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

Grand Forks’ Roly Russell met with The Gazette after he was named Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development Thursday, Nov. 26. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
NDP’s Roly Russell named secretary for rural development

Russell formerly represented rural Grand Forks on the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s elected board

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

Princeton council hopes fresh storefronts will compliment the investment already made in the downtown gateways and bronze statue park. (John Moody photo)
New program promises money for Princeton businesses to improve their storefronts

The municipality plans to commit $100,000 over the next five years

Glass of whiskey
UBCO substance use clinic goes virtual

The clinic is adapting the way it provides services as the pandemic continues

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Summerland residents have been receiving a telephone scam with the number showing as the telephone number of the local RCMP detachment. (Black Press Media files)
Summerland RCMP telephone number spoofed in scam calls

Number used in scam attempts from tax agency

(Village of Lumby photo)
Mysterious, loud ‘boom’ shakes North Okanagan residents

Village staff, Earthquakes Canada aren’t sure what caused the explosion-like sound

Clarence Fulton students collect cash and non-perishable food donations for families in need in their community Friday, Nov. 27. (Jennifer Smith  - Morning Star)
North Okanagan students collect food for families in need

Annual event to support nine school families this year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Take a break from the slopes to discover the rich culture and diversity of Vernon. Michelle Beaudry photo, courtesy Tourism Vernon.
Tourism Vernon could see 40% cut to budget due to COVID-19

New approach to help residents and visitors activate their adventures

Follow public health recommendations, says Interior Health as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Revelstoke. (Image courtesy CDC)
Revelstoke positive COVID cases grows to 29

Interior Health announced a cluster in the community on Nov. 26

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Penticton law courts
Osoyoos child sex offender in court

Shawn Titus, 37, is charged with possession of child porn

Most Read