Memorable Manitobans: Leonard “Lanny” Remis (1912-2007)
Born in Winnipeg’s North End on 2 July 1912, he attended Machray School, Arbeiter Ring School, St. John’s Technical High School and the University of Manitoba, graduating from the latter in 1933. His first career choice was sports journalism but that dream was set aside due to the Great Depression, and instead he worked in his father’s business, Remis Sign Company, until 1939. He served in the Canadian Army from 1939 to 1945.
On returning from military service, he rejoined the family sign company in partnership with his brother Bernie; the company became a leader in outdoor advertising in and around Winnipeg. They sold the business in 1965. A year later, he returned to the University of Manitoba to study for an MA degree in history. While a graduate student, he received a Margaret McWilliams Award from the Manitoba Historical Society for his essay on James Ross. (The essay subsequently formed the basis of his graduate thesis.) In 1970, he accepted an invitation from Manitoba Premier Ed Schreyer to become Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce and, later, Chair of the Economic Development Advisory Board. He retired in 1977 and returned to the University, completing his MA degree in 1981.
He served as President of the Glendale Golf and Country Club (1965) and President of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association (1960-1962). In 1986, he founded the Canadian Club of the Desert at Palm Springs, California, the first branch of the organization outside of Canada. He wrote Glendale Golf and Country Club Anniversary Yearbook 1946-1996.
He died at Winnipeg on 16 October 2007.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 22 October 2007.
We thank Ken Goldstein for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 28 May 2012
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