George, in his 20’s: Oil-rigging days
Family was the most important thing to my brother. With his wife, Aline, he raised five children and a granddaughter.
Lorne, Clayton, George, Aline, Naomi, Lee (1981)
DJ and Nicholas
And it wasn’t just his own immediate family that he cared about. Whenever he could, George went to all the big family gatherings – weddings, reunions, funerals . . .
My cousin Teenie Showdra’s daughter, Pat, was at George Leschyshyn’s funeral last year. There were a lot of people there but she was having trouble spotting or recognizing anyone she knew. Pat’s younger than me but when she saw George, she was delighted. “There was just something about him,” she said. “You just knew who he was.” They had a nice long talk that day.
Aunt Florence is suffering from double pneumonia, but, even so, she was sorry she couldn’t get a ride from Dryden, Ontario to George’s funeral. “I grew up with those guys!” Florence said. She was born just 6 years before my oldest brother.
Cousin Marilyn said:
I have been thinking about George and what a wonderful person he was.. He always had time for everyone along with that smile and twinkle in his eyes. His showing up to all the family dos, no matter how busy he was. And then driving home that same day. He will not be forgotten!
His husky smoker's voice and a cigarette close by.. What a trooper he was as he went through Dialysis.
Yes, the last 2 years weren’t easy for George, but he was a fighter. Aline said he had a confrontation at dialysis in Russell one week. The machine wouldn’t work so George’s nurse said, “You’re going into isolation.”
(Aline said the nurse should have read his chart. A doctor in Brandon had noted that George should never be put into isolation because it made him feel claustrophic -- like he was in a morgue.)
“No, I’m not,” said George. “I’m leaving.”
“You can’t do that,” said the nurse.
“Watch me,” said George.
Another nurse stepped in. “Leave George where he is,” she said, “and bring the machine from Isolation in here.”
Dialysis also meant diet restrictions, but George always joined me and Bryan in a beer when we visited and Aline put out a huge spread of yummy treats.
Bryan said, “Over the almost 40 years that I knew George, I appreciated his generosity. He always made me feel welcome in his home. George wore his heart on his sleeve. He was passionate and sincere in his views from hockey to politics and everything in between.
Yep, that was George’s table . Expressing an opinion there meant all of us raising our voices and trying to outshout the next guy. :)
Thank you for all the good times, George.
George's ashes were buried in Foxwarren Cemetery. The funeral service was held at the graveside at 1 pm on Thursday, August 1.
I’d like to say thank you to all the people who came to the funeral. You all meant so much to George.
Sadly, George’s daughter, Naomi, was unable to attend, but she plans to visit with George here as soon as she can.
To get to the cemetery, you take the gravel road west from the old Foxwarren School.
George, we loved you and we’ll all miss you. There’s a big hole in all our lives now.