The Ontario Hockey League is deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Lou Lukenda.
Dr. Lou, who passed away Thursday at Sault Area Hospital, was a long-time fixture in the ownership group of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
“Dr. Lou had a passion for the Soo Greyhounds and his community like no other,” said OHL Commissioner David Branch. “Not only has he been instrumental to the success and longevity of his hometown Hounds, but his countless philanthropic endeavours and good-hearted nature touched the lives of many. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Mae and his entire family and friends.”
Lukenda served as Greyhounds President and Chairman of the Board since 2001.
“Dr. Lou was a passionate and enthusiastic supporter of the Soo Greyhounds and the City of Sault Ste Marie,” the club said in an issued statement. “His success in business was only surpassed by his lengendary support for numerous charitable and civic organizations. Dr. Lou acquired majority ownership in the Soo Greyhounds to ensure that the team remained in the Soo for generations to come. The family of Dr. Lou is committed to keeping this dream alive in his honour.”
— Jairus Patterson (@JairusCTV) May 5, 2017
Great tribute to one of the most generous, genuine & honourable people you could ever meet. Rest well, Dr. Lou. https://t.co/mpGNmMxxwZ
— Kyle Dubas (@kyledubas) May 6, 2017
Born in 1929 in Croatia, Lou’s family emigrated to Sault Ste. Marie when he was seven years old. The gifted athlete attended Sault Collegiate before obtaining an undergrad degree at Lake State University followed by the University of Toronto Dental School. Lukenda went on to practice dentistry until retiring in 1992.
Lou had a passion for education and philanthropic interests in the healthcare industry in addition to his love for athletics and his hometown Greyhounds. He has received many awards including The Golden Jubilee Medal of Canada, The Medal of Merit for Sault Ste. Marie, The Diocesan Medal of Honour and has been inducted into both the Basketball and Hockey Hall of Fame locally.
Lou will be profoundly missed by his wife of 62 years and soulmate Mae, his seven children, sixteen grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Lou’s life motto was “Faith, family and friends”.
Obituary written with files from sootoday.com.
Additional reading and tributes include Peter Ruicci’s Sault Star piece, and Jairus Patterson’s report for CTV Northern Ontario.
Friends of Lou may gather at Northwood Funeral Home Cremation and Reception Centre (942 Great Northern Road 705-945-7758) on Sunday evening from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Funeral mass will be held at Precious Blood Cathedral on Monday, May 8, 2017 at 12:00 noon. Donations to William’s Foundation, Sick Kids Hospital, the United Way or another charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family. www.northwoodfuneral.com.