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.
There will be a special memorial service on Saturday, April 23 at 10:30 am at the VBT to remember Kawamura Sensei .
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.
You may forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com . In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to "The Leslie Kawamura Graduate Scholarship in Buddhist Studies" details of which can be found on the web at rels.ucalgary.ca/ or through The Department of Religious Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4 (Telephone 403-220-5886).
ÔÇòSuch is the benevolence of Amida's great compassion, That we must strive to return it, even to the breaking of our bodies; Such is the benevolence of the masters and true teachers, That we must endeavor to repay it, even to our bones becoming dust.ÔÇû
-- Sh┼ìz┼ìmatsu Wasan, No. 59
More commonly known as “Ondokusan”; one of the Gathas sung at Rev. Kawamura’s Funeral Service.