Barbara  Weston

Obituary of Barbara Weston

After a brief final illness, it is with sorrow that we report Barbara Rose Weston passed away at age 87 in her sleep the morning of March 11, 2023, at Hazeldean Gardens retirement residence. Barbara was predeceased by beloved husband Leo Lehtonen (2013). Predeceased by cousin Roger (Brenda), she is survived by cousins Valerie and Shirley in England. She is survived by stepchildren Liisa, Tiina, Veli, Timo, Jarkko, Soile and Seija.

Barbara was born on June 1st, 1935, in Newbury Park, Ilford, Essex, to Rose and Bertram (Bert) Weston, their only child. She grew up near the coast in sunny Dawlish Warren, Devon, where Roger was a frequent and dearly loved companion, and was later joined during the war by her lifelong friend Jean Biro, and her mother, who were escaping the bombing. Jean was born two days after Barbara, Barbara’s and Jean’s mothers becoming friends via their shared doctor, the families often holidaying together in later years. In the early 1950’s, Bert purchased a holiday park in Dawlish Warren, and the family lived in Green Cottage on the site of the chalet park. Living there, by the beach, nurtured in Barbara a love of water and swimming as well horse riding that continued throughout her life.

After finishing her business studies at Exeter University, Barbara helped run the holiday park for a while but later visited Canada, intending to stay 6 months but loving it so much she never left. Initially she landed in Vancouver but later worked as an accountant for Flakt Canada in Montreal and later Ottawa, where she became great friends with her manager Gösta Edvardsson, and Gösta’s family. A member of the cross-country Viking Ski club in Morin Heights, she often skied the club trails and met there her future husband Leo, an active member of the club who often competed against Gösta.

Barbara and Leo were married on November 26, 1994, in Stittsville, Ontario. Barbara led an active life with Leo, learning handicrafts, gardening, skiing and fishing, often entertaining family and friends, and later providing a home for her mother who came from England to pass her final years.

Leo and Barbara travelled to Finland on a number of occasions for cross-country ski trips staying with Leo’s children in Finland, as well as to more sunny holiday destinations over the years. In later years, they purchased a cottage on Manitoulin Island, which became a favourite destination for fishing and relaxing, and a place where they entertained family and friends, providing a pleasant and relaxing time, long fondly remembered by guests. Stopping on the way to the cottage in Sudbury to visit Leo’s sister Lea for pulla became a tradition, Lea becoming dear to Barbara over the years.

Following Leo’s passing, Barbara maintained contact with former colleagues and friends and family as long as she was able but declining health, including Parkinson’s disease, limited her reach in the last years. She loved animals, especially dogs, and adopted a number of rescue dogs over the years (Thala, Simon, Kimi). She had her beloved Kimi always at her side in the final years at home.

Barbara was always very generous and over the years provided much appreciated support to family and friends, paying for education and giving financial help where she felt it was needed. She also supported many charities over the years including the Ottawa Humane Society, Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, Parkinson Canada, the Alzheimer Society of Canada, and Arthritis Society Canada. Her giving has changed many lives.

Many thanks are given to the staff at Hazeldean Gardens for making her last difficult years comfortable, to Dr. Daniel Chapman, and the palliative care unit for making her last days as peaceful and comfortable as possible.

At Barbara’s request, there will be no funeral service.


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