February 27, 1940 – October 22, 2019
The world lost a good man on Oct. 22, 2019.
A 39-year member of the RCMP, Len Grinnell, born February 27, 1940, will be remembered as a man of honour, humour and respect.
At the age of 20, with a Grade 12 education, he entered basic training in Regina. His first deployment was in Nelson where he also did relief stints at one-person detachments (Natal, Salmo, New Denver and Kaslo). Grinnell transferred to the Security Service of the RCMP in Ottawa in 1969. In 1972 he returned to B.C. working in the detachments of Surrey (1972-85), Vancouver (1985-87), North Vancouver (1987-93), and Langley (1993-2000).
During his career, Grinnell was an Emergency Response Team lead for 10 years, firearms and sniper instructor and worked with many members of foreign services. He was awarded the RCMP Long Service Medal, with a gold bar for 30 years of service.
Grinnell found deep friendships within the force. “The bonds, the friendship,” among those who make life or death decisions on a daily basis, are unfathomable, he said. And no one understood more than those he served with on the Emergency Response Team. Grinnell recalled his colleagues all carrying a coin emblazoned with the Shakespeare quote: We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he today that sheds his blood with me shall always be my brother. The coin was always on his person. And he joked, not just because if he was called upon to produce it, and failed, the onus would be on him to buy the drinks that night.
Grinnell always had a soft spot for his wife, Marlene, who he met during the Doukhobor trials in the early 60s. After a long-distance courtship, they married on August 14, 1965. Marlene was the City of Langley Mayor for 12 years and Len was fond of saying she, “was the best mayor we ever had”.
Len is survived by his wife; two children, Grant Edward born June 11, 1969; and Cheryl Lynn, born December 13, 1973.
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