Obituary of Lesley Colleen Engbloom
October 13, 1948 - Calgary, Alberta
November 6, 2023 - Calgary, Alberta
It is with great sadness and sorrow that we announce the passing of Lesley Engbloom (nee Gallagher) on November 6, 2023. Lesley is survived by her husband Gordon, her daughter Ashley (Lee Wood), her sisters Maureen Haney and Janice (Doug) MacDougall, and numerous cousins, in-laws, nephews, and nieces.
Lesley was born in Calgary on October 13, 1948. She moved to Edmonton in 1960 with her family, graduated from Ross Sheppard High School, and attended the University of Alberta where she obtained her BA in 1969 and B Ed. in 1970. She began teaching in Edmonton in September 1970.
After meeting at the University of Alberta in 1969, Gordon and Lesley were married in 1972. They both worked in Edmonton before moving to Kingston, Ontario where Lesley obtained a Master of Education Psychology from Queen’s University in 1976. In 1977, Gordon and Lesley moved to Calgary where she was employed by the Calgary Separate School District, first as a teacher/counsellor at St. Martha’s and then for over 25 years as a counsellor at Saint Francis High School, retiring in 2006. Lesley’s community at Saint Francis was an important part of her life and it remains strong to this day.
Lesley lived a very full and active life that embodied her vibrant, independent, and caring personality. She loved being around people and they loved being around her. She participated in numerous groups across a wide range of activities such as book clubs, gourmet dinners, bridge, cycling, hiking, and skiing, as well as building a strong community on the street where she lived and volunteering with groups including the Junior League of Calgary. Although she faced a series of injuries, she was undeterred and, through sheer will and determination, overcame them and continued to be very physically active throughout her whole life.
Travelling, especially adventure or activity-based traveling, was important to Lesley and she did it with vigor, visiting over 50 countries, including camping trips in the Australian outback, safaris in Africa, cycling in France and Chile, and trekking in South America. Her travels in Canada took her to every province and territory, including many wonderful visits to a remote camp north of Yellowknife with her best friend of 60 years, Blythe Ward.
Lesley related to people of all ages and places. Whether she knew you well or not, she engaged you in conversation. She was curious and genuinely interested in you and, if you asked, she was always ready to provide thoughtful guidance. Her caring and engagement were especially strong with her immediate and extended family, enjoying numerous sister vacations and large Christmas celebrations with both sides of the family. She was also dedicated to her immediate family, including being an active partner with her husband Gordon, a caring mother to her daughter Ashley, and a loving companion to all three of the family dogs, L.B., Snickers and Piper.
Lesley’s family would like to thank the staff at Rockyview General Hospital, in particular Ward 74, and especially Dr. Watson and her team, as well as the staff at Chinook Hospice, for their kind, competent and compassionate care of Lesley in her final weeks.
A Celebration of Lesley’s Life will be held at Eden Brook Funeral Home & Cemetery (Lower Springbank Road and 17th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB) on Monday, December 4, 2023, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed with Lesley’s family here.
In living memory of Lesley, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary, AB T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.