LEONARD "LEN" WARELIS
LEONARD E. WARELIS
December 8, 1958 - November 13, 2020
It is with sad hearts that we announce the passing of Leonard E. Warelis. Affectionately known by many as Dad, Len, Lenny, Leapin’ Len, Papa Len, Coach Len, and “my guy”. Survived by his wife Joanne, sons Andrew and Aaron, and beloved dog Milo.
Every spare moment Len had was spent at the family farm with his Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and Grandparents. Here he enjoyed killing chickens, baling hay, corralling cattle, driving around on the “Farmall”, eating sandwiches in the field, and playing cards with the family. When he wasn’t at the farm, Len could be found out around the Headingly area snowmobiling with friends or out in Gimli at the race track.
Many hours of Lens childhood were spent at the Charleswood golf course across from his childhood home. The rest of his time was spent touring the streets of Charleswood delivering newspapers to replace the abandoned golf balls in the neighbourhood bushes. When winter came, he would enjoy spending time at Varsity View CC. with friends.
His first job was at KFC, where he’d always brag to his family on how he alone could run 6 cookers at a time. At the end of some of his shifts he’d bring home buckets of chicken much to the enjoyment of his mom Sylvia. Sure enough what do we find in Len’s mementos not one but two Coronel Sanders bow ties! From there he moved on to the maintenance crew at the downtown Holiday Inn Hotel as a young man. Life was exciting during these days, when he’d spend his nights partying, then getting a few hours of sleep before his early shifts.
Eventually it came time to settle down when he met his wife Joanne at his job with Motor Coach Industries. It wasn’t long before they had their first son Andrew, and they tied the knot soon after. Life kept moving forward and they bought their first house in South St. Vital where they welcomed their second son Aaron. His boys brought him a lot of joy, and he was always proud to see them involved in a variety of sports. He was very involved in his children’s lives - he coached Andrew’s hockey team in the early years, and when Andrew found a passion for baseball, he enjoyed managing the team or keeping score. Andrews’s involvement in baseball also led to the occasional road trip to nearby towns. Aaron had a special talent for football, and The Mustangs Football Club is where Len spent most of his weekends volunteering as the team manager. As the boys grew older they both came to love golf, just like their dad – Golfing at South Side golf course as a school outing was Andrew and Aaron’s first memories of golf that led to their passion for the game today.
Many family trips were made to the Duck Mountains. This is where Len and Joanne taught their boys how to camp, fish, and enjoy the simple things in life. Eventually Dad gave in and the family got a dog, Milo, who became his best friend. Every moment spent watching TV or in the back yard was accompanied by his little buddy.
Summer vacations as a family often meant packing up the car and making the 16-hour drive to visit in-laws in Edmonton, Calgary and Jasper. As the kids became young adults, Len and Joanne would take time off to go fishing for days on end. These fishing trips took them to places such as: Minaki, Nestor Falls, and Canyon Lake. Len always boasted about how great of a fisherman he was growing up. Unfortunately, these skills did not follow him into his adult life. More hours were spent swearing at his fishing rod than actually catching fish. If you visit these lakes, please be on the lookout for his lost hats and half fishing rods. In the end, he quite enjoyed being the “Captain” of his own sinking ship. If he wasn’t complaining about Joanne, he was providing unsolicited fishing tips and lake tours.
“Tours by Len” – not recommended.
Water was not an option to Len, and instead was always seen with a cup of coffee or can of Pepsi in his hand. Although he lived in the city, he tried to bring a little bit of the farm to his home. This was done by growing large gardens every summer. Consider yourself special if you ever received cucumbers, tomatoes or heads of lettuce from their yield.
Anyone who spoke to Len would know of his love of The White Tail Lodge. Family reunions and the occasional weekends spent here are what he looked forward to the most. Family memories of hunting, barbequing, chopping wood, exploring the “bone yard” in the back forty, and the occasional consumption of home brew were cherished moments by him. Yet again, “Tours by Len” were supplied to his family without the option of opting out. We cannot say enough about this place, as it’s truly where his heart was and those who knew him best would agree.
His free time in the city was spent managing the socials and other events held at Greendell Community Club where he felt at home. He formed a tight alliance there with those who took care of the place year round. They were the ones that made ice, cut the fields, and everything in between. These individuals are who he relied on when he was in a pinch. Many summer mornings were spent drinking coffee and throwing shots at each other around the picnic table. The word got out, and Len found himself at his beloved Mustang’s Football Club – affectionately coined “The Club”. Nearly every weekend you could find him cleaning, repairing, and preparing the hall to make every event special and safe for patrons. Any guest who came to view the hall was guaranteed to be given a Mustang’s history lesson as his love of the club always shone though. His twenty years of volunteering led to the inevitable “Volunteer of the Year” award in 2010. His sons would say their dad’s undeniable work ethic rubbed off on them, and everything they do in life is done with the same dedication and commitment that they saw in their dad.
Len was sent on his journey with mementos chosen by his family:
A deck of cards symbolizing the countless games played at the farm and at home
A golf ball representing the endless hours on the course playing and looking for balls
A picture of his black 1974 Monte Carlo
A playing card with a “bikini girl” photo symbolizing…
A photo of the 1987 World Series that he attended in Minneapolis
A picture of his wedding with Joanne in 1993
A picture of his house that they made a home
A copy of the Ethelbert Echo Newspaper, his favourite read upon arriving at his parent’s house
His White Tail Lodge baseball hat from the 2009 Family Reunion
A dime – every time he swept the floor at “The Club”, he was sure to find a dime.
A Set-for-Life scratch ticket ($5 winning ticket)
A $5 bill since he always complained about never having money in his wallet
Pictures of him with his children, and a photo of Milo
A flower from each beautiful bouquet sent by loving family and friends
A single one oz. bottle of Rye representing his carefree days
A Rosary and a single cream coloured rose from his sister and her family
A celebration of Leonard’s life will be planned at a later date. In keeping with the spirit of Len, his family asks those who knew him to go out into your communities and give freely of yourself and your time.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”
ETHICAL DEATH CARE
Cremation & Life Celebrations
530 St, Mary Avenue - Winnipeg
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