Posted: September 30th, 2015

1160_6s98psAP_Labolevech, P - Obituary Photo


PIUS ALOIS LABOLEVECH passed away peacefully on September 25, 2015 at the St.Michael’s Health Centre, Palliative Care Unit at the age of 80 years.

He is survived by one sister, Marge Geffre; nine nephews and four nieces; and by a long time friend and companion Frances Beresnak. He was predeceased by two sisters, Lillian Reiner and Barbara Feist.

Pius was born (son of Stephen and Veronica (Jahner) Labolevech) and raised in North Dakota, where he taught and coached basketball for 9 years in various schools. In 1968, Pius relocated to Coaldale to teach and coach boys’ basketball at Kate Andrews (KA) High School.

During his 17-year coaching career at KA, Pius was regarded as a basketball visionary who believed that the profile of high school basketball could be elevated to greater heights and was considered to be a man of great influence who displayed a strong passion and heart for seeing young people succeed. His tireless efforts contributed greatly to the quality of Southern Alberta high school basketball tournaments.

Between 1972 and 1976, Pius led the KA boys’ basketball team to 5 consecutive 3A zone championships, including a capstone provincial championship in 1973. Pius was also instrumental in the creation of the Southwest Conference (an amalgamation of 2A and 3A schools) and successfully pushed to move zone playoffs from school gymnasiums into larger venues including the Lethbridge Civic Centre, University of Lethbridge and the Lethbridge Sportsplex.

On May 2, 2015, just a few months prior to his passing, Pius was inducted into the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame where his family and friends were able to formally recognize and celebrate his accomplishments. The day was an immeasurably proud and happy one for Pius.

To Pius’ family and friends, he was known for being a man of his word, integrity, kindness, generosity, sacrifice and un-waivered commitment. Pius was very social and enjoyed engaging others with humorous and intellectual conversations that were a mixture of laughter and the making of memories. His unique ability to remember important dates, people’s names and their individual stories made those who knew him feel appreciated, valued and loved.

Son, brother, long-time companion and ‘Uncle’ to his Lethbridge family who loved him dearly, friend and forever coach… Pius will be deeply missed by all who have survived him; and those whose lives he influenced and touched will be forever changed.

Our family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the St.Michael’s Heath Centre Palliative Care Team for the exceptionally kind and compassionate care they provided to Uncle Pius during his brief stay there with them.

A Service of Remembrance will be held at CORNERSTONE FUNERAL HOME, 2800 Mayor Magrath Drive South, Lethbridge on Friday, October 2nd, 2015 at 1:00 P.M., with Deacon Frank Peta and Mr. Alanzo Paul officiating. Pius was a very colorful person! So, in his honour and memory, please wear a piece of color on the day of Pius’ celebration of life.

In lieu of flowers, our family respectfully asks that you instead donate to a new memorial scholarship that is being set up for students in Pius’ name at Kate Andrews High School, 2112 – 21st Street, Coaldale, Alberta, T1M 1L9.

2800 Mayor Magrath Drive South, Lethbridge, Alberta T1K 7B1. Telephone (403) 381-7777.
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4 Condolences for “LABOLEVECH Pius”

  1. Jake Steinbrenner says:

    Here’s to you Coach, you had a powerful influence on so many young men and personally sparked a life-long passion & pursuit of excellence in basketball officiating. Your legacy will not be forgotten!
    Condolences to all family, friends and to long time companion, Frances Beresnak.

  2. George Low says:

    I express my sincere and heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of this great man, who outside of my dad and two brothers, was the most influential male mentor in my life. From coach Pius we Gaels learned that dedication, hard work, integrity, and attention to fundamentals lead to success on and off the basketball court. How grateful I am for the lessons that he taught me and for the confidence he had in me during those formative adolescent years! How grateful I am for the special memories of winning three consecutive Zone Championships and one Provincial Championship under his motivating and watchful eye. How grateful I am for the privilege of being part of the celebration on May 2nd when Pius finally received recognition for all his accomplishments. Sitting at his table and getting to know his family was an honor that made the long trip to be there so worthwhile. I am sorry that I cannot make it to tomorrow’s funeral service to express condolences to his family and to associate with former teammates one more time, but I will be sending a contribution to the Kate Andrews scholarship fund in his honor and memory. To the family, friends, and all the Gaels, I say “thank you Pius, with all my heart.”

    Radford, Virginia

  3. jono Mistaken Chief says:

    i bowled with Pius at Top Ten he was a very inspirational person. he made me feel right at home on their team. i seen him from time to time and he was always happy to see me and my wife. i will sure miss him. i just found out he passed away not long ago.

  4. Susan Bowman (Koch) says:

    I have known Pius my whole life. In fact when I was 7, I gave him the sad message that his mother had passed. My father Leroy Bowman and another friend of theirs John Kaufman were like the three musketeers in my eyes. John and my father were both school superintendents. It seems like every school we went to the next year Pius came to be our basketball coach. In his quiet calm demeanor (lol) he taught my brother the game of basketball. My father and brother and the rest of the family were greatly saddened at the news of his passing.

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