For over 50 years Dennis Loeppky was a fixture at Swift Current Broncos games at the Innovation Credit Union iplex. It is only fitting that he will now be honoured in two different hall of fames in the same building, after he is inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame on Saturday.
“It’s pretty heart-warming I guess,” said Loeppky’s nephew, Rob Myers. “It is very deserving. He spent a lot of time in there, not only with the Broncos, but the Legionnaires and minor hockey, old-timers hockey. He spent a lot of hours in that rink.”
“He was just a very personable guy, very happy-go-lucky, not a mean bone in his body. Just a great, great man,” said Don Hornung, who spent 10 seasons in the box with Loeppky.
“He volunteered for a lot of things. He was always involved in whatever he could lend a hand with,” said Myers, who noted that Loeppky’s contributions extended to the Swift Current Ag & Ex and the Soap Box Races. “The list just goes on and on and on with where he would lend a hand if a hand needed to be lended.”
“He just loved people and liked being out there with everybody. He just wanted to be around people and help wherever he could,” added Hornung.
Loeppky will be inducted in the SHHOF in the Grassroots category after lifetime of service, which began in 1967 at the brand new Centennial Civic Centre selling programs.
“Dennis volunteered for the Broncos for 50 years running and the penalty box for most of those years,” explained Swift Current Broncos Director of Business Operations Dianne Sletten. “He managed that area for us, so found all the workers, trained them and scheduled them. Having someone that takes that on for the organization is huge. It was one less thing to have to worry about on game nights.”
Loeppky passed away in April of 2017.
“It means a lot to the family to have Dennis inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame,” said his wife Barb. “Dennis’s life revolved around hockey, as did ours. Everything including family functions, appointments, and birthdays were scheduled around hockey games. He was extremely proud of his involvement with hockey and it showed in all other aspects of his life as well as ours.”
“It is an honour and privilege for my dad to be recognized for something he loved doing so much,” added his daughter Denise.
“Dennis was a character,” noted Sletten. “He liked to tease the girls in the store and always came in with a smile. His annual baking of a huge carrot cake for the office at the start of the hockey season was something we looked forward to. He would do anything he could to help the Broncos and volunteered for many of our events as well, selling tickets or helped wherever he was needed.”
Loeppky was inducted into the Swift Current Broncos Hall of Fame in October of 2017 during a pregame ceremony.
“He is missed very much,” said Sletten. “We were proud to induct him into our Hall of Fame this past year as the first volunteer to be recognized and are honoured to sponsor him into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in the community builder category.”
Myers worked with his uncle Dennis in the penalty box for 24 years after getting his start during the 1993 WHL championship season.
“I was just at a Broncos game one night and they were short a guy in the penalty box. He grabbed me to go swing the penalty gate that night and the rest is history. 25 years later I am still doing it.”
The penalty box area in the Western Hockey League has been known to get a little bit out of control at times.
“He wasn’t a small guy at one time either. He would take the bull by the horns too. There was times where the other guys running the box, they couldn’t do much either. He would take the bull by the horns when it needed to be,” said Myers.
“Dennis liked to people watch and the odd time you had to give him a little slap on the leg and say ‘Dennis start the clock,’ laughed Hornung. “He was just a great, great all-around guy.”