It is with a heavy heart that we inform you of the passing of Brother Leo Puddister.

Leo passed peacefully today (May 2) at at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s surrounded by his loving family. Leo survived by his wife Bernie, his daughters Leah and Krista and His five grandchildren.

Leo Puddister was elected President of NAPE, the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees, on May 16, 2003.

Following several years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces, Leo Puddister became a NAPE member in 1968 when he started work as a Correctional Officer. Within weeks he was actively involved in his NAPE Local as a shop steward, rising to become Local president.

Puddister represented the correctional officers on NAPE’s provincial board of directors from 1979 to 1980. He served on NAPE’s provincial board as eastern vice president from 1980 to 1983, during which time he led the establishment of affirmative action positions for women on NAPE’s board.

In 1983, Puddister joined NAPE’s staff as an employee relations officer, and in 1999 he became NAPE’s senior negotiator. As a staff member Puddister has negotiated more contracts, organized more groups, and arbitrated more grievances than anyone else in NAPE’s history. His win record in arbitration cases in one of the best in Canada.

Please join us in passing along our sincerest condolences to his family.

Leo may be gone, but he has left an indelible mark on our province, our union and the many people he fought for and represented over the years. He was a character that was larger than life and he worked tirelessly to defend and advance the cause of workers in this province – something he was so very proud of.

He will not be forgotten.

Rest easy, brother. Solidarity forever.