DUANE EMILE LACOSTE
1941 – 2021
On Friday, September 10, 2021, our beloved husband, father, papa, great-grandpa, brother, uncle, cousin and friend went to his eternal rest with his Lord and Savior.
Duane Emile LaCoste was born August 8, 1941, to Emile and Delphine LaCoste (nee Pelletier), on the family farm south of Minton, SK, and two miles north of the Montana/SK border. Duane’s mother died when he was two and he was sent to Estevan to live with his mom’s sister Irene, and her husband, Sam Lee. Emile brought him back into the family fold when he was six, to be with Roland and Sylvia, his siblings. By then Emile had married Elizabeth Kessler, and they would have nine children: Carol, Linda, Olivia, Lucille, Gerard, Gaston, Jim, Giselle, and Marcel. They were rich in kids, poor in everything else! Emile’s brother Armand and wife Bernice lived two miles down the road and they had ten kids at the same time, so lots of LaCostes to play Kick the Can with and other assorted made-up games.
Duane remembered cutting out a comic strip about Sgt. King of the RCMP, and thinks that is where the idea for his future career was born. He worked odd jobs as a teenager, mostly rock picking, forking sheaves onto hayracks for local farmers. He would have continued working to make money, instead of going to school after grade nine, if not for his Auntie Bernice who told him to get his butt into town to live with them and go to school. Because of her efforts, Duane passed grade eleven, which was the minimum required when he was accepted into the Force in 1961. Prior to this, however, he met a “little chick, Jean Leatherdale, who was one of the kids bussed from Gladmar to go to high school in Minton.” When Duane left for Depot in Regina, the romance continued via letters, and was later rekindled when Jean came to Regina to work as a live-in nanny and take a secretarial course in the evenings. Many are the amusing stories from Dad’s RCMP training days… but suffice it to say, he graduated December 12, 1961, and was transferred to Kamloops, BC. Their “L” Troop training had been cut from 11 months to 8.5 due to a need for members in the field.
It was sad leaving Jeannie in Regina, for they had gotten engaged before graduation, but he bravely headed out to (in his words) “fight crime and/or evil.” From Kamloops, he was immediately transferred to Vernon City Detachment, then onto Clearwater Det in August 1962. Duane left the Force in October 1962 to marry Jean on November 3, because in those days you had to have $2,000 saved in your bank account and get permission before you could marry. A Constable’s pay wasn’t sufficient to feed a wife and family in those days. Duane went to work for the Estevan City Police and he and Jean settled into married life in a basement suite. Lori was born in 1963. During this time Duane and Jean were confirmed into the Lutheran faith by Pastor Roy Holm, who would travel to Gladmar to bury their little son Geoffrey, who died a few hours after his premature birth in 1964.
In March 1965, Duane was re-engaged in the RCMP at Regina and posted to “A” Division, Protective S/Div., Ottawa, Ont – the Governor General’s Troop. He provided protection to the Gov/General Georges Vanier, his family and residence as well as for Prime Minister Lester Pearson, who lived across the street on Sussex Drive. He was later assigned to the Royal Canadian Mint, followed by Race Track detail at Rideau Carleton Raceway on the outskirts of Ottawa. Cheryl was born in 1965 and Sylvia in 1967. A brief stint at the Customs and Excise squad, followed by a transfer to the 3-man Pembroke Det. This was a great move for Duane, as their more interesting duties included drug investigations, security enquiries, Customs and Excise, etc. They worked in plain clothes and used unmarked police cars. Duane, Jean, and girls moved into the attached housing of the detachment, where Jean would sometimes answer the phone and take enquiries that walked through the front door when the officers were out doing investigations or off duty. The living quarters and police offices were linked by an inner door. Mom would later receive a badge and certificate for her assistance with police duties! They made many good friends and got involved in St. John’s Lutheran Church.
Their last child, Diane, was born in 1971. In 1972, Duane was promoted to Corporal and placed in charge of Pembroke Detatchment.
In 1974 Duane asked to be transferred back west and was sent to The Pas Town, “D” Division, where they spent two years. Then two more years in charge of Thompson Rural Division, from 1976 to 78, where he was promoted to Sergeant.
In 1978 Duane had an opportunity to transfer to southern Manitoba, a little closer to their family and beloved Saskatchewan, and he took it. We were Minnedosa-bound and had heard many good things about the community. Duane spent the last seven years of his career there, managing the 10-member detachment.
Rather than transfer out of his beloved Minnedosa, he retired in 1985, after 23 years in the Force. He had taken a Municipal Administrator course the previous winter and was selected for the Secretary-Treasurer position with the Rolling River School Division in May 1985. He spent 15 years doing budgets and organizing board meetings. He met many more good friends in this new line of work.
Upon retirement from the school division in 2000, he went on to run for Town Council, being elected in November 2002. When Mayor Rick Everett passed away unexpectedly the following year, Duane stepped in as Mayor. He served the balance of the three years, running for a second term, unopposed, and resigned as Mayor in 2010. Some of Duane’s proudest achievements with council included: improving Town/Municipality relations, community development plan in partnership with local businesses, Economic Development Officer hired, and plans for a new regional events centre.
Duane was involved with the Lions Club, served two terms as President of the Royal Canadian Legion Br#138, as well as Chairman of Christ Lutheran Church for several years. He enjoyed curling and golfing and all the mischief that went along with those past-times. He loved the Blue Jays and took a lot of ribbing for his lifelong loyalty to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Papa Duane always loved singing silly songs to his babies and making them laugh. Some of his most precious memories were driving son-in-law Mark’s combine, helping Mark and Ryan with harvest.
As citizen LaCoste, he and Jean filled their time with family and friends, traveling and time spent at the family cabin at Otter Lake. His legacy of love lives on in the lives of those he touched. Duane passed away from cancer September 10th at Minnedosa Hospital, with family by his side. He leaves to mourn his passing, his bride of 58 years, Jean, their daughters, Lori, Cheryl, Sylvia (Mark), Diane (Fred), and special son Shayne (Sarah), 9 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren, as well as numerous family and friends across Canada.
Duane’s funeral service will take place September 16 at 2:00 pm at Christ Lutheran Church, Neepawa. Pastor James Vosper officiated. The service will be available to view on White’s funeral home website at www. Whitesfh.ca BY THE EVENING OF SEPTEMBER 17th Committal service will take place at a later date, at Minnedosa Cemetery. In lieu of flowers kindly donate to MREC (c/o Town of Minnedosa), Minnedosa Legion Br #138, or a charity of your choice.
Whites Funeral Home was in care of arrangements.
1 Cor. 15:55-57: O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. KJV
Viewing will be held at
White's Funeral Chapel, Minnedosa on
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
A funeral service will take place on
Thursday, September 16, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.
at the Christ Lutheran Church, Neepawa, Manitoba
Covid 19 protocols will be followed with seating and standing outside.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Duane Emile LaCoste, please visit our floral store.
Minnedosa Regional Events Centre (MREC)
Box 1425, Minnedosa MB R0J 1E0
Minnedosa Legion #138
Box 595, Minnedosa MB R0J 1E0