Lorne Frederick Leslie, beloved husband of Meryl, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, at the age of 88, after a long battle with Parkinson’s. Fred was born on November 19, 1934, in Toronto, the son of Archibald and Virginia (Flexen). He was a kind and gentle man with a wry smile and a big heart that endeared him to anyone he met.
As someone who could fix or build almost anything, Fred learned to work with his hands at Central Technical High School. This is where he met his future bride, Meryl. A natural aptitude for both science and art, he excelled in chemistry, photography, and automobile repair. He started his career as a lab technician at Lever Brothers, currently Unilever, when he got the opportunity to apprentice as a scientific glassblower under his mentor and friend, Arthur Hunt. When Arthur retired, Fred happily took on the role of Scientific Glassblower at the University of Toronto where he worked for more than 30 years, until his retirement in 2002.
Fred was proud of his Scottish heritage and delighted in several trips to Scotland to learn more about his ancestry. Haggis, neeps and tatties, bridies and a wee dram of Scotch were particular favorites. He maintained a life-long passion for all things mechanical, photography, movies, classical music – he played piano and cello – and made a superb lasagna too. Always willing to lend a hand, Fred was an active member of many organizations including St. Martin-in-the-Fields Anglican Church, the American Scientific Glassblowers Society, Clan Leslie, the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Toronto, and the Cairngorm Club of Toronto to name a few. He was exceptionally proud to participate in the 100th anniversary of Central Tech School in 2013.
Fred is survived by his wife of 67 years, Meryl (Rivers); his children, Tina, Dennis, and Jennifer (Rob); his grandchildren, Matthew (Libby), Jessica (Steve), Dennis Jr., Laura (Adam), Julia, Ryan, and Kyla; and his great-granddaughter, Riley. He is predeceased by his parents, Archibald and Virginia; and brothers, Harold Kenneth and Stuart. A beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend, he will be greatly missed by all those who were fortunate to meet him. His dry sense of humour and infamous quips will be missed by all.
Family and friends may call at the Turner & Porter Yorke Chapel, 2357 Bloor Street West in Toronto on Friday, November 10, 2023 from 14:00 – 16:00 and 18:00 – 20:00.
A Funeral Service and Eucharist will be held at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Anglican Church, 151 Glenlake Avenue in Toronto on Saturday, November 11, 2023 at 14:00. Refreshments to follow in the parish hall.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Fred’s memory may be made to Parkinson Canada, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, or a charity of your choice.