Leonard Nels Gregoire
April 20, 1929 – December 2, 2013
Passed away peacefully in his home at Head of the Lake Road on the Okanagan Indian Reserve. He is survived by his wife of 53 years Virginia Gregoire. Daughters Coralie Gregoire-Egan (Rob), Sharmaine Gregoire (Garry Marchand). Sons Ron Felix, Albert Davis. Godchildren Carl Gregoire, Joanne Gregoire and Stacey Bonneau. Grandchildren Lacey Gregoire-Gabriel (Curtis), Alexis Gregoire, Ashley Gregoire-Wildcat (Everette), Peter Von Kanel, Jedney Davis and Waylon Davis. Great Grandchildren Devon, Abilynn and Baby Boy Wildcat. Sisters Pauline Gregoire-Archachan, Cecilia Gottfriedson and Marjorie Kaye. Brothers Adam Gregoire and Roddie Gregoire. Also numerous nieces and nephews.
Leonard is predeceased by his parents Tommy and Mary Gregoire, and brothers Abraham Dubrett, Siggie Gregoire, JR Gregoire and Jerry Gregoire.
Leonard lived a full life surrounded by his family. He was a cowboy from the start. He started exercising Grandpa Francois Gregoire’s horses at 8 years old and was his jockey at a young age. He went on to breaking horses and became a rodeo contractor with his dad, which eventually led Leonard to riding saddle bronc and bulls.
Over the years Leonard played hockey and baseball. He ran an all-Native hockey team, the Head of the Lake Stampeders. Eventually Leonard went back to his passion of racing quarter horses and thoroughbreds, and holds six track records in Canada and the U.S. In 2011 Leonard was the number 2 trainer in the BC Interior Circuit at the age of 82.
Along with horse training, Leonard’s other passion was the revitalization of the Okanagan language. Leonard was a proud Okanagan man, fluent in his language. He passed it on through his teachings at the Okangan Language Nest, where he taught his grandchildren and little ones attending the program. He was a consultant for Okanagan Language Books as well as for the Vancouver Legal Services Society.
A quiet reserved man with a big heart, he will be missed by many.