Leslie A. Buzzell, patriarch of one of the longest-standing family owner jobber businesses in Canada, R.K. Buzzell Ltd., in Moncton, N.B., has died at the age of 88.
“Les,” as he was most commonly referred to, was well known in the community and was an active participant in the industry and the 90-year-old business founded by his father Bob Buzzell, until shortly before his death after a battle with cancer.
“He was with the company for 70 years, and was in every day until two months ago,” says Roger Donovan, marketing and sales with R.K. Buzzell. Predeceased by wife Eleanor, Buzzell is survived by sons Bob, Howard, and John, and daughter Jane, as well as a number of grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Among many more personal and business accolades that came his way, Buzzell was also named the 1991 Jobber News Jobber of the Year.
Donovan described Buzzell as a real gentleman, who enjoyed the business and the people in it. He also says he had lost none of his sharpness, despite his years.
“You have never met a man his age so sharp. We have 10 branches and he knew the numbers from every one of them, where they were year to date and how that compared to last year.
“He was so straightforward, like everyone’s dad,” says Donovan. “We’re certainly going to miss him around here.”
“Les’ passing marks the completion of decades of automotive history within his company, Atlantic Canada and the Canadian Industry itself,” says Lou Bauldic, longtime friend and himself a veteran of the aftermarket. “I was fortunate to have had Les as a friend over 30 years. I recall the heydays of the long-gone Canadian Automotive Electric Association and his company’s involvement. For Les and Eleanor, family was very important. He was not a high profile player but a gentleman in every way. I last spoke to Les two weeks ago and am very glad I had that opportunity.
Visitation is scheduled at the Ferguson Knowles Funeral Home, 1657 Mountain Road, Moncton, Sunday May 9, 2010 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Funeral mass will be held at St. Bernard’s Roman Catholic church, Monday May 10 at 11:00 a.m. In Leslie’s memory, donations can be made to the Friends of the Moncton Hospital.