Leslie White

Obituary of Leslie White

WHITE: Leslie "Les" Brian White passed away, with family by his side, at Fairview Home in Brandon, on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at the age of 94 years. Les was born on January 4, 1928, at home, in Russell Municipality, near the village of Binscarth. He was the sixth child in a family of eight children born to George and Agnes White. His father, a First World War veteran, owned and operated the local gas station. Les's parents were the only ones in their families to immigrate from England to Canada. He never met his extended family until a trip to England in 1978, when he met his first cousins. Les was a child of the Great Depression  and the Second World War. His two older brothers were both wounded in action during the war and he was forever grateful that they survived. Life lessons from those difficult years served as the foundation for Les's life. Family, a strong work ethic, social responsibility, civic duty, volunteerism, and reusing and recycling were lifelong commitments. At the age of eight, Les came very close to drowning. His life-threatening experience did not deter him as he became a strong swimmer and achieved his scuba diving certification. Twice he was able to pay his gratitude forward by saving others from drowning. Growing up Les had a passion for the steam engine and the railroad. In 1950 he was hired by the CPR as a telegrapher. He worked in various locations across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Ontario. With the advent of automation, telegraphy positions were eliminated. Les's ambition to become a police officer was realized in May 1958 when he joined the Brandon City Police. During his 30 year career with the Brandon City Police, Les was promoted through the ranks retiring in 1988 as Deputy Chief. Les graduated with the Municipal Police Administration Diploma from the Institute for Training in Municipal Administration in Chicago and with the Senior Police Administration Diploma from the Canadian Police College in Ottawa. Les was a founding member and served on the executive of the Brandon City Police Association. Les was instrumental in developing Brandon's first formal police education and training program. He initiated collaborations that resulted in Brandon's first Monster Mash and first Safe Grad. Les brought the concept of Crime Stoppers to Brandon and was on the committee that established the city's first Crime Stoppers program. Les received a Chief Constable Letter of Commendation for his leadership in solving a high profile case and was invited to submit an article about the case to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Gazette. Les was honoured to be part of Princess Margaret and Lord Snowden's security detail in 1974, and Princess Anne's in 1982, during their visits to Brandon. He was very pleased that his carriage was used to transport Princess Anne and that he was permitted to ride with her on the carriage. Les was a member of the Brandon City Police Mounted Patrol and was cofounder of the Blue and Gold Ball. Les received The First and Second Award of The Police Exemplary Service Medal for twenty years and thirty years of loyal and meritorious service to law enforcement in Canada. He also received the Brandon City Police 30 Year Bar for Exemplary Police Service. Les believed in giving back to his community. Over the years, he was on the Board of Directors for the Alcoholism Foundation of Manitoba, a charter member and first director of the Assiniboine Optimist Club, President of the Brandon Light Horse and Pony Society, founding member of the Commonwealth Air Training Museum, a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, a member of the International Morse Code Telegrapher Club and the British Home Children Society. He was also a long-time member of Toastmasters Club 293. Les married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Watt, in a double wedding ceremony at St. Peter's Anglican Church, Balmerino, Manitoba in 1952. Their first home was in Upsala, Ontario where Les worked for the railroad and Dorothy was the community school teacher. Both described the two years there as the best years of their lives. Les was transferred to Wapella, Saskatchewan where they spent the next four years and children Linda and Barry were born. The family moved to Brandon when Les stared his police career. They took up residence in the city's East End where they lived for 17 years. Both Les and Dorothy considered themselves East Enders at heart and spent many hours volunteering at the East End Community Centre. In 1973 Les and Dorothy bought 10 acres in the country and developed Bloom’n Acres from a dirt field into a lovely acreage. Over the years they had a variety of animals however it was the horses they enjoyed the most. They raised, trained and showed registered Hackney ponies. They were most proud of their pony, Chapdale's Patrol Sergeant who won many championships. Les and Dorothy did many weddings and parades with their carriage and team of black Canadian horses. They were part of the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair evening horse show opening ceremonies for 13 years during the 1980s and 1990s transporting dignitaries. Les and Dorothy loved to travel. Over the years, they travelled from coast to coast, to England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, took an Alaskan cruise and made many trips to Branson and Nashville. They enjoyed hosting family gatherings and especially loved to dance the old time dances. Les and Dorothy celebrated their 68th Wedding Anniversary July 19, 2020. Family was always most important to Les. He was a proud supportive husband, father, grandpa and great-grandpa. At times of reflection, Les would talk about being no stranger to loss and grief. He was predeceased by his parents, his brothers Arthur (Del), Bernie (Gladys) and Gordon and his sisters Joan (Don Charles), Imogen (Murray Pizzey), Muriel (Garnet Scarrow) and Phyllis (Roy Shaw), sister-in-law Doreen Robinson, brother-in-law Sherman Watt, nephews David, George and Calvin and nieces Bev and Judy. The most difficult losses were the death of grandson Andrew in June 2013 and his beloved Dorothy in October 2020. Left to cherish Les's memory are daughter Linda and her husband Daryl Mooney, son Barry and his wife Evelyn Soto, granddaughter Leslee and her husband Brendan Brown, great- granddaughter Avery Brown and great-grandson Colter Brown, sisters-in-law Gail White and Brenda Watt, brother-in-law Murray Robinson and many special nieces and nephews.

A Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving for Les's life was held at Brockie Donovan Chapel on September 20, 2022 with Police Honours. The dignity and respect shown by retired and serving Police Officers will never be forgotten. Les was laid to rest with Dorothy at the Brandon Cemetery Columbarium. The family is thankful to 2nd floor Fairview Home staff for their dedicated care and support. Les often commented about the good care and so enjoyed his social interactions with staff.

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Chapel Service

2:00 pm
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Brockie Donovan Chapel
332-8th Street
Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
(204) 727-0694


Brandon Cemetery
1901 18th Street
Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
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