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Mentor, father and friend: Les Dubé’s son reflects on the Saskatoon philanthropist’s life

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Mentor, father and friend: Les Dubé’s son reflects on philanthropist’s life
Les and his wife, Irene, supported more than 100 charities in Saskatchewan – Mar 17, 2024

Saskatoon philanthropist Les Dubé passed away on Wednesday at the age of 91, and while many residents in Saskatchewan may recognize the work he has done in the community, his son shared what he was like as a father.

“He was my mentor, he was my dad and he was my friend,” L. David Dubé said.

David described a man who held a lot of compassion, but who also had high standards.

Les and his wife, Irene, supported more than 100 charities in Saskatchewan, including a $10-million donation to support the University of Saskatchewan Health Sciences project.

“He would always give you little tidbits in your life that were not related to that moment, they were kind of bigger picture.”

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He said his father was kind and supportive, adding that he always strived for peace.

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“He really wanted peace in the family, peace in his community, and he wanted us to live our best lives.”

David spoke about some of his favorite personal memories of his father, pointing to all the times they went fishing.

“He loved to fish. He loved to golf, and I love golfing.”

David said they were also business partners, and when it came to business they weren’t father and son; they were peers.

“My fondest memories were always the quiet times.”

David said his father’s mission in life was philanthropy, and being a successful businessman is what allowed him to give back.

He said Saskatoon has lost a great leader and suggested that people step up now that he is gone.

“I know I have to do more because the needs aren’t going away. My mom and dad knew that they weren’t going to end poverty, they weren’t going to end suffering. But if they could do what they could to minimize it, it would make the world a little better.”

David said Saskatoon has problems and those problems are growing.

“We all need to bind together. (Les) was a big believer that no one person could do very much, you have to do it as part of a community. He just adored the volunteers in this community who make it such a great place.”

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— with Files from Brooke Kruger

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