Len was born in Ridgedale, Saskatchewan to Clara Elkew and Michael Bobinski. He had three brothers (Frank, Peter, Jim) and two sisters (Beverly, Lynda). They all lived on a farm in Gronlid and went to school in Fairy Glen and Star City. Len bicycled to Star City daily for high school which was about 4 miles from the farm.
Len left school and home at the age of 15 (1953) to work to help support the family. He worked for the bakery in Tisdale for two years, and then at the Winston Hotel in Melfort for six months. The CN railway superintendent was often at the hotel; he liked Len’s work ethic and told him he should go and work for the CNR. Len said ok, walked across the street to the railway station and was hired on the spot.
He went off to work in Prince Albert; soon he was promoted to assistant agent and went to Shellbrook. He helped lift all the cream cans onto the railway cars and do all the heavy work. In that year, Len learned the Morse Code on his own time and as soon as he turned 18, he wrote the exam. He studied a lot and got to be so good with the Morse Code that they brought him to the head office in Prince Albert to work at age 20. He was transferred to Saskatoon, Edmonton, and then came back to Saskatchewan. Overall he worked for the CNR for 14 years.
Len married Ella Schlosser in June 1961. They lived in Vermilion, Unity, Prudhomme, Bruno and Humboldt. Len has three children: Trent (Heather Fitch) and children Emily and Ashley (Edmonton, AB); Vicki (Aitaok) and children Elijah, Hope, Mea and Kale (Cambridge Bay, NU); and Jason (Lisa Freriks) (Humboldt, SK).
Len became a life-long learner. He needed two classes for his grade 10, so he ended up taking them in Alberta while working. He then finished his high school in Bruno when he was 24 years old, also while working. He continued to work for the CNR until they announced they were going to automate the stations and Morse Code agents were no longer needed. Len then resigned and went to the U of S full-time to earn his Commerce degree.
While attending university in Saskatoon, Len lived in Bruno with his young family, drove to school every day, then came home and worked evenings preparing income taxes and doing bookkeeping. When he completed university, he joined the Carlton Trail Community College as their first secretary-treasurer in 1973. After 8 years, he left the College and opened his own accounting office in Humboldt with Ella – Management Accounting Systems. The office was located downtown Humboldt for 20 years until they moved it to the house on 10th Street in 2001.
Len continued to take courses and classes all his life. In fact, the last class he took was an economics class in 2017 “just for fun” through Athabasca University. He became a Certified Financial Planner, a Chartered Financial Consultant and a Chartered Life Underwriter. All this knowledge helped him learn how to save money and invest in the stock market. Len worked as an accountant for 35 years and finally retired and sold the business in 2017.
Len bought 5 acres of bare land in 1976 (1 mile west of Humboldt) and turned it into a beautifully groomed acreage with hand-planted trees. He raised and showed Arabian horses in the 70’s, travelling around the province all summer long. Len enjoyed planting trees and cutting grass at the acreage. He was an avid baseball fan – Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox – and enjoyed watching all the games he could on TV. He enjoyed golfing, reading business magazines and following the stock markets. Len’s most favorite activities included spending time with his children and grandchildren whom he loved dearly.
The Funeral Mass for Len was held on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church, celebrated by Fr. Prosper Abotsi. Interment followed at the St. Augustine R.C. Cemetery Columbarium. Memorial Donations in Len’s memory may be made to the Humboldt District Hospital Foundation.
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Humboldt District Hospital Foundation
Box 1740, Humboldt SK S0K 2A0