Leonard N.J. Bjola (July 06, 1932 - May 04, 2016)
wreck of the Hesperus has sailed his last voyage at 83 years. In the
past 10 years, Len, the toughest man we know, broke countless ribs,
ripped his bicep, snapped his femur (the snow) replaced both knees
(arthritis) broke his arm, broke his wrist, broke his neck (we called
him bobble head), Staph infection in his spine (bad luck), dislocated
his shoulder, replaced his hip (arthritis), Staph in his leg (Bad
luck again), separated his shoulder again, and suffered organ
failure. The final straw was a double break of his femur.
standard response: "I feel like the Wreck of the
Unable to rally after the last surgery, Len
passed peacefully to the bottom of the sea. He was the toughest,
meanest, most stubborn, nicest, hardest working, most dedicated man
around. Dedicated to his family, often working 3 jobs to make ends
meet, always there to help, support, scorn, scold, push, pull, drag,
encourage, and scare the crap out of most, but a teddy bear to his
grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
His motto's in life -
"if a jobs worth doing, it's worth doing well".
hire a machine when you can do it by hand".
that think they know it all, really annoy those of us that do".
life was simple - work hard: and his life was well rounded.
60 years a dedicated father, proudest moment(s): Being a provider.
Driving at the age of 13, when he applied for his driver's test he
showed up driving a 5 ton grain truck: lots of stories about life on
- Active service in the Korean
a ships gunner (no stories - ever).
- 27 years in the Navy as
a Physical Education Instructor (Drill sergeant): proudest moment -
as a leader in the 1967 Gun Run Tattoo and many stories - most
notable, his trainees (victims) of 40 years ago still call to say
- 17 years operating the Sooke Arena, proudest moments - a
staff of 4 doing the work of 15, and his world famous hand built
beautiful wood bleachers.
- 10 year volunteer at Metchosin
Golf Club - proudest moment - his team of volunteers.
lived for his family, his bride Anita of 63 years, his predeceased
daughter Laurie (Chris, Alexandria, Andrew, Amanda, Ava), his son Les
(Diane, Kelsey, Chris), his daughter Jodie (Mike) and his daughter
Sandy (Jeff, Jena, Jonathon) and the many brothers, sisters and
family back east.
He was an amazing individual, excelling in
sports, never afraid to tackle any project - (the plan is in my head,
why can't you follow it?) and always ready to step up. Quick with a
retaliatory prank and one who never suffered fools gladly, Len will
have the ocean ship shape in no time.
No service by
Raise your glass and salute a Proud Navy
Friends are welcome on Sunday, May 15, 2016 from 2:00
p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Anita's home to share a Celebration of Len's
life. Heartfelt thanks to all the staff at VGH for the wonderful care
during Dad's many visits. Len will spend the rest of time at God's
Acre Cemetery at Gorge Vale.