Went, reluctant, into that good night January 1st, 2020 in Victoria, B.C.  Born in the Weald of Kent, Lesley was a country girl who grew to be an exceptional lady.  She was blessed with the gift of curiosity and the wit to feed it.  She married two writers, Jack who took her to Spain to write his novel, then to Canada where she joined hands with Phil and went around the world.  Sharing their passion for good writing, good music, good food.  Lesley was vivacious, sensuous and feisty.  Loved the warmth and company of old friends.  Was an excellent cook, admired a well-crafted martini (Beefeaters, very dry, twist of lemon) and never turned her back on a challenge.  She won awards as an actor, hiked the West Coast Trail, drove for a year with Phil and daughter Denbigh through Europe and North Africa, scuba-dived deep in the Bahamas, freightered to New Zealand, tangoed to Buenos Aires.  Was a tad Welsh, spoke good French, adored the dancing of Astaire and Fosse – and barely worth mentioning, forbade pyjamas.

A few of her favourite things…

laughter, an armful of Siamese cats purring, days at sea, discovering London and Paris as a very young woman, Joni Mitchell’s music, ditto Charles Aznavour, Sondheim, reading/rereading Dickens, Austen, Lessing, Munro, Rankin, Yeats, Dylan Thomas – the list is long, time grows short…

Lesley was the loving mother of Denbigh and her husband Skip, beloved Nana to grandchildren Alison and Jack, and Phil’s partner in love and life for fifty-five extraordinary years,

Thankyou, my Piu,

          You completed me, I completed you.

  • Penelope Harwood

    Phil, I am so sorry to hear that Lesley died in January. She was such fun. She sole the show in “Enchanted April” and we giggled together at many Langham opening nights gossiping about who was doing what to whom!! We enjoyed your company at dinner parties and as staunch theatre friends. Courage, Phil. Please let us know how you are doing. Love, Penelope & Simon.

  • Fran Greenbaum

    Dear Phil, Denbigh, and family,

    It’s beyond my heart’s comprehension how Leslie, with her joy and zest for life, can be gone from this earth. Leslie was a delightful gift and I am so grateful to have had the pleasure of her company. My deepest condolences to you.

  • Jackie

    The’Elegant Lady’ will always have a special place in our hearts and memories from windstorms in Salmon Arm with little ones to frisbee on the campsite on Cordova Bay.We have all loved the time we’re privileged to spend with you both so we are saying fond farewells to her with much love and wonderful memories the Blank Gang xxx

  • Robert Florida

    Dear Phil, Denbigh and family,

    I met Lesley and Phil doing Tai Chi in Victoria about ten years ago. I immediately knew I wanted to know them better. We shared so many interests: food, cooking, travel, theatre, conversation, and of course, gin.

    I remember Lesley many times at table sharing a delicious meal, wine, and raucous laughter. We also took a long sea cruise together from Vancouver to Sydney Australia, and Leslie never failed to let me know how wrong my blue cocktails were. To her gin could only be taken with tonic or in a good martini.

    Sorry, Lesley, but I will toast you with a blue drink tonight. You are very missed.


    Robert Florida

  • Claire Menzies

    Dear Uncle Phil, Denbigh and family
    I will always wonderful memories of our family get togethers.
    Aunty Lesley bought joy and laughter to all of us for all us to share and pass on,
    Aunty Lesley has not left us,
    Aunty Lesley will always be with us,
    Always be close to our hearts.

    Angels ascending bring from above,
    Whispers of Love, Peace and Joy.

  • Patricia Fox

    My Dear Brother.
    I am so sad for you,but so glad that “She,Lady L.” was the Love of your life. The “Music” you made was fulfilling and glorious, a total togetherness. How wonderfully lucky to find such a kindred spirit. Your two lives all the better for your meeting all those yeas ago.Lesley was such a talented person and so interesting to be with. I wish there had not been so many miles between us, I would love to have spent more time in her company. I’m so glad I paid that visit to you both the year before last, that week was not long enough.
    My love as always
    Tricia xx

  • Jacques Berger

    L’étincelle de ton regard, ton sourire espiègle, ton sens de l’humour indéfectible, ta détermination face aux difficultés, ta présence autour de la table, tout cela restera toujours dans nos cœurs. C’est un privilège de t’avoir connue.
    Bon voyage Lesley…

  • Eileen Maxwell

    Dear Phil , Denbigh and family,
    So sorry for your loss; please accept my condolences. I met Lesley at Willy’s exercise class nearly 50 yrs ago. I always remember her as a very warm outgoing friend. We had many good times in Toronto and I was very saddened when she and Phil left for B.C However, we kept our friendship going through phone calls, email and snail mail and the occasional visit. She was always there to lend a caring ear and I will miss her very much. Love Eileen

  • Nicky Muir

    Nicky Muir
    Lesley was one of my very first friends in Canada. Notre amitie etait solide, no questions asked. When I lived in S.M. de Allende, as I was crossing the Zocalo, she suddenly appeared saying I knew it was just a matter of time before you’d come by, and I can still see her mischievious face and hear her explosive laughter. I remember once stepping outside of the house and there she was pushing a stroller with Denbigh in it, going to the babysitter nearby. J’ai eu la chance que nos chemins se soient croises. So glad Phil that you came for lunch with her last time you were in T.O. My thoughts are with you Phil, and Denbigh and family. Que c’est triste de l’avoir perdue, mais quelle chance de l’avoir eue dans nos vies.

