A community leader in Shaunavon and former CJSN 1490 and CKSW 570 employee has passed away.

The town, of 1,784 people, is still in shock after businessman Joe Gregoire passed on at the age of 68 last Tuesday.

Fred Farnsworth became friends with Gregoire in the early 1970s while attending high school together and their camaraderie only grew closer as time passed.

"Joe was a larger-than-life character, a great guy in general, a very likable person, and will be greatly missed," he said.

Following high school, the duo were co-workers at CJSN 1490 with Gregoire becoming the station manager. 

"That situation always worked out well," he said. "I always respected Joe, and on the job, he made the calls, like he was in charge. Then after work, we could go down for a beer and we were like two old friends again."

Gregoire was a creative salesman at the station creating the Jail and Bail Radiothon in 1982 with proceeds going to Kinsmen and TeleMiracle. Another promotion saw him dress up his own Shelby car as the Easter Bunny.

"The disc jockey would state a general vicinity of where the buddy mobile was... Then the first person that reached the buddy mobile would get a gift certificate from the Co-op for a turkey or ham for Easter," Farnsworth recalled.

He also focused on changing the way the station programmed music by logging it himself instead of having the broadcaster follow an "inconsistent" format according to Farnsworth.

"I know when I worked at the station, he stressed the local news, local sports, and for us to get involved in the community and he led by example," he said. 

Gregoire was the long-time president of the Shaunavon Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Boomtown Days Committee, chairman of the Kinsmen Show-a-rama Trade Show, and an executive member of the Jubilee Arena Board. He and his wife Joanne were the dual recipients of Shaunavon's Citizen of the Year soon after its inception in the early 2000s.

"He was just involved in everything and a very active community member," he said.

He worked in the Swift Current media landscape for some time at both CKSW 570 and CJFB-TV before becoming a business owner himself of Joe's Clothes and more recently Mad Max Productions.

"Joe touched the lives of many people," he said "He's a lifelong resident of the southwest... He's well known throughout the entire southwest really, not just Shaunavon."

His funeral service will be held on Saturday at the Christ the King R.C. Church in Shaunavon with a celebration of life held after at the Shaunavon Legion.

"Joe was very kindhearted, well respected, great guy, great friend, and a great colleague to work with," he said.