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Community-minded Assiniboia businessman leaves behind legacy

A tribute to a man who has done so much for so many is a difficult task. How do you sum up a life so well lived?
Word was received of the passing of Tim Dlouhy, a respected businessman and community-minded volunteer.

Word was received of the passing of Tim Dlouhy, a respected businessman and community-minded volunteer. He owned the Franklin Hotel and then owned 121 Steakhouse and Bar B. Dlouhy was also an active member on the Civic Improvement Association board.

Tribute submitted by Curtis Nelson

A tribute to a man who has done so much for so many is a difficult task. How do you sum up a life so well lived? It is impossible, but I will try to touch on a few things that Tim has accomplished throughout the years and what he has meant to the people that have surrounded him. 

Tim was born September 6, 1962 to his mother, Louise, and father, Reg Dlouhy. Tim was the middle child in the family with an older sister, Jody, and younger sister Gia. Louise’s partner Del joined the fray later in life.

Tim was very proud of his family. Tim’s father Reg was an accomplished saxophone player in the Gene Dlouhy Band that toured with Roy Orbison in the 1960’s, and played regularly in Las Vegas in hotels such as the Golden Nugget. In the fall of 1975 Tim and his family moved from Las Vegas back to Saskatchewan when his parents bought the Arlington Hotel in Maryfield.

Tim met his soulmate Penny Thompson at this time. Tim was in Grade 8 and Penny in Grade 7. They soon became inseparable. In 1978 Tim’s parents bought Grandison’s Hall in Kenosee Lake and founded the Moosehead Inn. From there they purchased the Kennedy Hotel.

Tim’s father passed away of a heart attack in 1983 when Tim was only 20 years old. Tim and Penny took over the management of the Whitewood bar at this time and renamed it Hard Times. The drinking age was 21 in Saskatchewan, so Tim had started running his first bar before he was legally old enough to drink. They were then married and started a family, welcoming his daughter Jordan and son Judd into the world.

In December of 1997, Tim and Penny made the move to Assiniboia where they purchased the Franklin Hotel. They expanded the operation to include a Western Pizza franchise as well as a Mr. Sub. In 2007 they sold the Franklin and renovated and opened 121 Steakhouse in April of 2009.

They added rooms to the operation a few years later as well as a liquor store. In 2018 Tim and a group purchased the Bar-B Hotel in Assiniboia and completely renovated the facility. Through the years, Tim and Penny also owned the Maryfield Hotel, the hotel his parents first purchased in 1975, as well as Bird’s Point Pub in Round Lake, and the Jolly Giant Pub and Hotel in Willow Bunch.

They also had ownership in the Whitewood Hotel and renamed it Poncho’s Pub and Grill, named for a loving soul, Poncho, a friend of Tim and Penny from Poland who used to live in the hotel. In 2019 Tim and his partners worked to open their first cannabis store in Weyburn, and in the years to follow they opened additional stores in Gravelbourg and Indian Head. Tim and his crew took over the operation of the Wooden Nickel Pub/Restaurant and liquor store in Indian Head in October of 2022, which his son and daughter own and operate, continuing his legacy.

Tim was always adapting and innovating in everything he did in business. He was always at the forefront of his industry when it came to coming up with new ideas to entertain and service his clients. The sheer number of businesses he owned, started, purchased and operated show his pioneering entrepreneurial spirit. Tim in his 60 short years became one of the most influential restaurant and bar owners in Saskatchewan history.

Tim was a mentor to most everyone who worked with him and worked alongside him. He offered employment to many of the youth in the community through the many businesses he ran. Tim was an exceptional employer, and he not only taught all the tricks of the trade, he also taught many life lessons that a person requires to succeed in life.

His business acumen and way with people was somehow injected into each one of his employees like some magic serum. But in the end, it wasn’t as magic as one might think. Tim spent countless hours grooming and talking with each of his employees on a one-on-one basis to improve them both on the business side and the personal side.

He deeply cared about every person he worked with, customer or employee, and took the time to know them and offer any advice he could to help them through whatever problems they may have been trying to solve.