  • Patricia Lane

    Dear friend Phil,
    I always thought of Lesley as an imp with a sense of mischief and a very dignified core. I also think she did not stand for any nonsense which must have made the people around her more of what they could be. Certainly that was true for me in our French group. I miss her (and you) every week.

  • Arthur Lumkeman

    Dear Phil and family!

    We wish you strength with the loss of your lovely Lesley.

    John and Josie loved you both very much as the “neighbors
    from England”.
    They savored the ultimate Gin and Tonic and the stories
    about theater and of your adventures around the world.
    We, the Dutch/Canadian children were always looking forward
    to the traditional visit at your patio with Lesley as the perfect hostess.

    Lesley, we will deeply miss you and will never forget you.
    Phil, we give you all our love in these hard times.

    Love and Peace for Ever.

    Josie and children.

  • Frank Bowie

    Lesley was always a delight in our French study group – intellectually sharp, incisively irreverent, and above all a funny, gentle presence. She’s missed by all of us and our condolences to Phil, Denbigh and her grandchildren, and all who knew her.

  • Barbara Britton

    Dear Phil, Denbigh and the family, so sorry for your loss which I truly share. I met Lesley about 1957 shortly after we both arrived in Canada and we were friends from then on. Lesley was generous in words and actions- a great hostess/cook at the many dinner parties she gave and a spirited guest at any she attended. She enjoyed life and her marriage to Phil doubled the enjoyment. I will miss her very much but I will remember her always as a gleeful, fun-loving friend who was also very caring.
    Love Barbara

  • Maryla Barends lumkeman

    Dear Phil and family,

    I give you my condleances, so sad but so beautifull is the story of Lesley, she really lived her life, I Will remember her as a funny, Charming lady, she could talk for hours, amazing, die was a very living person, beautiful Phil, like you Said You completed me and I completed you, the most beautiful words. With all my love, Maryla Barend Lumkeman

  • Sally Phillips

    Proud to have known her – Happy memories. Sally and Terry

  • Sophie Boyle

    Dearest Phil, Denbigh, Allison and Jack.

    I was so sorry to hear of Aunty ‘Mary’s’ passing and I will treasure the few meetings we had whilst living so far apart. I will never forgot coming to see you both with Papa the year Nanny passed, despite all those years living in different countries, being Sisters they were so similar, the way they laughed, they way they held themselves, it was a great tonic for us and I know Papa (Jack) revelled in the cheeky banter he and Lesley shared.

    I hope you’ll take comfort in my thoughts of Lesley and Penny being together again, sharing a glass of rosé.

    Sending you all our love at this time, if only the distance between us wasn’t so great.
    Sophie, Nick, Emilia and Jack x

  • Margaret Chamberlain

    My condolences to Phil, Denbigh and family on their great loss. Lesley will be greatly missed and was a special person. Talented, warm and friendly.

    Death breaks up the old familiar pattern of the days. We have to work a new one out in unaccustomed ways. At first it seems impossible, but when we’ve dried our tears – we see another pattern being traced out through the years.

    Rest in Peace Lesley.

    Margaret C.

  • Britt O'Connell

    Dear Phil, Denbigh and family.
    So sorry for your loss.
    So it has come to an end, as it will, one day for all of us good friends of many, many decades.
    Lesley was to me:
    Charming, feisty and lots of fun to be with, with serious chats in between in private and peaceful
    places, as we shared many such times wheather dining, camping or hiking or simply enjoying
    the splendid countryside of Ontario or the beautiful and magnificent nature in British Columbia.
    Never to be forgotten, especially with a good glass of wine in hand. Love always, Britt xox

  • Claire Carlin

    Cher ami,

    Of course she would choose a special day to leave us, the day of beginnings and looking to the future. I suspect there was a message there: look forward, while you treasure the past.

    It was an honour to know Lesley, so classy, so talented, a model of good taste and creative thinking.

    Both of you are held with great affection in our thoughts.

    Grosses bises! Claire

  • Britt O'Connell

    Dear Phil, Denbigh and family!

    So it has come to an end, as it will, one day for all of us good friends of many, many decades.
    Lesley was to me:
    “Charming, feisty and lots of fun to be with” with serious chats in between, in private and peacful
    places as we shared many such times, dining, camping, hiking and simply enjoying and marvel at the splendid countryside of Ontario and beautiful British Columbia.
    Never to be forgotten, especially with a good glass of wine in hand. Love always. Bitt xox

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