Obituary of Elizabeth Leen
Elizabeth was born in Tombridge, U.K. but spent most of her adult life in Manitoba.
Elizabeth is survived by her husband Des, her children Sarah (Bill), Christopher (Audrey), Richard (Karla), and Rachel (Chuck), her 10 grandchildren, and her siblings David and Judy.
She developed a special bond with Katelyn after caring for her two days a week in Headingley during the first four years of her life. Elizabeth called her Ninnin and “The Bag Lady”.
Elizabeth will be remembered for all the places she interacted with her many friends, including playing tennis at the Winter Club, Wildwood Club, and Unicity Racket Club; and golf at Teulon, Glendale and over 20 years at St. Charles. At St. Charles she was on Ladies Executive and one of the founding members of the Ladies’ Invitational. She was also on the Board of Manitoba Ladies Golf Association for many years.
Charity work was with Ronald McDonald House, Rossbrook House and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
Elizabeth loved to spend her winters in their Florida home that was accented with her favourite blue colour and her lanai, hot tub, view of the golf course and the palm trees, of course. She was loved by the community there as much as in Charleswood, Headingley and Niverville.
These were the conventional things Elizabeth did and loved, but the real Elizabeth to her friends was that she had a great sense of humor and was witty, funny and the life of the party and any conversation. There was nothing artificial about Elizabeth and “She either liked you or she didn’t”!
Conventional wisdom is practiced by lots of us, but not by Elizabeth as she said what she felt and if you were offended “That was your problem”! She touched many lives and one friend commented that “Her sense of humor will connect with my soul forever”. This was the authentic Elizabeth that all her family and friends loved and admired.
In the latter stages of her life her Alzheimer’s forced her to relocate to Niverville and eventually to the Heritage Life Personal Care Home. There, her sense of humor continued to be infectious among the staff and residents although she had difficulty in speaking. She continued to entertain them with her facial expressions and colourful language! She could still make them all laugh until close to the end.
After some time in Heritage Life, Elizabeth needed constant care and for a long time that was provided by Margaret.
They developed an exceptional bond together that lasted to the very end and it was beautiful to witness. Elizabeth really loved Margaret and Margaret was so good to her. The family will be eternally grateful to Margaret for the care and love she provided.
One of the last things to go with Alzheimer’s patients is their love of music. This remained true with Elizabeth and she sang the lyrics to many of her favourite songs until the end, some days more than others. She would often comment to Sarah that her singing “was dreadful” of the Sound of Music classics like “Do Re Mi” and “My Favourite Things” and of course, “Mama Mia”, “The Dancing Queen”, “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Sweet Caroline”. Near the end of her life the lyrics became “de de de”, but she still had the tune, a smile on her face and would jiggle in her wheelchair.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Heritage Life Personal Care Home for all their dedication to Elizabeth and the rest of the patients. They are truly wonderful people.
The family would like to end with a quote that provides some peace to all that loved Elizabeth: “Grief never ends, but it changes. It is a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness nor a lack of faith: it is the price of love.”
The love between Des and Elizabeth was second to none and they were each other’s lives. The family wishes to thank Des for all the tremendous care, dedication and love he exhibited to her last breath. In her last hours she still responded to him!
Farewell my greatest love Elizabeth, I will miss you along with all the other people whose lives you have touched, Des.
Cremation has taken place.
A Celebration of life will be held in early May in Winnipeg by invitation only.
In lieu of flowers donations can be directed to: Heritage Life Personal Care Home by calling Jessica Beaupre at 204-388-5000 Ext 210.