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Leslie  Sjoberg

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Leslie Sjoberg

December 1, 1930 - March 25, 2020

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Leslie Kathleen Sjöberg, née Field: December 1, 1930 (Vancouver, BC) – March 25, 2020, (Duncan, BC)

Pre-deceased by her husband Harry in 2013, Leslie is survived by her sister Lois Mary Field and her children Stephen (Bonnie), Claudia, and Neil (Vicki). She also leaves her much loved grandchildren Wyatt (22) and Matilda (20) Sjoberg-Fox, and Veronica (15) and Lucy (11) Sjoberg.

Leslie was raised in Victoria by her parents Frederick Joseph Field and Doris Winifred Madeline Field and graduated from St. Ann’s Academy and later from the BC Normal School. She taught at numerous Victoria schools at a time when an average classroom often had more than 45 students. She was an avid badminton player and met Harry in a bowling league. Harry and Leslie married and lived in Victoria until Harry was transferred by BC Hydro to Duncan in 1964.

Leslie was a passionate teacher who was tirelessly devoted to educating and enriching children’s lives. She taught many local children to read in her home, led an inspired and creative Sunday school program at St. John’s Anglican Church, was the PTA President at Duncan Elementary and coordinated the Duncan Soccer Association’s club and summer camps for many years.

She volunteered as a community leader, coordinator, fundraiser and board member for countless organizations including: the Duncan Girl Guides, the PEO Sisterhood, Save the Children Fund, the Cowichan Fringe Festival, Duncan Basketball, the BC Summer Games, and the Terry Fox Run. She was also a founding member of Friends of the Cowichan Theatre.

Ultimately Leslie’s most enduring legacy was her thirty-two years of formidable leadership of the Cowichan Music Festival. Thousands of Cowichan Valley children have had an opportunity to perform for audiences and receive coaching from adjudicators from across Canada as participants in the festival. Leslie also gathered scores of scholarships that are presented annually so many of the participants can further their artistic education, attend provincial arts festivals and upgrade their equipment and instruments. She held executive positions at the Provincial Music Festival level and travelled around the province to attend meetings and share best practices.

Leslie loved poetry, music and literature. She was curious and informed on world politics, pop culture and progressive thought. She believed ardently in feminism and individual human rights and encouraged her children and grandchildren to pursue their dreams and strive for excellence and compassion. She was a great believer in the value of community and exemplified the impact that one person can make to motivate and inspire others. She made amazing jam and created gift baskets that she generously shared. Leslie was a philanthropist who generously donated to a number of organizations and individuals. She loved the Cowichan Valley and dedicated her life’s work to it.

She was recognized with numerous local and provincial awards for her contributions to her community including the Duncan Sportsperson of the Year, the Valley Citizen of the Year and the BC Queens Silver Medal. She was also the winner of the Performing Arts BC Distinguished Service Award and the inaugural winner of the City of Duncan Perpetual Arts Trophy in 1997.

She lived by the enduring Shakespearean maxim of: ‘This above all to thine own self be true and it shall follow as the night, the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.’

A celebration of life will follow in the summer of 2020. If you would like to be informed of the event details please send your contact email to lsjobergmemorial@gmail.com.

Condolences

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Pages: 12

From: H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre

H.W. Wallace Cremation and Burial Centre Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Fred McGuinness
Relation: Long time client and treasured friend

Condolences to the family, she can now go and join Harry.

From: Alexia Bainas
Relation: I met her through my work at the Cowichan Valley Citizen.

A kind friend, a tireless supporter of young people, and an example to us all. Safely home now.

From: Mike & Barb Coleman
Relation: longtime friend

Leslie was an absolute gem and a key member of the Cowichan community. As a friend and neighbour and ardent activist in a wide range of activities, and particularly the arts, she contributed enormously to the life of the Cowichan Valley.

From: Peter & Joan Wilson
Relation: Through her involvement with Soccer registration and many years working with her in the Cowichan Music Festival.

Our Sincere Condolences to Stephen, Claudia & Neil and their families in the loss of their mother Leslie. She is a great loss to our Music Festival, the City of Duncan, and the Cowichan Valley and will always be remembered for her many contributions.

From: Leslie Welin
Relation: Acquaintance

I am sorry to hear of Leslie’s death. Her contributions to music in Cowichan combined with all the volunteerism that she and Harry did over the years will be always remembered.

From: Gregg Perry
Relation: Served for a time on the Friends of the Cowichan Theatre Board.

Leslie was a model of dedication and integrity and always had a smile ready, even in the midst of difficult board meetings. The Cowichan Valley is richer for her encouragement of the performing arts through the Festival.

From: Sheiila, Tim and Brynna Coogan
Relation: Neighbour

Leslie was such an important member of our neighbourhood. She and Harry used to decorate their house so wonderfully for Christmas and Halloween, and she was so kind to all of the kids in the neighbourhood. Our kids were the paper boys and now paper girl for Leslie, and she always made sure to give a special little gift to our daughter at Christmas. She was a wonderful, kind and generous soul, and will be so missed!

From: Celeste Borjeau
Relation: Participant in Music Festival (attended Provincials for Musical Theatre a couple times)

I remember going to her house each year, before the few times I attended provincials. She must have sent so many kids to provincials over the years, but each time she was just as passionate and excited for me and enthusiastic, and I’m sure it was the same for every other representative and observer. Even on the stage when she handed you that envelope her eyes would light up and you would feel like the luckiest kid in the world when she shook your hand. She was always willing to go the extra mile for all of us and I’ll never forget the amazing community she built for a bunch of children who sometimes only feel like themselves when they’re up on the stage pretending to be someone else. Forever grateful to her.

From: Chris Gardner
Relation: neighbour

My sincere condolences to all of Leslie’s family. She was such of wonderful supporter of the arts. She will be deeply missed.

Pages: 12

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