After being orphaned last fall, Leonard Omer Claeys of Glenboro, MB succumbed to cancer joining his parents in eternal rest on Thursday May 3, 2018. Leonard was predeceased by his mother (Madeliene 2017), father (Omer 2003), and sister (Debbie 1973).
In his 66 years with us, Lenny was known for being a fighter. After graduating from Auctioneering School in Mason City, Iowa, in his early adult life, “Slammer” became known to have a keen eye to fight for, and find the highest bid. As a Hockey Coach in Glenboro, Mr. Claeys was as competitive as the kids, often suggesting alternative methods to help the boys skate faster. In 1986, he moved his family to Roblin where he lived for about a decade, running the Esso Bulk Agency, again fighting to be among the best in town. When the kids moved out in the mid-90’s, Lenny moved to Virden to try the “other side of the bar”, slinging drinks in the Alexandra Hotel. Again, never backing down from a fight, before semi-retiring. But the fight did not end there. During his semi-retirement, Lenny obtained his security guard licence and worked part time with a security company in Brandon. This was not for the pay cheque, but for the pure entertainment and the occasional fight!
During retirement he took on the nickname “one-step” in his travels, because of his amputated leg. Never shy, he would always entertain curiosity of others about his prosthetic leg, which he named “El Lobo”. In his retirement work as a “Hobo on Tour” he wintered in places like the Philippines, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, and vacationed in Cuba and Dominican Republic repeatedly where he would bring used baseball gloves for the local kids. Leonard lived as a fighter in all he did and most all the time things were Black or White to him. However, he took pride in “being immature, irresponsible and delinquent” as was listed on his business card. Lenny’s request would be for 6 of the Dallas Cowboys to be his pall bearers, so that they could let him down one last time.
Left to mourn his passing are: his son Cory Claeys of Calgary, Alberta; daughter Crystal (Barry) Welcher of Roblin, Manitoba; Grandchildren, Brandon Claeys, Jake Welcher, Jessi Welcher, Shelby (Carson) Cockerill, Samantha (Nathan) Holt; great-grandchildren, Daxton Cockerill and Van Holt; Uncle Bert (Irene) Claeys, Aunt Astrid Wytnick, and Uncle Roy (Glenda) Claeys; as well as many cousins, extended family, neighbors and friends.
Leonard held to his convictions on certain issues and stood strong in his views. He believed that education was the most important gift you could give to young people. Friends that so desire, memorial donations can be made in Len's memory to the Glenboro School, Glenboro MB R0K 0X0. It was Len’s wish that this money be used to give students the opportunity to participate in educational and extracurricular experiences.
A Private Family Service will be held at a later date.