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

Just Posted

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

(Drive BC photo)
Vehicle incident closes Highway 3 east of Osoyoos

Drive BC says to avoid the area until the road is clear

Osoyoos chef Murray McDonald was ecstatic upon realizing he scored the $1 million guaranteed prize in the June 2, 2021 Lotto 6/49 draw. (Contributed)
Osoyoos chef ecstatic after bagging $1 million Lotto 6/49 win

Chef Murray McDonald was at home and ready to doze off to sleep when he got a text from his wife

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Photograph By MICHAEL POTESTIO.KTW
Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

A home on Cameo Drive sustained major damage due to an early morning fire Monday, June 21. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Fire sparked during Vernon home renovation

Heavy black smoke from Cameo Drive home, no one inside

The new Civic Memorial Park will incorporate pieces of the 80-year-old arena it replaces. (Artists rendering)
Pieces of Civic Arena reclaimed for new Vernon park

City centre space to incorporate wood from the historic arena

Most Read