer. He went to have a meeting with another member of the Knights of Columbus where he met Bernita (who was dressed in her finest barn smelling clothes) and from there history was made as the couple became engaged in February of 1979. I guess that was why Chris called Bernita Heifer! Chris used to play all kinds of tricks and one time they were going to a concert and he cooked up a story along with Bernita’s brother Stan, about the bulk milk cooler not working and that they would have to fix it. Bernita milked all but two cows before she found the two of them sitting around the corner smoking and drinking beer. Needless to say they had to finish the rest of the chores. They were married on August 9, 1980. After the feedmill burnt down in Ponoka, he transferred to Red Deer for awhile. He then went to work at Quality Feeds in Lacombe. When V&S started up Chirs went to work there until 1997. On March 8th, 1991, his daughter Jennifer Lynn (his pride and joy) was born. On June 29, 1997, Chris, Bernita and Jennifer set out for a new venture in Manning, Alberta where they bought a service station operating as Manning Mohawk for eight years. They both worked long and hard hours and it showed as they won Business of the Year Award in 2002. They sold the business on February 5, 2005 when Chris moved to Tumbler Ridge so that he could make more improvements on their future retirement home. Bernita and Jen moved after school was out in June. Chris took a year and a half off before he started working for Ledcor in October, 2006 driving coal truck. He loved to brag to his older brother that he drove a bigger truck than he did. He loved his job and was a very conscientious worker. Chris loved the mountains, hiking, and quading. He also loved to work and tinker on things mechanical or yard work. (We did try to keep him away from carpentry as he was a bit of a klutz and always hit his finger.) He was a very caring person and was always willing to lend a helping hand. Sadly on June 20th, 2008, at the age of 51 he passed away peacefully in his sleep. He will always be remembered for his laughter, tricks, smart comebacks and his fun loving spirit.
Chris will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by his wife Bernita of 27 years, their daughter Jennifer, and his loyal dog Kusco; his sisters Linda Knight (Lyall) of Tees, Dee Sehlstrom (Roger) of Red Deer, Theresa Stemo (Larry) of Bashaw, Andrea DeLeeuw of Edmonton; and his brother Lyall DeLeeuw of Blackfalds. Also left to mourn are his mother-in-law Delores Wagner of Ponoka, Evelyn Cleveland (Clarence) of Sherwood Park, Marilyn Schaade of Ponoka, Ralph Wagner (Gladys Turner) of Ponoka, Val Wagner of Ponoka, Loretta Stretch (Doug Forth) of Ponoka, Stanley Wagner (Shawna) of Ponoka, Roseann Winslow (Jason) of Ponoka, 48 nieces and nephews, and 44 great-nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his father Alphonse in February, 2008; his mother Esther in 2004; his infant brother Charles in 1943; his brother Paul in 2006; his father-in-law Gary Wagner in 1997; and his brother-in-law Danny Wagner in 1999. A Prayer Vigil was held at the Ponoka Funeral Home on Sunday, June 29, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. The Funeral Mass was held at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church on Monday, June 30, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. with Father Jim Corrigan presiding. Cremation followed. Memorial donations are gratefully accepted to the Tumbler Ridge Health Centre Foundation or Make A Wish Foundation.
Arrangements Entrusted to Ponoka Funeral Home
~ A Wombold Family Funeral Home ~