In the daybreak hour of Thursday July 14, 2022, Leslie Wood died peacefully on her own terms, in her own time, at her favourite place: her sewing room, in the northeast corner of the family farm.
Leslie packed a remarkable amount into her 70 years. She was born in Ottawa and spent the first 18 years of her life as a military brat, moving from airbase to airbase, with stints spent in Chatham, NB, Marville, France and Cold Lake, AB.
She then relocated to the big city of Toronto where she received a fashion design diploma at Ryerson, which led to a brief spell as a bra model and designer, eventually laying the foundation for her future endeavour, a fabric store called “Sew What.”
During those Ryerson years, the city girl met her rural Romeo and Bob would become her partner for the next 49+ years. Together they built a family, a home, and a life. Between the two of them they could do, build, fix, or make anything. Leslie and Bob’s home is a museum of curiosities that Leslie has either collected or made herself. Leslie was an unpretentious patron of the arts and prolific creator in her own right. A sewist, a stone carver, a welder, a fibre artist, and a sculptor – her creativity was broad and multifaceted.
An activist, a feminist and a self-proclaimed nasty woman, Leslie was a fearless champion of the underdog, authentically wearing her values on her (asymmetrical, boldly coloured) sleeve. She was a perfect blend of ‘fashion meets function’ – both practical and indulgent. Her enjoyment of the finer things in life was evidenced by her recent trip to the Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland, but it was not uncommon to find her out on the farm, sleeves rolled up, doing what needed to be done.
Leslie was an enthusiastic supporter of her children and grandchildren and is survived by her husband Bob, her daughter Jennifer (Brad) Tinney and their sons Josh and Jacob of Cobourg, ON; her daughter Erin and her children Gus and Hazel (Reid Yantzi and his children Cooper and Leni), and her daughter Jill (Pete Ryan) and their golden retriever, Sun-Bear of Nelson, BC. She is also survived by her brother Steven Leiper and family of Cold Lake, AB.
For her grandkids Gus and Hazel, their Grandma was their custom clothing designer, blankie fixer, Beatles dance partner and a ruthless card shark famously both a sore loser and a sore winner. From block Christmas and GG parties to cottage weekends, Leslie was the glue the held many different groups together. Anyone who spent time in Leslie’s orbit knew they were lucky. She will be missed by her many bridge partners, river walking friends, Ladies Cottage attendees, neighbours, her cousins, aunts and uncles.
Despite the ups and downs Leslie experienced with her health, she always considered herself lucky. She saw her cancer journey as an opportunity to grow, and never as a battle. Although no amount of time would ever be enough for those that loved her, Leslie lived well with cancer for an inspiring 24 years.
Donations can be made through the W. G. Young Funeral Home, 430 Huron St, Stratford to Wellspring’s Healing Journey program : https://41742.thankyou4caring.org/pages/WoW1 which Leslie credits with teaching her how to thrive with cancer. A celebration of life will take place on Thursday August 25th at Idlewood Farms. Pop by anytime after 2pm as her nearest and dearest toast to the legend of Line 26, RelentLes.
“The one who dies with the most fabric wins.” – Leslie Wood
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W.G. Young Funeral Home
430 Huron Street
Stratford, Ontario N5A 5T7
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