Obituary for Elias "Leo" Burgoyne
Mr. Elias Leopold (Leo) Burgoyne, age 95, formerly of Loon Lake and the Hodder Ave. CarriageHouse, beloved father, grandfather, and great grandfather, died peacefully in his sleep, on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017 at his residence at Roseview Manor.
Leo was a long-time resident of Thunder Bay. Born on the family farm in McCreary, Manitoba on Feb. 18, 1922 to Corrine (Cora) Ledoux and Solomon Burgoyne, he was the youngest of three boys where French was his first language and schooling was at the one-room Sunrise School No. 7. While still in his teens, Leo escaped the farm during the 'dirty thirties', and those heavy historic names, when he moved to Port Arthur as Leo to live with his aunt and uncle Leontyne and Leon Lavoie. Soon he was working for Manitoba Pool Elevators where he spent most of his working career, before and after WWII. In the 70's he dabbled in real estate, becoming a founding member of Happy Homes Realty. But, I guess grain was in his veins and he returned to Manitoba Pool, retiring in 1986 as office manager.
Leo married Eleanor Bridget Boyd in 1942 and together they raised a daughter Linda, and a son Danny. Eleanor died in 1989. In his later years he shared companionship with long-time family friend, Norma Guse. Norma died in 2010.
As a commissioned Lieutenant in the RCAF, Dad flew Bomber Command while stationed in England during WWII. Taking his seat in a Halifax Bomber as a wireless operator, he was decorated five times, flying countless bombing missions throughout the course of the war and felt proud to be able to do his part as a Canadian airman.
How do you sum up a life well-lived for all of 95 years? The hallmark of Dad's daily routine was staying busy. There was little he could not accomplish with his methodical mind and clever hands. His talents and hobbies ran to boat building, wilderness camping & fresh and salt water fishing. All manner of household repairs and renovations, gardening, tax preparer, world traveler and in his nineties, walking the trails of Boulevard Lake. Over his lifetime, besides traveling widely in Canada and the US, he enjoyed visits to West Africa, the Caribbean, the Canadian Arctic, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.
Those left to honour his memory include his daughter Linda Lewis (Randolph) of Davenport, Iowa, and son Dan Burgoyne (Elsie) of Thunder Bay. He is also survived by grandchildren Patrick Lewis, Anne Lewis-Young and Lana Burgoyne, as well as great grandchildren Andre Burgoyne (Kasey), Dawson Kourula and Mabel and Cora Brent. His sister-in-law, Mary Baruzzi, many nieces and nephews and his 'niece-by-choice', Fiona Buchan. Leo was predeceased by his wife Eleanor and friend Norma and his brothers Gerald and Cyril.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 16, 2017 when friends and family will gather for a funeral mass at 9:30 am at Corpus Christi Catholic Church celebrated by Rev. Victor DeGagne. Cremation has taken place with interment to follow at a later date. In lieu of flowers a donation in Leo's name to a charity of your choice would be appreciated. Arrangements entrusted to the Sargent & Son Funeral Home, 21 N. Court Street.
The family would like to thank the management and staff at Roseview Manor for the personal care and attention that they gave to Dad. We will be forever grateful to the RN's, Nickolas & David, along with the others whose names escape us, and the entire staff of the Renaissance Wing. We also wish to thank Veterans Affairs for their generous services making Dad's life more enjoyable in his final months. A special thank you to Fr. De Gagne and Greg Sargent at Sargent and Son Funeral home, for their help & guidance in making a difficult task painless. We would also like to thank all our friends & family who sent cards, condolences, gifts and food trays. On-line condolences may be made at www.sargentandson.com.