Antone (Tony) Leperre of Dauphin, Manitoba, formerly of Waterhen, MB passed away on Sunday, October 20, 2019 at the age of 81 years.
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Antone (Tony) Leperre on Sunday, October 20th, 2019. Predeceased by his loving parents, and his beloved Wife of 53 years, Anne-Marie, he leaves to mourn their Children, Bruce and Diantha (Gary), his current loving Wife, Carol, and numerous family and friends. He was born on March 31st 1938 to Elizabeth (Bessie) Jopson Leperre and Marcel Leperre in Dauphin, Manitoba. He was an only child, and was predeceased by his parents in 1979 and 1982. Dad grew up in the Ste. Rose area and learned about hard work from early on. For someone who spent the majority of his life working, he worked ‘for’ very few people other than himself. He delivered newspapers in Ste. Rose at a young age and learned the trade of carpentry from his Dad. His adoring Mother shared her love for animals and he always showed his joy and amusement with the family pets (especially his recent grand-dogs Caliper and Samee). Along with carpentry, his Dad, also, taught him the thrills of hunting and fishing and, the trips from Ste. Rose to Waterhen became a regular occurrence. These hobbies and carpentry were then merged to create Leperre’s Waterhen Tourist Camp in 1956. Dad helped build a highly-respected business with many ‘regulars’ who became friends. The freedom and wilderness of Waterhen became home for Dad after the business got going, Dad then had his eye on the true catch of his life and so he married Anne-Marie Callewaert in Ste. Amelie in April of 1960 and moved her to Waterhen where they became parents to Bruce and Diantha. Dad worked hard in a ‘job’ doing what he loved. He was awarded multiple Manitoba Master Angler awards and was the go-to guy for hot spots on the Waterhen River(s). He helped build every big bright yellow boat at the Camp with his Dad. Grandpa and Dad’s boats were painted white and bigger than the rest. It was often said that watching people ‘follow’ the white boats on the Waterhen River was great entertainment because there were some who would get so close, they may as well have been in the same boat hoping to catch a little bit of Leperre fish magic! Hunting was also one of the pursuits beloved by Dad from moose to geese, to ducks and pheasants. He was truly living the dream. Dad would work up north to do carpentry but after leaving family behind, it became too hard and he soon learned how to work for himself by cutting tamarack fence posts or birch firewood and then onto commercial fishing. Many long and frigid winter days were spent out on Lake Manitoba and evenings were spent playing cards and drinking coffee with the many local couples, the Sandersons / Goffards, the Carrieres, the Taylors, the Basses, Michalots and Poschenreiders were all fond guests at the Leperre home. Dad was involved as school division chair and for Frontier School Division and active in the Manitoba Association of School Trustees. He drove school bus for many years in Waterhen and saved his daughter from being late many, many times. Working for Elections and Census Canada were, also, part of his diverse resume. If there was free time spent without hunting or fishing, music was a passion. As his children, our love of music and road trips was inherited from him … and a gift that we will always treasure. As the years progressed, Dad never lost his love or skill for fishing and even though the camp was sold in the late ‘80’s, Mom and Dad never moved far. He was fortunate enough to move even closer to the water where he could walk across the road and get into his boat whenever he wanted … and that is just what he did. After selling the camp, Dad returned to his carpentry ‘roots’ doing renovations, building sheds and guiding fisherman on the side - which was his real love. The fishing stories are numerous - suffice to say, we hope those memories live on and bring smiles for many thinking about the friendly bets and teasing with the wit and humour of Tony Leperre. Those were the times when Dad was truly in ‘his element’ and ‘at his best’ … with a fishing rod in one hand and landing a fish in the net in the other. Mom and Dad enjoyed the company of friends, and the lure of the penny slots; never going over his limit but managing to escape for a laugh and the dream of hitting it big - something he enjoyed to the very end. Dad not only worked and fished hard, he fought hard, for his health - he almost died from carbon monoxide poisoning while moose hunting and driving a poorly-vented Bombardier. He survived, but ended up with severe asthma spending over 50+ years on multiple steroids. He then struggled with Diabetes, overcame deadly skin cancer and had more cancerous spots removed from his face than anyone could count. He always had a good sense of humour and loved a good joke, but the toll on his mind and body from years of required medication and illness was there and visible to those he loved the most. He still smiled, most days, then he had a stroke in 2011 and, shockingly, lost his true love, Marie, in 2013. The loss of her took a massive toll on Dad, and he tried to put on a brave face, but he was desperately lost without Mom and his broken heart attacked him and put him in the hospital for a triple by-pass. He was a fighter though, and he came through, noting he had not felt better physically in years but the loss of companionship was more than he could bear and, shortly after, in 2015, Dad met Carol (Runions) Szoradi. After a whirlwind romance, they were wed in 2017. Carol made Dad smile, again, and he loved and cared for her dearly. Carol and Dad managed to do a lot in the short time they had, as Dad was not content to just sit around. Road trips, dining out, and even travel to visit family were all enjoyed until his last days. Carol and Dad moved from Waterhen in the spring of this year and although he tried to make the best of it, his body left Waterhen but his heart and soul never did. Health issues, memory and comprehension concerns plagued him and were a challenge but he never stopped caring about his family and friends and was determined to do ‘what he wanted to do’. We will forever miss our Dad / husband, but take solace that he got to do it ‘his way’ and there is no other way he would have wanted it.
Funeral Mass was held on Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 11:00 am from in Ste Rose du Lac, MB with Fr. Patrick Neufeld officiating. Interment followed in Ste. Amelie Cemetery in Ste. Amelle, MB. Pallbearers were Randy Chambers, Doug Dreher, Jeremy Zastre, Kelly Zastre, Jules Callewaert, Kris Wahlenberg.
God grant that I may live
to fish until my dying day,
and when it comes to my last cast,
I then most humbly pray,
when in the Lord’s safe landing net,
I’m peacefully asleep,
that in his mercy, I be judged
as good enough to keep.
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