Tuesday February 12, 2013
LESLEY MARGARET MILNE
30 April 1943 - 7 February 2013
After a 15 month courageous struggle with colon cancer, Lesley took her last breath peacefully, with her husband George and daughter Claire at her side, in the Palliative Care Unit at St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto.
Born in Buckhurst Hill England, Lesley spent her formative years in Liverpool. At 17 years, she began studying (on a Scholarship) at the Chelsea School of Art, London. A year later she met George, a Canadian engineer living in London. A year later they married in Chelsea Old Church, continuing a close and loving union for the next 51 years.
Predeceased by her parents George and Elsie Wood, Lesley leaves a brother Ian in England.
Lesley and George arrived in Toronto in 1966, with their first-born Anne-Marie. Then Simon George was born, followed by Claire Louise. Lesley, George, Anne and Simon moved to the Beach(es) in 1969, still the family home. Grandson Jorge lives in Mexico, and granddaughter Haleigh is in Toronto.
Lesley worked as ''homemaker'', but held numerous part-time jobs, including teaching ''International Cooking''. Needing to expand her horizons, she completed her undergraduate degree in Fine Art in 1986 (winning a Scholarship), at the U. of T. Then she entered the Institute of Child Study, a two year program, earning her teaching certificate. By 1995, at the tender age of 52, she gained a permanent contract with the TDSB, Elementary Division. Not long after, she earned her Principal's qualifications, and ultimately worked her way to become Supervising Principal - Section 23 Programs. She held this position until her retirement in June 2011. Along the way, she secured the Presidency of the Ontario Administrators Association for Care, Treatment, Custody, and Corrections. She committed herself to ensuring that Section 23 students were no longer marginalized or disadvantaged.
Lesley enjoyed cross-country skiing, swimming, and flying with George, herself having received 40 hours of in-air flight training (Buttonville). She travelled widely throughout Canada, often as ''coach'' to George during his various athletic pursuits, as well as co-pilot on some unforgettable (!) flights to various Ontario airports, night flying being her favourite, where she excelled at scanning the sky for danger.
We all will sorely miss Lesley, with her indomitable strength of character, very much in evidence during her final days.
The team in the Palliative Care Unit at St. Michael's Hospital were relentless, effective, kindly and loving in their efforts to manage Lesley's pain and discomfort. Donations to St. Michael's Hospital, Palliative Care Unit, in Lesley's name would be very much valued.
Family and friends will be received at the SHERRIN FUNERAL HOME, CREMATION AND TRIBUTE CENTRE, 873 Kingston Road, Toronto, 416-698-2861, on Wednesday, February 13th from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. A Memorial Service will be held in the Chapel on Thursday, February 14th at 11:00 a.m.