Leslie (Les) & Florence Blight

Leslie (Les) Arnold Blight was born March 29, 1904 in Oakville, Manitoba and died April 13, 1971 in Oakville, Manitoba.  He married Florence Alice Bell on July 3, 1926.  She was born in 1904 and died August 4, 1990 in Portage la Prairie.

Les was the fourth son born to George and Isabella Blight.  He attended school in Oakville and throughout his life, he enjoyed sports, especially baseball and hockey.  He was a great tease and also very generous in many ways.

In 1926, Les married Florence Bell and they farmed four miles north of Oakville on a quarter section of land.  They had six children:
  1. Floyd Earle Blight (1927 - 1993)
  2. Shirley Mae Blight (1928 - 2010)
  3. Donald (Don) Leslie Blight b. 1930
  4. Kenneth (Ken) Rae Blight (1933 - 2013 )
  5. Elizabeth (Beth) Isabella Blight (1935 - 1975)
  6. George (Geordie) Alexander Blight (1936 - 1985)
All grew up on the farm and attended Beautiful Valley School, three-quarters of a mile north of their home, and Oakville High School.

Besides farming, Les went into business partnership with his brother, George.  Formerly Mawhinney & Blight, the General Motors and International Harvester dealership became Blight & Blight in 1947.  The "shop" was on the main street in Oakville, next to the post office building.  It featured captain's chairs with a big ashtray in the main area.  It was a friendly gathering place in the absence of a coffee shop.  Parts were stocked in the back and Les had a great roll top desk in his office.  In farming season, he often drove out at noon hour to check the fields.

One memory is of a tax guy showing up at the shop one day.  He informed grandpa that he was from Revenue Canada and that he was going to use that office, pointing at grandpa's.  Grandpa stood up and bellowed "Get out and don't you ever come back here!"  The fellow left and didn't come back.

A story from the years of baseball when grandpa coached his sons was when a fan asked why grandpa would always play his best pitcher in the semi-finals and not save him for the finals.  A man of few words, grandpa replied, "Because you have to get to the finals first."

Another time when grandpa was coaching, he was asked why "the boys [his sons and their peers] were out playing ball most weekends when there was work to be done in the fields".  Grandpa's response was "It will still be there on Monday" - an unusual response for that era.

Another example of that commitment was a day that Don remembers haying with his Dad when Shorty Sanderson and two other ball players stopped to ask if Don could go play ball with them.  Grandpa told him, "Off you go" and he finished the haying himself.

One of his future daughters-in-law, when introduced to Les as his son's girlfriend, replied "the last one was better looking".  Oh what a tease!  Grandchildren remember grandpa sitting at the big kitchen table, with a twinkle in his eye, covering our hands with his and giving his own hand a loud and noisy slap telling us "I'm gonna blister you".  Meanwhile, the respective grandchild/children would laugh with great glee.  He also loved to "pull your nose", pretending he had it in his hand.  Similarly, Grandpa was remembered for referring to his grandchildren as "potlickers".

Along with his teasing, Grandpa was known to be quietly very generous.  He slipped a few dollars here and there to his children and grandchildren, in discreet ways, and never expected or wanted to be paid back.

One of grandpa's treats that his grandchildren learned from him was to eat watermelon with a sprinkle of salt.

Known to cherish his post-lunch catnaps, one of his favourite songs was "How Great Thou Art", made popular by Tennessee Ernie Ford.

Les suffered a massive stroke and died at home on April 13, 1971.

Florence (b. 1904) passed away in 1990.

Back Row L to R:  Geordie Blight, Don Blight, Floyd Blight, Ken Blight

Front Row L to R:  Shirley McCulloch, Florence Blight, Les Blight, Beth Hollingsworth

/Joan Blight (Les's granddaughter)