H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre

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Les Atchison

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Les Atchison

May 23, 1941 - July 27, 2016


Duncan Leslie Atchison, known to his friends as “Les” or “Lester” suddenly passed away on July 27th, 2016.  Les was an avid golfer and loved his home course of Arbutus Ridge.  He had gone for an early morning walk up the 12th fairway to meet his pal, fed the ducks along the way and his heart simply stopped.  He came to rest in the sunshine, on his favorite golf hole with a peaceful smile on his face. 

Les was born in Vancouver, BC on May 23, 1941 and was adopted by James and Margaret Atchison.  He was a life-long resident of the Cowichan Valley. As a child he lived in Camp Six (Caycuse) until his parents moved to Duncan after his father's life threatening injury in the woods as a high rigger. Les received his CA designation in 1966 and became a partner in the CA firm of Hill Atchison Hancock & Co. He left the firm to pursue other business interests which led to the establishment of multiple sales outlets across Western Canada and involved travel to China searching out suppliers.

Les re-established an accounting practice in Duncan in 1984. Alex Palmer joined him as partner in 1997 and the firm became Atchison Palmer Chartered Accountants. In August of 2009, Les sold his interest in the firm and continued to work with his clients at Atchison Palmer Leslie Chartered Accountants until he retired in 2010.

Les had a long and strong history of giving back to the community. He was President of the Duncan Chamber of Commerce (1970), The Duncan Zenith Gyro Club (1972) and Cowichan Golf & Country Club (1985-1990). Les also served on the BC Institute of Chartered Accountants Public Practice Committee and chaired their sub-committee on Indian Band (First Nations) audit procedures for CA's throughout Canada (1970 – 1973). This was the first committee of its kind established by any of the provincial Chartered Accountant Institutes. He was appointed by the BC Cabinet to serve on the Board of Directors for the BC Pavilion Corp. (1993 – 1998) Chairing the Audit & Finance Committee serving on the corporation's Executive Committee. Les authored local newspaper articles on taxation “Taxing Matters” and was a strong advocate of income tax reform of the Canadian tax system.

Les is survived by his soul mate, Katheryn.  They met in 1996 and she joined him in working in the office.  They became (and remained) inseparable and were married in December 1997. 

Les is lovingly remembered and forever sadly missed by our joined family, son James Atchison, daughter Christine Wouters, her husband Mark, granddaughter Shayla Falconer, grandson Alef Atchison, stepson Ryan Lindsay, his wife Vanita and step grandson Ben. Family was precious to Les and for our family; Les was absolutely everything!

Les had a wonderful sense of humour, enjoyed a good debate of current affairs, and was an ardent baseball fan (the Dodgers).  It is difficult to mention Les without combining golf in the same sentence.  The day before his passing he shot 37 on the front nine at Arbutus Ridge!  And, he was always a gentleman.

We thank the heroic effort made by Security at Arbutus Ridge and all other emergency services to resuscitate Les and especially for the quiet dignity following his loss.

If you wish to make a memorial donation, please consider the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation or the Diabetes Association.

We will mark the passing of our dear Les on with the raising of a glass or two and share “Les” stories on Sunday, August 28th 2-5 pm at Arbutus Golf and Country Club. 


Do not stand at my grave and weep.

I am not there; I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning's hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft star that shines at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;

I am not there; I did not die


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

Pages: 12

From: H.W. Wallace Cremation and Burial Centre Staff

H.W. Wallace Cremation and Burial Centre Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Paulette Tomasson
Relation: Old friend

I met Les at a meeting in the Pursuit of Excellence series years ago. He asked what my name was and I told him I was the Crown Princess of Rokeby Saskatchewan. Without missing a beat he replied “Well I am the Frog from lot 57. His humour was always a delight. I know he will be dearly missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing him. To you Katherine I am so very sorry for your loss. Warmly Paulette

From: Terry Judy Smawley
Relation: Friend

He was a friend and was always up for a good debate.. you will be missed…our thoughts are to you Katherine and his close family inthe coming months ..xo

From: Jenn Barry
Relation: Relationship - How did you know the deceased?

Katheryn, we are heartbroken to hear. Much love to you my friend, never was there a more perfect pair than you and Les. Know you are in my heart and thoughts and hugs and coming to you from here. Love you Jenn and Brad

From: Denny OBrien
Relation: Friend from Cowichan High School

I knew Les well through high school. We caught up a few years ago in Palm Desert where I met Katherine. He was a wonderful, thoughtful person (and even a reasonable golfer). Our thoughts are with you.


From: Lorraine BENTY ( Dobson)
Relation: Neighbour

Hi dear I am Leslie’s old neighbour. Danny Leslie Elaine and I had such fun. Here is my memory. As you probably know his mother was extremely tidy and we were 6 living in a shall I say very casual, carefree wild ( any thing goes style. Leslie used to come over, often joined us all with our feet on the coffee table and he said it “was relaxing.” I was also born in 1941 and My Danny died on a farm building a gate he just dropped also. Very peaceful. A golf course would be the ultimate place, to leave from. God Bless you all. Thanks so much for letting me know.

From: Lawrence Welsh
Relation: School mate at Cowichan High

Over the years we’d run into each other and found him to be a good man. I give my condolences to all the family. I dedicate these words in memory of a father.
I Have So Many Special Memories of You.
I have a lot of special memories of you
tucked away in my heart.
Sometimes, I like to
take them out and remember
all the times you were there
when I needed advice
and all the times you were silent
when I just needed to talk;
the many things you’ve done without
so I could have all the things I wanted;
letting me make my own decisions
without saying, “I told you so.”
No matter how broken my heart,
you were always there to pick me up
and send me back into the world.
I remember all the times
I took for granted:
all your love, all your support,
all your lost sleep, and
all your worrying,
as well as all your smiles,
all your tears, all your help,
and all your advice.
I remember it all, Dad,
I’ll never forget anything
you’ve done.

From: Sylvia Szarko (Anderson)
Relation: School friend

So glad we had a last luncheon tog. You always had the best sense
of humor. rest well.

From: Joan Winfrey
Relation: Through related work

So sorry to learn of Les’ sudden passing. My sincere sympathy to the family and especially to Kathryn, his loving soulmate.

From: Deirdre & Lawrence Zlomanchuk
Relation: new friends at Arbutus Ridge

We met Les and Katheryn golfing at Arbutus Ridge, and knew that this was a friendship that we would be cultivating: charming, engaging and most of all fun. Les and Katheryn were truly a match made in heaven! Golfing was important to Les but, he could have some fun with it too: On the 15th hole, he was waiting to put a 30 ft. breaking putt, but he could see that Katheryn didn’t have his putter when she was bringing the cart around so Les, being a left-hander asked to borrow my right-handed putter and proceeded to sink that putt! How fortunate we are to have met both of them here at the Ridge. Katheryn…I know that from the way he spoke of you….that you were the one! We will all miss him dearly.

Pages: 12

Service Schedule

  Funeral Service

Date & Time:
August 28, 2016
Beginning at 2:46am

Arbutus Ridge Golf Course
3515 Telegraph Road
Cobble Hill, BC Canada V0R 1L4

3515 Telegraph Road
Cobble Hill, BC Canada V0R 1L4

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