Tim was an avid community supporter and builder. He partnered with many volunteer organizations to help raise money within the community. He pioneered the start of many events, including countless charity steak nights, poker nights and more recently chase-the-ace events. The hundreds of thousands of dollars he raised for his beloved communities help build the many amenities that everyone has the pleasure of using today.

In times of tragedy, Tim was also there to help families in need, if a loved one passed away prematurely or someone lost all their belongings in a fire.

Tim was an avid traveler and had been to over 100 countries throughout the world. Some of these countries Penny had some reservations on entry, but Tim always lived on the edge and got a rush when he explored areas that many would shy away from.

Tim had a home in Mazatlán that he wintered for the past few years.

His home there was home to many of his family and friends as he always had guests that he would readily invite, as he would entertain them and be their tour guide for their time in Mexico.

I was lucky enough to be one of his guests last winter where he drove us around the city and showed us all the sights of Mazatlán. It was a busy week as he lined up deep-sea fishing trips where we had the good fortune to catch a marlin. Tim had a wall of fame of all his travelers’ fishing pictures, where he would post them in his home for all to see.

Tim enjoyed the outdoors. He went on many hunting expeditions throughout North America, including Alaska. He enjoyed the camaraderie that came with hunting with his friends and being outside and close to nature. He loved spending time on the water fishing and pleasure boating. He always enjoyed taking people tubing and trying to detach them from whatever inflatable he had attached to the back of his boat.

Tim was a true sportsman in every nature of the word. He was an avid golfer and a competitor. If you golfed with Tim, there always had to be something on the line. There was always two or three games on the go within each golf game, and only he seemed to know all the rules. If Tim and his partner happened to have an off day and you were leading at the 18th hole, he would inevitably push, meaning it was double or nothing and more often than not he would win the last hole and owe nothing.

I believe Tim was able to finance many of his business ventures with golf winnings over the years.

Tim travelled with many of his golf buddies over the years and golfed the most prestigious courses in the world, including St. Andrews in Scotland.

His love of golf was second only to his love of the community and he tied the two together throughout the years. Tim ran many golf tournaments at the golf course in Assiniboia, the Franklin Cup and the Big Hitters to name a few. He also could be seen cooking steaks for men’s night on a weekly basis, and over the last few years he volunteered his time as the course superintendent and in typical Tim fashion the course never looked better than when he ran it.

Tim also had a love for hockey. He helped bring back the Assiniboia senior hockey team and ran with that for eight seasons, winning six consecutive league championships before retiring from his coaching duties. During his time as a coach, he was able to pass on many of his traits to his players, helping them grow not only as hockey players but as people.

Tim was a curling fanatic as well. He was a true strategist of the game and enjoyed the battle of wits that skipping a team required. Tim took time to coach and mentor his son’s curling team throughout the years and coached them to the top tiers of the sport. He also enjoyed coaching his daughter’s softball teams as well.

Tim was a true leader. Some people were put on this earth to lead and some to follow. Tim’s role was definitely to lead. His personality was such that people always wanted to be around him and listen to what he had to say. His sage advice was sought by so many, including myself, throughout his life.

He was also open to listening and taking advice from others. He was constantly learning and innovating in everything he did, not only with business but in living. He could see the good in people and change to make himself better, and then he would try and pass on that message. He was beyond successful in business and in life yet he stayed humble.

He was a giving person to his community, to his friends and to his family. He made time for everyone, made everyone feel special and left his mark on everyone he interacted with a gift that can never be taken away. He was a molder of men and women, changing people’s lives for the better one by one by giving, showing and teaching people how to live their lives the right way. Tim’s way.

His mantra, “we are not here for a trial run”, was how he lived his life and how we should all strive to live our own.

Tim’s battle with ALS finally ended his chapter here on earth. However, he lives on in everyone that he has touched. Tim has left each and every one of us a gift that can never be quantified. That gift is making you a better person now than before you met Tim, and what gift can anyone leave you with more important than this.

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