Robert Louie Sr. pictured with his new truck. (Submitted)

Robert Louie Sr. pictured with his new truck. (Submitted)

Lower Kootenay Band loses respected Elder, Robert Louie Sr.

Robert Louie Sr. passed away on Aug. 3 at age 73

Submitted by Rob Louie Jr.

Who didn’t know Robert Louie Sr.?

Robert, or “Bubba” as he was called in his early days by his friends, was born on March 23, 1950 and raised in Creston, B.C. His parents, Isabel and Lazarus Louie, were from the Lower Kootenay Band (LKB). He had five siblings that preceded him, with only one surviving sister remaining.

He recalled fondly, as a very young child, riding in a traditional Kutenai (sturgeon-nosed) canoe across the water-flooded flats with his grandmother who didn’t speak English. Robert was fluent in the Ktunaxa language and became bilingual with English in elementary school, after a short stint in a residential school in Cranbrook, B.C.

His family resided in the area called Nick’s Island and then moved to a tiny cabin on the shore of the Kootenay River located on the LKB Reserve.

Robert grew up hunting, fishing, and trapping. He loved wild duck and even perfected a dish that he dubbed “duck chow mein – Kutenai style”.

Upon being the first from LKB to graduate from high school in 1971, he married, had two sons (Robert Jr. and Jason) and became an RCMP constable. He was stationed at the RCMP detachment in Burns Lake, B.C.

In the late 1970s, his request to be stationed in his hometown of Creston was approved. However, he stepped away from the force after his police car was blown up.

Robert started his new career as the LKB wetlands officer in the fall of 1978. Other changes followed including raising his two sons alone. He also stopped drinking. He did this with help from his spirituality, his best friend, Chris Sr. and Cecilia Luke, and his coffee buddies in the morning. The latter group would, at times, erupt in laughter with Robert’s laugh standing out from the rest. When you heard his laugh, you couldn’t help but laugh too, because it was so infectious.

He met his second wife, Denice, in the mid-1980s. In 1990 and 1992, his care and compassion as a parent saw his sons graduate from high school.

It was in the early 2000s that Robert and Denice built Legend Logos – a business that continues to thrive today. Together, they became the first LKB members to have a store on Canyon Street when they expanded Legend Logos. He helped grow the business and took great pride in it.

On a personal level, Robert was a historian that knew all about LKB, as well as the surrounding areas from the Purcell to the Selkirk mountain ranges, and the Creston Valley. He could hold a conversation on any topic and was also a fierce competitor in sports. He was on the Prince Charles Secondary School (now Kootenay River) Comets basketball team. As a player for the LKB Chiefs hockey team in the 1970s, he once held the record in the Creston hockey league for scoring 50 goals in a season.

In the 1980s, he was a coach to the Creston Barons ladies’ hockey team and also helped found the Creston slo-pitch league. He enjoyed having his slo-pitch team in the local tournaments for two decades.

He started his life riding in a horse and buggy, and it ended next to his beloved, new Chevy truck at his home on Aug. 3, 2022. He was a link between the past and present, and he is now the legend in Legend Logos.

Robert Louie Sr.’s family is welcoming his friends from town to attend a Celebration of Life on Saturday, Aug. 13 at the LKB Gymnasium at 12 p.m. (noon).

Robert Louie Sr. passed away on Aug. 3 at age 73. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)

Robert Louie Sr. passed away on Aug. 3 at age 73. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)

Robert Louie Sr. cuts the ribbon at the grand opening of the Wilfred Jacobs Building. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)

Robert Louie Sr. cuts the ribbon at the grand opening of the Wilfred Jacobs Building. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)

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