Reverend Leslie Kawamura – in memoriam

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KAWAMURA – Rev. Dr. Leslie Sumio

July 7, 1935 – March 10, 2011

Rev. Dr. Leslie Sumio Ryosho Kawamura, husband to Toyo, passed away with grace and serenity at Foothills Medical Centre on March 10, 2011 at the age of 75 years with his family present.

He is lovingly remembered by his wife, Toyo; his daughter, Nao (Peter); and his grandsons, Albert and Carlin. He is also survived by his siblings, Rose (Nello), Jerry (Christine), and Kathleen (Hans – deceased); and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Yutetsu and Yoneko Kawamura, and his brother, Albert Kozon Kawamura.

Leslie was born in the former Raymond Buddhist temple, in Raymond, AB on July 7, 1935. In Southern Alberta, “Reverend Les”, or just “Rev” as he was known, followed in his father’s footsteps as a Buddhist minister and served from 1964 to 1973. After receiving his Ph.D. in Far Eastern Studies from the University of Saskatchewan, he became a professor at the University of Calgary in 1976. He contributed to Buddhist studies both as a professor/lecturer and through the establishment of the Numata Chair in Buddhist Studies, permanent funding for visiting professorships by world-class scholars in Buddhism. In June 2010, he was named to the Order of the University of Calgary. He treasured time spent with family, especially his grandchildren. He was an avid ham radio operator since his youth. His great passion, however, was service. To his students, his colleagues, his church members and his communities, he made himself available to assist in any way possible within his means.

Here is a link to the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Calgary, where more accolades to Reverend Kawamura can be found: http://rels.ucalgary.ca/

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