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Joseph Noel Lionel Leopold (Leo) Bourassa

December 12, 1931 ~ December 3, 2023

Joseph Noel Lionel Leopold (Leo) Bourassa

Long-time Yukon resident, Leo Bourassa peacefully passed away on Dec. 3, 2023, in Whitehorse. Born in Radville, SK, on Dec. 12, 1931. He moved to Whitehorse in 1951, joining his brother Al.

On Jan. 15, 1954, he married his beloved Irma Bourassa (née Praeger) at Sacred Heart Church which marked the beginning of a remarkable 70-year journey together.

Leo, a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, leaves behind a legacy of accomplishments and service to his community. He served with the 19th Alberta Dragoons from 1955-1959. He was a firefighter at the Takhini Firehall and Whitehorse Airport, an ambulance attendant, and a first aid instructor with St. John Ambulance. He was awarded the Order of St. John by Governor General Madame Sauvé for his efforts. Leo’s adventurous spirit led him to get his pilot’s license at age 47.

Leo and Irma spent many summers at their cabin at Marsh Lake where he was an avid hydroponic gardener. He kept everyone well-supplied with his produce. The couple had a passion for adventure and travelled the world. Leo and Irma especially loved cruising. After retirement, they spent 25 winters in Arizona.

Leo was a jack of all trades. His generosity and handiness were widely known, assisting others with various tasks, chopping down trees, installing satellite dishes and firefighting pumps to protect properties along McClintock Bay.

A dedicated member of his community, Leo contributed significantly to building better lives in the Yukon. He served as a rural ambulance supervisor, played tennis, curled, was a carpenter, and organized pancake breakfasts with the Knights of Columbus.

Leo’s memory lives on in the hearts of his family. Leo is survived by his wife Irma, son Ernie, daughter Karen (Neale), grandchildren Warren (Melinda), Rhianna (Daniel), Brett, and his great-grandchildren as well as his great-great-grandchild. Leo came from a family of 12 and is survived by his sister Marie and brother Frank.

The family expresses gratitude to the staff at Whistle Bend for their outstanding care during Leo’s last years.

In honouring Leo, we will remember a man of diverse talents, boundless generosity, and a love for life that touched everyone around him.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Leo’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Comments (4)
  • 17 December 2023
    Vic & Rita Adamache

    We are so sad to hear of Leo’s passing, we were so fortunate to meet him many years ago in Whitehorse. We had many good times together. To Irma & his family, please accept our deepest sympathy.

  • 19 December 2023
    Joe & Lila Bartoszek

    We are sorry for your loss. We had the pleasure of meeting Leo and Irma on a cruise many, many years ago and had such a great time together that we stayed in touch. We send peace and comfort from afar.

  • 24 December 2023
    Patricia Hobbs

    Irma and Family,
    I am so sorry for your loss.
    I met Leo while taking a First Aid course in the early 80’s. Leo went above and beyond to help me out during a very tough time in my life. He was such a lovely man. I reached out to Leo back in 2008 and spent an afternoon with both him and Irma while they were in Surrey, B.C. They were visiting their daughter before heading to Arizona for the Winter. Leo shared a story about the park they stayed at in Arizona and how there were no pets allowed and he had a ceramic dog he placed outside his door just to get a laugh.
    Leo was such a pivotal person in my life and I will never forget him.

  • 24 December 2023
    Paul Taylor

    I was saddened to read of Leo’s passing. He was not only a mentor but a valued friend over the years.
    Sending my deepest condolences to Irma, Ernie and family.
    Rest in peace my friend.

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