Leo Delphine Verhelst, 80, passed away Friday, September 5, 2014 at the Columbia House Long-Term Care Facility in Invermere, BC.
Leo was born July 21, 1934 near Antwerp, Belgium. He spent his adolescent years in Belgium, then his family migrated to Canada to escape the horrors of World War II. The Family settled in Medicine Hat, Alberta to labour on the sugar beet farms. Leo spent his teen years toiling on the farm and sought to improve his situation by attending a trade school to become a carpenter. With adulthood he achieved his ticket and moved to Red Deer, where he later meet his wife to be Wilma. They married in November 1958 and remained married for 56 happy years until his passing.
Together they built a home, a family, and a business. Leo’s Construction was his pride and his company enjoyed success and attributes in the community. In the early 1990’s after doing some work for a friend in the village of Radium, Leo and Wilma decided that this very friendly community was the place they wanted to retire. They did this in 1995 after building a new home there. Semi retirement only occurred, as Leo found his skills an asset to the community. This was mutually beneficial, as work was truly his comfort zone and only a serious accident in 2010 would prevent him from continuing. Leo spent his last 4 years of his life in the Columbia House Long-Term Care Facility in Invermere.
Leo is survived by his wife Wilma, his sister Arlette of France, his son Daniel of Surrey, his daughter Linda of Prince George, his daughter Laura of Calgary, his grandchildren Ricardo, Dillon and Myles, his great grandchildren Rihanna and Zachary. Leo is predeceased by parents Leon and Delphine and by daughter Tina-Louise and son James.
Leo lead a life with a simple philosophy where anything worth having, was earned with your hands. Leo’s hands made three personal homes for his family and many homes for other families and contributed selflessly to his community. He did take some time to fly fish, play cards with friends, keep the perfect lawn and above all, enjoy some chocolate.
In honour of this quiet simple life, the family has decided to have a personal celebration of Leo’s life. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations to the Columbia Long-Term Care Facility (850- 10th Avenue, Invermere, British Columbia, V0A 1K0) where Leo was treated with kindness and dignity.
Leo defined what a good man should be. This hardworking, loving and kind man will be sorely missed, but never forgotten.
Arrangements entrusted to McPherson Funeral Service.
Condolences for the family can be offered at: www.mcphersonfh.com