January 25, 1930 – December 6, 2020
Leo Alphonse Benoit passed away peacefully on Dec 6, 2020, at the age of 90 in Kamloops. He is survived by his loving wife of 69 years Maree Mary. Leo was born on January 25, 1930, in Terrace BC to Leon and Anna Benoit.
Leo is also survived by his children Elaine (Peter), Tom (Peggy), Keray (Marianne), Steven (Barb), and Moray. Also, his grandchildren Cody (Jacquie) Phillips, Amy Phillips, Petra (Mark) Hoosein, Michael (Helen) Boronowski, Brian (Jessie) leVann, Michael Benoit, Stephanie Benoit, Lachlan Benoit, Devon (John) Graham, Jason (Leah) Benoit, Jarrod (Satricia) Benoit, Hannah Benoit, Sophie Benoit. Leo and Maree also have 16 great-grandchildren.
Leo was the 6th in a family of 10 children; Ovid, Ivan, Irene, George, Peter, Helene, Marianne, Speedy, and David. Born into the beginning of the “dirty thirties” Leo spent his time helping his mother tend the large garden and cooking on the woodstove, something he did all of his life.
Raised on the banks of the Skeena River, he was taught to fish and hunt by his brother Ivan and continued to be an avid outdoorsman with an environmental conscience, which he passed on to his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Leo was a “working man” and was pulled out of school at age 12 to join his brothers in the logging industry with his first job horse logging “in behind” Smithers. At age 18 Leo joined the navy and was stationed in several naval ports including Victoria where he met and married Maree.
Leaving the navy with qualifications in heavy-duty mechanics and fuel injection he worked in many towns and cities throughout BC and Alberta with his young and growing family.
The family settled down in Williams Lake where all of the children graduated, and Leo and Maree started Northland Equipment and Rentals Ltd. They then sold the business and started their lifelong dream; the B7 Ranch at Meldrum Creek. Years later with the children leaving home they returned to town, Leo working for SD 24, running small businesses, building spec houses, and helping Maree look after the children in her daycare. Leo was active in the community with the Lions, Air Cadets, Scouts, and hockey teams.
Maree and Leo travelled around BC and the world to visit their children and then established a home overlooking McLeese lake. This was where the grandchildren formed fond memories of helping him in his garden, fishing, and playing competitive card games like crib. Leo and Maree eventually settled down in Kamloops to be close to Family. Leo’s greatest pride and legacy was his large and loving family.
There will be a gathering of family and friends next year when appropriate to remember Leo and celebrate his life.
Thank you to the staff at The Hamlets for looking after Leo.
Condolences may be sent to the family from www.kamloopsfuneralhome.com
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