The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is mouring the death of former president Len Dergousoff of Salmon Arm. The longtime Revelstoke Grizziies board member, who was president from 1999-2002, lost a year-long battle with cancer at age 80. (Dergousoff family photo)

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is mouring the death of former president Len Dergousoff of Salmon Arm. The longtime Revelstoke Grizziies board member, who was president from 1999-2002, lost a year-long battle with cancer at age 80. (Dergousoff family photo)

Former KIJHL president dies after cancer battle

Len Dergousoff, 80, of Salmon Arm, was longtime Revelstoke Grizzlies exec, president 1999-2002

EMANUEL SEQUEIRA

KIJHL Communications

Tributes are pouring in for former Kootenay International Junior Hockey League president Len Dergousoff.

The longtime Revelstoke Grizzlies board member, who headed up the league from 1999-2002, died in Salmon Arm, where he resided, after a year-long bout with cancer at the age of 80.

“Len made a tremendous impact on the KIJHL during his time leading the league,” says current commissioner Jeff Dubois. “He was instrumental in the addition of franchises in Nelson, Creston and Summerland at a time when the KIJHL only had 11 member clubs, and he had a vision for promoting the league and our high calibre of play that was ahead of its time. He also helped bring the KIJHL into the digital age with the launch of our first website.”

Grizzlies coach-GM Ryan Parent says the Dergousoff family has been entrenched in the hockey community in B.C. for many, many years.

“They have done some very positive things for the KI, and he’s a spearhead of that for sure,” says Parent.

Jacquie Federico remembers watching her father create KIJHL league schedules by hand. Cards would be all over the living room floor.

“He was setting it up, making sure that everybody had it all equal. It was pretty neat how he used to do it,” says Federico.

Dergousoff loved doing work for the league, he loved hockey and Federico described her father as “pretty thick-skinned.”

“He didn’t have issues dealing with complaints and he did what he needed to do. He loved his role,” she says. “He was a strong man that way. He’s the one who basically got the league registered as a society. Drafted up the constitution that is still in place. I remember them hand typing them up and getting it all organized. There was a lot of push back at that time. Some people liked it, some people didn’t. At least you had the rules in place.”

As a volunteer, Dergousoff put in endless hours while also working full-time as a lumber grader at Downie Timber in Revelstoke. Former KIJHL president Bill Ohlhausen worked with Dergousoff as a volunteer, serving in the role of vice-president and doing statistics. Ohlhausen says Dergousoff was very good in his role with the league.

“He was focused on the league and he wanted it to go ahead,” says Ohlhausen. “It was a great honour working with him at the time.”

His passion rubbed off on the family.

Federico does marketing for the Grizzlies. Her brother Ken played for the Castlegar Rebels and Trail Smoke Eaters with son-in-law Rick Finlay. And his other son Dwayne played for the Rebels and the Beaver Valley Nitehawks. Dergousoff’s grandson Louie Federico played for the Grizzlies (2014-16). Dergousoff watched all the home games and often traveled to watch the away games no matter how bad the weather was. He was always proud to wear his “team hat.”

“He loved being part of the game,” she says. “He just always loved hockey.”

READ MORE: KIJHL pauses play for two weeks in wake of new COVID-19 restrictions



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

KIJHLObituary

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Numerous businesses, including the Roxie movie theater, have closed to try and stop spread of COVID-19. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke COVID-19 cases tick slowly up to 49

An increase of only three cases since Nov. 30

Danielle Kraemer tested positive for COVID-19. She is one of so far 46 cases in the community since the beginning of November. She is sharing her story publicly to stop the spread of fear. (Submitted)
I have COVID-19: Revelstokian shares her mental anguish with the deadly virus

Everyone is different and we should talk about it says Danielle Kraemer

(File)
One death and 82 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

1,981 total cases, 609 are active and those individuals are on isolation

Paramedic Jason Manuel, dressed in PPE, inspects an ambulance at Station 341 on Nov. 30. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Second wave, twice the anxiety; Okanagan paramedics reflect on pandemic from the front line

‘I don’t know who that (next) person is going to be, I don’t want it to be me or my family’: Paramedic

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Two arrested after attack at Vernon home

Police spotted around 43rd Avenue linked to Wednesday assault

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
Kelowna hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced the Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Damage to window panes at the downtown Salmon Arm Askew’s location could still be seen on Dec. 4. It was apparently caused by a pellet gun overnight on Dec. 2. (Jim Elliot-Salmon Arm Observer)
Windows damaged by pellet gun at both Salmon Arm Askew’s locations

Window panes were shot multiple times overnight on Dec. 2.

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty respirators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan releases his election platform, Vancouver, Oct. 6, 2020, featuring COVID-19 relief payments promised for most households. (B.C. NDP photo)
Next $1.5 billion in B.C. COVID-19 cash ‘prudent,’ Horgan says

New round of payments for household incomes up to $175,000

KIJHL games have been postponed through Dec. 31. (File photo)
KIJHL postpones all games through end of 2020

Due to provincial health orders, games up to Dec. 31 have been pushed back

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Former Kelowna social worker arrested for allegedly stealing from foster kids

Robert Riley Saunders was arrested in Alberta and will be brought back to B.C. to face charges

Most Read