April 3, 1953 - November 1, 2022
After sharing his gratitude for family and friends, and remembering a life well lived, Les passed away holding the hand of his loving wife, Betty... watching the first snow of the season fall, along with the last of the autumn leaves. Diagnosed a year and a half ago with an aggressive form of cancer, Les met his illness with courage, goodwill and good humour. He always loved being outdoors and whether he was fishing, hunting, or just walking in the park. . . Les drew strength from nature.
In 1971, after graduating high school in Saskatoon, Les answered a newspaper ad for the Hudson’s Bay in the Northwest Territories. Over the next sixteen months, Les worked at outposts in Fort Liard, Fort Resolution, Fort Wrigley, and Fort Simpson. Because his parents, Fred and Eva Diehl, taught him to be self-sufficient - trapping, hunting, and fishing in Saskatchewan - Les held his own in Canada’s north of the early ‘70s and thoroughly enjoyed honing his skills on several wilderness adventures. Throughout his life, Les excelled as a sportsman always living off the fish, game birds, deer, moose, and elk he harvested, highlights of which include: his 40 lb Tyee Chinook Salmon in 1993, his 150 lb Halibut in 1995 and, in 2003, his Whitetail Deer Non-Typical which is among the Boone and Crockett Club Records of North American Big Game.
Before turning nineteen, Les left the Northwest Territories and went on to become a Stress Relieving Technician in Alberta. He stress relieved welds on several oilfield construction sites including Syncrude before joining CGTX in Red Deer where he remained for seventeen years. In his mid-forties, Les took evening classes obtaining the four levels of Gas Process Operations and, over the next fourteen years, worked as an Oilfield Operator. In 2013, at the age of sixty, Les retired from EnCana and from a working life that spanned forty-three years.
Les spent twenty-nine very happy years with Betty. Together, they helped raise his daughter, Kristin, whom they’ve loved very much. She was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) at the age of two. Les was so proud of her resolve to face the challenges SMA presented and yet strive to be cheerful and happy.
In 2021 - well into Les’s illness - Kristin began a breakthrough treatment for SMA. Les was profoundly relieved and grateful to see his daughter, now 34, experience newfound strength and stamina. That summer, Kristin and her partner, Martin, moved to Vancouver but recently came home for a visit and twice during the past year, Les and Betty visited them there. Seeing them settled in that beautiful city and exploring ocean-side parks and beaches with his family meant the world to Les. It gave him a sense of peace and a kind of calm that stayed with him until the end of his life.
Les cherished the laughter, stories and adventures shared with his fellow hunters, fishing partners, and friends. And he loved spending time in the countryside with Betty, watching game birds and wildlife, or fishing local ponds. Les and Betty loved each other deeply and fostered an enduring friendship - one that shone on the life they’d made together and gave them comfort.
Their experience with cancer was harrowing but Les’s sense of humour was a mainstay throughout, and he often said the only prayer he knew - a fisherman’s prayer - knowing full well he prayed for the catch... here as well as in heaven.
Les leaves to mourn his loving wife, Betty, his daughter Kristin Diehl (Martin Seagrave), his brother Dwight Diehl, his sister Audrey (Garth) West, his brother David (Geraldine) Diehl, his sister Laurie Diehl, his nephew Tyson Diehl, his niece Morgan (Derek) Attwell and Betty’s family: Robert Moar, Sharon Doyle, Mark (Susan) Doyle, Brenda (Cory) Campbell, Theresa (Brian) Coe, Betty’s nieces and nephews, and the good friends who saw him through.
Les was predeceased by his parents Fred and Eva Diehl, his brother, Gary Diehl, sister-in-law, Della Diehl, mother-in-law, Betty Moar, father-in-law, William Doyle, brother-in-law, Gerald Doyle and infant nephew Darcy Doyle.
At Les’s request, a funeral will not be held.
Donations to the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada in memory of Les would be very much appreciated.
Courtney-Winters Funeral Home in care of arrangements. 403-823-2666