Les was born July 7, 1942 to Helen and Howard Wallace in Medicine Hat, Alberta. At the age of 4, Les and his mother moved to the teacherage at Helen’s school between Chinook and Youngstown where she took a teaching position. They were met in Youngstown by Gus Rosenau who, unknown to Les, was the brother of Ted, Les’ future step-father. During this time Les made lifelong friendships through card playing, dancing and socializing with several of the Rosenau households including Marj, Ed, Rita, Gus and Colleen and their families. Time with the Rosenaus meant lots of farm adventures and Les began his connection with the farming community. Summers were spent with grandparents in Medicine Hat while Helen upgraded her teaching qualifications. His grandparents inspired him with more card playing and arduous gardening. After 4 years teaching at Helen’s school and Oyen, they moved to Hanna where his mother took a new teaching position. In 1956 Helen moved them to Calgary where she married Ted who then adopted Les and turned his Youngstown friends into family members. After graduation from Viscount Bennett in 1961, Les obtained a position with the Bank of Nova Scotia and began his career. The bank transferred him many times as it was their process to move young employees to more challenging positions. From Calgary, to Innisfail then a transfer to Virden, Manitoba where Les met his future wife, Mary. Fate brought them back together when the bank transferred Les to Winnipeg where Mary was attending Business College. Their romance blossomed and they were married in St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Virden on May 20, 1967. Four years later their son Warren was born and two years after, their daughter, Krista. Meanwhile, Mary’s parents, Florence and Peter Drake of Elkhorn, Manitoba were very thankful to have Les spend holidays acting as farmhand by driving grain trucks, reshingling the farmhouse and even building a treehouse for the kids.
The bank kept him busy throughout his working life and he rose through positions to become bank manager in 1972. Les retired in 1996 from Bank of Nova Scotia after 35.5 years of banking in the prairies. He was a strong supporter of community involvement wherever he worked and he held many positions of leadership in Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, Hockey Club, Nickel Days, New Sask, Lutheran Church, Curling Club, Junior Achievement, Cubs and Boy Scouts. These many years of client interaction, community association, and the multiple friendships are all indications of a life well lived. Les’ affable leadership was missed by communities he left behind.
After retirement Les enjoyed 23 years of snowbirding to Texas, Arizona and Victoria. His globe trotting included tours and cruises to historical locations including Eastern Canada, China, Egypt, South Africa, Russia, Europe and Norway. He fulfilled his love for adventure and crossed many places off his bucket list.
Above all, family was most dear to Les. He cherished the moments he was able to share with his children, siblings and extended family. He and Mary celebrated the arrivals of four wonderful grandchildren and shared his love of adventure and recreation with them including fishing trips with the tent trailer and later the fifth wheel to many lakes as well as camping in Kananaskis country. He and Mary often traveled to Ontario to spend precious time with their two grandsons and had the good fortune to watch his two granddaughters grow into lovely young ladies and help celebrate all of their accomplishments over the years. Poppa will be greatly missed.
Les’ final years were touched by Alzheimers disease but he continued to live a full life, albeit with a more gentle spirit. He developed metastatic melanoma in 2019 for which there was no successful treatment and peacefully passed away at home. Left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 53 years, Mary, his children Warren (Bojana) Rosenau and Krista (Dave) Calder, his grandchildren Jocelyn, Caitlyn, Benjamin and George, his sister Irene (Alan) Harty and his brother Sheldon (Betty) Rosenau. He will also be remembered by his step sister Elaine (Gord) Seip and step brother Howard (Patti) Wallace; as well as many cousins and nephews and nieces. Les was a loving husband, a wonderful father, a kind poppa, brother and friend to many and we will miss you.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a private family Celebration of Life will be held at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church. We welcome attendance of extended family and friends at the virtual service honouring Les. A virtual recording of the Celebration of Life is available via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPE217sWiTk . Interment will take place on Monday June 8, 2020 at 10:00 am at Hillside Cemetery in Medicine Hat, Alberta. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Holy Spirit Lutheran Church Memorial Fund.