December 1, 1930 – March 25, 2020
Leslie Kathleen Sjoberg (nee 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 Queen’s Jubilee 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 must 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 email@example.com.
Online condolences may be made at www.hwwallacecbc.com
H.W. Wallace Cremation and Burial Centre
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