Leslie Stephen Biggs began life on March 14, 1953, at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, and finished life on September 19, 2022 in the same building.  He was 69 and a half years old.

The third of Sid and Ruth’s six children, he was welcomed home at 4050 Carey Road to a house that Sid built with his own hands.  The growing family lived there until more space was needed, thereafter moving briefly to Margaret Street beside McKenzie School, and then to 1231 Palmer Rd. in the Lakehill Area.  It was here that Les would spend most of his formative years, graduating from Reynolds High School and then Uvic with a degree in Urban Geography.  During that time the whole family was involved at Westview Gospel Chapel, which shaped much of Les’ approach to life.

After graduating in 1975, Les ended up in Grande Prairie Alberta.  Together with brothers Stan and Jim, he worked in a plywood mill for the first summer, followed by a couple of odd jobs and then a one year stint at the Peace River Planning Commission. He met Carol at the plywood plant, and never let her go.  They were married in 1977.

Although trained in Urban Planning, Les never felt it was his calling in life. The pursuit of the Kingdom of God was where his heart was at, so he and Carol moved to Abbotsford in the fall of 1980 from where he could attend Regent College in Vancouver. Both of them were involved in Maranatha Baptist Church, with Les serving as assistant pastor.  He graduated from Regent with a Masters of Divinity in 1981, right around the time that their oldest son Ryan came along.

In 1983, Saanich Community Church on Falmouth Road was looking for a pastor, so Les moved back to Victoria with Carol and Ryan. He served at Saanich Community Church until 1991, welcoming Liam in 1986.  The church grew during that time and undertook a building program on West Saanich Road, where it still is today.

The next stop for the young family was in Hepburn, Saskatchewan, at Bethany Bible College.  There Les taught Old Testament and Ethics, among other things, as well as serving as the Dean of Men.  The family also added a fifth member, Reepicheep the dog, who was with them a long time.  There were no cats. This posting lasted for four years, between 1991 and 1995, until Les received a call from Elk Lake Baptist Church in Victoria.  He accepted, and the family returned to Victoria to stay.

Between 1995 and 2015, a period of twenty years, Les was the pastor at Elk Lake Baptist church.  As with the rest of his life, this period was marked by Les’ steady, thoughtful approach.  A prolific reader, his understanding of the Kingdom of God continued to widen and deepen; it was that vision that animated him.  One of his parishioners said that in twenty years she never heard a bad sermon or a repeat. Beside his regular duties, Les was instrumental in constructing a new church building, participating in various parachurch organizations, and, in 2015, obtaining a Doctorate of Ministry from Carey Hall in Vancouver.

When his time at Elk Lake came to an end, Les became the Director of the Spiritual Formation Department at Carey Hall. He eventually cut back to being an adjunct professor until failing health forced him to retire for good at the end of 2021.

In addition to his passion for the spiritual life, Les was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather.  He was an avid bird watcher, a nature lover, a gardener, and a Canucks fan.  He enjoyed music—Steve Bell particularly—but he wasn’t a great singer.  Except the Yellow Rose of Texas. He sang that with gusto.  As previously mentioned, he collected and read an astonishing number of books.  About everything.

One of his uncles once said that Les brought calm to a room just by walking into it, which was profoundly true.  By nature he was thoughtful, unassuming, and approachable; by intention he was settled and unwavering. His favorite quote, which hung on his office wall, came from Reepicheep, the mouse of Narnian fame (after whom the family dog was named).  Reepicheep was a brave and loyal warrior whose sole ambition was to reach Aslan’s land, an ambition which resonated deeply with Les.  Hence on Les’ office wall was pinned the following quote from Reepicheep in “Voyage of the Dawn Treader”:

While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader.  When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle.  When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan’s country, or shot over the edge of the world into some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise.

In a nutshell, that was Les.

