Leonard Keshane of Yorkton, Saskatchewan and Keeseekoose First Nation passed away on Saturday, October 9, 2021 at the age of 60 years.
Leonard was a kind, caring and encouraging man. He spoke from his heart and reached out to everyone, showing them endless love and compassion.
He was a very proud father, exceptional grandpa, affectionate husband, loving son and wonderful brother. Family was everything to him.
He was a natural leader and pillar to many, always offering guidance and wisdom. He loved to laugh, tell jokes and play tricks on friends and family. Always had a hug, handshake or story to share. An avid sports fan loyal to his Toronto Maple Leafs. Every year he said "this is the year of the leafs".
Leonard was born on Sunday October 1st 1961. Right from the beginning Leonard was destined to stand out. Unlike his two older black haired siblings Leonard was born left handed and with a light brown head of hair. As a boy Leonard became popular with his light coloured hair. One day when he was about 11 he was so upset when he received such a short haircut that he wore a toque for about a month straight afterwards till his hair grew back to its original length. Leonard’s appearance would always be important to him. He always kept himself neat and tidy.
Leonard began his education in a little school everyone just called Wapooses school on the Cote reserve. It only had one grade. Kindergarten.
Right from his early years Leonard loved sports of all kinds. His mother signed him up for lil league fastball and he began his career playing for the Kamsack Falcons in the Kamsack lil league. From the start he was one of the better players on the team. He would later attend the residential school in Lebret Saskatchewan where his skills in sports had increased. In the 70’s Leonard played for the Yorkton Friendship Centre Pickup fastball team. He became the team's home run hitter at the age of 15. Even the best pitchers were surprised at how such a young small player could hit a ball so far.
As he aged he was still heavily involved in sports in a coaching and organizing capacity. Many of the teams that he managed went on to win championships in leagues and tournaments all over Canada and the U.S. He also loved watching sports. His favourite teams were the Redsox, Broncos and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Leonard went through many different vocations in his lifetime. He was an RCMP officer, justice worker, addictions counselor, church trustee and served his community for many years as councilor and also Chief. During his tenure as Chief, they erected a monument in remembrance of and to honour all residential school survivors, living & the ones who went on before us, it was the only one in Saskatchewan at the time.
He developed many programs and workshops dedicated to helping people through health and wellness, such as " the Circle of Strength". He was the Victim Services Coordinator with the RCMP, connecting with numerous families, offering his support and kindness.
Leonard loved the lord and was a spiritual man, always giving thanks to God for his many blessings. He attended the House of Prayer regularly, where he live streamed the services and encouraged others to view. He managed the business side of operating the church.
The one attribute that stood out in all his years of service to his people was his determination to help everyone in any way he could. He cared deeply for everyone and was always there no matter who needed help of some kind. Leonard took great pride in helping out others as to no advantage to himself personally. He was always someone people could count on when a crisis occurred.
Leonard earned the title of "a great man", highly respected and a faithful servant. He will be missed tremendously by all who had the privilege to know him.
Leonard was predeceased by his precious mother, Sylvia Rose Popowich, brothers Darren and Joseph, adopted brother Derick Bearchief, grandparents Sarah and Elmer Cote and Agnes and Henry Stanley Keshane. Dear mother in law Bernice Delorme.
Leonard will be dearly missed by his loving wife Iris, his children, Jaime (Glen), Pernel (Shalanna), Stephanie (Jason), Brandon, Lenny (Birdie), and Sarah. His father Leonard Sr. Siblings Fred (Maureen), Freda(Alvin), Frank (Vivian), Mike (Tracy), Leon, Laura, Loretta (Darren), Lisa (Chuck), Billy and Amanda. Aunts, uncles, 14 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild, nieces and nephews and his numerous friends and family who loved him.
A Wake will be held on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 4:00 pm from the Yorkton Friendship Centre in Yorkton.
A Funeral Service will be held for Leonard on Thursday, October 14, 2021 at 1:00 pm from the Yorkton Friendship Centre in Yorkton with Pastor Fred Keshane officiating.
Interment will follow in the Yorkton City Cemetery.
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