The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is mouring the death of former president Len Dergousoff of Salmon Arm. The longtime Revelstoke Grizziies board member, who was president from 1999-2002, lost a year-long battle with cancer at age 80. (Dergousoff family photo)

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is mouring the death of former president Len Dergousoff of Salmon Arm. The longtime Revelstoke Grizziies board member, who was president from 1999-2002, lost a year-long battle with cancer at age 80. (Dergousoff family photo)

Former KIJHL president dies after cancer battle

Len Dergousoff, 80, of Salmon Arm, was longtime Revelstoke Grizzlies exec, president 1999-2002

EMANUEL SEQUEIRA

KIJHL Communications

Tributes are pouring in for former Kootenay International Junior Hockey League president Len Dergousoff.

The longtime Revelstoke Grizzlies board member, who headed up the league from 1999-2002, died in Salmon Arm, where he resided, after a year-long bout with cancer at the age of 80.

“Len made a tremendous impact on the KIJHL during his time leading the league,” says current commissioner Jeff Dubois. “He was instrumental in the addition of franchises in Nelson, Creston and Summerland at a time when the KIJHL only had 11 member clubs, and he had a vision for promoting the league and our high calibre of play that was ahead of its time. He also helped bring the KIJHL into the digital age with the launch of our first website.”

Grizzlies coach-GM Ryan Parent says the Dergousoff family has been entrenched in the hockey community in B.C. for many, many years.

“They have done some very positive things for the KI, and he’s a spearhead of that for sure,” says Parent.

Jacquie Federico remembers watching her father create KIJHL league schedules by hand. Cards would be all over the living room floor.

“He was setting it up, making sure that everybody had it all equal. It was pretty neat how he used to do it,” says Federico.

Dergousoff loved doing work for the league, he loved hockey and Federico described her father as “pretty thick-skinned.”

“He didn’t have issues dealing with complaints and he did what he needed to do. He loved his role,” she says. “He was a strong man that way. He’s the one who basically got the league registered as a society. Drafted up the constitution that is still in place. I remember them hand typing them up and getting it all organized. There was a lot of push back at that time. Some people liked it, some people didn’t. At least you had the rules in place.”

As a volunteer, Dergousoff put in endless hours while also working full-time as a lumber grader at Downie Timber in Revelstoke. Former KIJHL president Bill Ohlhausen worked with Dergousoff as a volunteer, serving in the role of vice-president and doing statistics. Ohlhausen says Dergousoff was very good in his role with the league.

“He was focused on the league and he wanted it to go ahead,” says Ohlhausen. “It was a great honour working with him at the time.”

His passion rubbed off on the family.

Federico does marketing for the Grizzlies. Her brother Ken played for the Castlegar Rebels and Trail Smoke Eaters with son-in-law Rick Finlay. And his other son Dwayne played for the Rebels and the Beaver Valley Nitehawks. Dergousoff’s grandson Louie Federico played for the Grizzlies (2014-16). Dergousoff watched all the home games and often traveled to watch the away games no matter how bad the weather was. He was always proud to wear his “team hat.”

“He loved being part of the game,” she says. “He just always loved hockey.”

READ MORE: KIJHL pauses play for two weeks in wake of new COVID-19 restrictions



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

KIJHLObituary

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

A Coldstream resident who found an owl struggling on her property in March 2021 is now spreading awareness of about the knock-on effects of rodent poisoning. (Kathy Renaud photo)
Coldstream owl ‘fighting for her life’ after ingesting rat poison

Coldstream resident warns against the use of rodenticide due to risk of secondary poisoning in raptors

Vernon residents can breathe a little easier now that a dust advisory has ended in the area. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Dust advisory lifted in Vernon

Changing meteorological conditions have improved regional air quality

The City of Vernon is looking for input into its Climate Action Plan. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Vernon voices wanted on climate action plan

Community engagement sought on city plan

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Isaac Gilbert is running for council in the by-election for Jake Kimberley’s vacated seat. (Submitted)
First candidate for Penticton council by-election makes himself known

Isaac Gilbert is making a second run at council after receiving 19.63 per cent of the vote in 2018

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna General Hospital

One patient and one staff member on Unit have tested positive for the virus.

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read