Les leaves to mourn his steadfast wife Carol, sons Ryan (Sarah) and Liam, grandchildren Payton, Samara, and Everett, brothers Stan (Jan), Jim (Gail), Bob, Ray, and sister Maureen Horton (Murray), brother in law Donald Goertz (Marion), sister in law Joan Stonehocker (Dennis), plus many relatives and many, many friends gathered over a lifetime.

A funeral service for the late Leslie Biggs will be held on Sunday, October 2, at Elk Lake Baptist Church, 5349 Patricia Bay Highway, Victoria B.C., at 3:00 PM.  Refreshments to follow in the church hall.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens
www.mccallgardens.com

 

  • Patricia Williams

    I’ve always had the great respect for Les — his kindness, his wisdom, his understanding of the human condition. I am thinking of all of you at this time of great loss.

  • Roberta Grace Birkett

    Just wanted to say Im thinking of you all at this time.

  • Joyce Chan

    I was a privilege to serve with Les during his time at Carey. Les was deeply loved by his students and colleagues. Whenever he came to the office, he always greeted people with a big smile that you knew coming from his deep relationship with our Lord Jesus overflowing with joy. Les, I know that you are now in the everlasting arm of our Lord. I can hear these words, “Good and faithful servant, welcome home.” We will miss you. Carol, Ryan, Liam and family, may you find comfort and peace in our Father God.

  • Rosemary Gaunt

    Dear Carol,

    It has been a long time since we have been in touch with each other but I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Les. In many ways the Biggs family formed some of the early construct of my life and to read and hear of Les’s life is such a magnificent comfort to our growing outward and larger in our faith. My heart is heavy with your great loss. With much love Rosemary Gaunt

  • Kari Elliott

    I’m so sorry to hear this. Les was one of my professors in Spiritual Formation at Carey and I remember him well as a gentle and thoughtful soul, full of deep kindness and surprising mirth. He was a lovely man. Much love and many prayers as you grieve and remember him.

  • Colin Godwin, Carey Theological College

    On behalf of the Board, faculty, staff and (especially) students at Carey Theological College, please receive our heartfelt sympathy for your loss. Les changed the lives of so many students who studied at Carey, giving them tools to walk more closely with Jesus, as he sought to do himself. Colin Godwin, President, Carey Theological College.

  • Linda & Neil Wieler

    Hello Carol and Family:
    We were so saddened to hear of Les’ passing. His life story above is very well done. We remember many excellent conversations at the Goertz gatherings, and by a wonderful coincidence on the Vancouver Island ferry. We’ll remember Les as a kind, thoughtful man with a sharp sense of humour, and a deeply committed pastor. We wish you sweet memories and God’s comfort.
    Linda & Neil Wieler (Cousins on Carol’s side)

  • Janet Goodwin

    My deepest condolences to Carol, Ryan, Liam, and the families. You were blessed to have Les as a husband, father, grandfather, brother, and sister. I know he’ll be missed very much by you all. May God grant each one of you peace and understanding.

  • Janet Goodwin

    Rest in peace Les. You will be missed greatly as you had a special place in my heart. Thank you so much for all your help to me over the years. You always went above and beyond. You were an incredibly special friend in my life, and I am so honored to call you my best friend!!!!

  • Janet Goodwin

    Rest in peace Les. You will be greatly missed as you had a special place in my heart. Thank you so much for all your help to me over the years. You always went above and beyond. You were an incredibly special friend in my life, and I am so honored to call you my best friend!!!!

  • Rachel Nysted

    I am so sorry for this loss in your lives. He will be missed for sure. I guess this is when you pull together and strengthen one another with your mutual love for each other and remember precious memories. I am sorry for the pain of grief you will be going through. I will pray for you.
    Sincerely,
    Robert and Rachel Nystec

  • Jill Lee-Henningham

    I am so sorry for your loss and the loss of such an amazing man. I absolutely love his favourite quote and it does seem perfect for Uncle Les.

  • Sylvia J Advent

    Carol and family, you have my sincere sympathies and prayerful support. You and your extended family have always been a special part of my life. The Lord is with you. Sylvia Giesbrecht Advent

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