LESLIE Lightfoot

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LESLIE LIGHTFOOT

 

  • Born - February 25, 1952

  • Mother  - Verna Magee

  • Father – Arthur Lightfoot

  • Married - Phyllis Brown, August, 1974 (divorced)

  • Children - Scott, Angela

  • Partner- Jane Slyker

Les’s life seemed to come together for him after he left school.  He didn’t like school and although he played some football in Junior High and did some track and field he was glad when Grade 12 was over.

 

He went up north to work in Thompson for Manitoba Hydro and loved it.  In the nine years he worked up north he worked on Dam Projects as an Expediter for their materials.  He worked on the Northern Flood Committee Agreement and negotiated land claims and settlements with the native population.

 

He had been dating Phyllis Brown for a year before he went up north and came back to Winnipeg after being up north for another year to get married.  The he and Phyllis lived up north for another eight years.

 

With the birth of their son Scott in 1979 they decided to move back to Winnipeg in 1980, as they wanted to bring up their family in a bigger city. Because there was no Hydro work available at the time, and therefore no opportunity to transfer with Manitoba Hydro, Les decided to change careers.  He took accounting courses and attained a college diploma in Business Administration and has done accounting ever since.

 

He has worked in both the private sector and done Public Accounting.  He feels the skills he has gained over the past years have been a tremendous asset to him in his current job (written in 2006) with the International Accounting Firm of Deloitte & Touche.  He laughs when he says he has a hard time keeping his resume to just three pages but realizes how valuable it is that he can use all the skills he has learned over the years now in this job. He says the company is a good fit for him because it has a large nucleus of really well-educated, bright, young professionals but to a large extent they haven’t yet gained the work experience or street smarts that he has had the opportunity to obtain over the years.

 

He and Phyllis were married for 26 years but eventually went their separate ways, which was a big adjustment for all of them – kids included, but he feels fortunate that he has been able to continue to enjoy Angie and Scott and now that he is a grandfather too, he enjoys the time he spends with Michael and Cierra, Scott’s son and daughter.

 

Les developed some serious health problems around the year 2000, but after waiting over a year he finally was scheduled for the triple-by-pass surgery he needed which he says has helped him feel like a new person.  His recovery has been good and he works at keeping his weight down, blood pressure low and in general trying to live a healthy life.  He also enjoys golfing in the summer and curling in the winter. 

 

His job with Deloitte also includes some travel as they can pull people from all over the world when needed.  In the last six years, he has spent six months in Fort McMurray, nine months in Calgary and two years in Brandon before coming back to Winnipeg.  He travels to Toronto quite often on company business and looks forward to one day being sent out of the country.  However, he would like to remain in Winnipeg as a home base from now on since his family and partner are here.

 

(Written in 2006) He met his partner Jane a couple of years ago and since she lives and works in Selkirk, Manitoba, they do lots of commuting.  It was interesting when they first met to find out that Jane’s cousins had gone to school with Les’s sister Eileen. They are hoping to find a place together that will be somewhere between Winnipeg and Selkirk as Les works at Portage and Main, right downtown.  Jane works in the accounting department for the Steel Mill in Selkirk for over 20 years.  Since she has spent her whole life in Selkirk she is also looking forward to the change.  Les has two cats, Clyde and Cleo and Jane has a dog, Kelly, so it will be interesting to see how their animals like being a part of a blended family. 

PHYLLIS BROWN

 

  • Born - March 29, 1955

  • Mother  - Kenneth Robert Brown

  • Father – Doreen Janet Brown

  • Married - Leslie Lightfoot, August, 1974 (divorced)

  • Children - Scott, Angela

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Phyllis was born March 29, 1955 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and has a twin sister named Donna.  Their birth mother was unable to care for them when they were born so they were adopted by their birth mother’s sister.  Phyllis also has a brother Donald who was adopted when he was 14 by the family but since he was 17 years older than Phyllis she did not maintain a close relationship with him.  After starting to work for Imperial Tobacco in Winnipeg, brother Donald soon moved to Montreal where he is became the President of the company.  

 

Phyllis' (adoptive) dad worked for the Canadian National Railway first in Churchill, Manitoba, and then The Pas.  She remembers living in The Pas and seeing polar bears.

 

She started school in The Pas and because they moved a lot with her dad’s job she and her sister never made friends very easily but they were very close and had each other.  Their home life was difficult.  When they moved to Winnipeg her mom bought two restaurants, the Burger Bar by Glen Lawn Collegiate and one in the Cottonwood Shopping Center.  She and her sister often sat in school (took classes) for one another, which usually worked except one time when her sister all of a sudden couldn’t copy her handwriting and since Phyllis hadn’t attended the class at all, she failed completely.

 

She and her sister worked every day after school at the restaurant, from the time she was in the fourth grade. They cleaned the booths, worked in the cafeteria at the curling club, also she worked three years during the summer on boats so never seemed to have any time for any involvement in after school activities. There was a fire in the restaurant at one time and since they didn’t have insurance her dad had to pay for years.  They never owned a home and had to always rent.

 

After Grade 12 she got a job at Investors’ Syndicate and worked in the Mutual Funds Department.  That was during the time she met her husband Les.  He knew her sister and didn’t know that Donna had a twin sister.  When he needed a date for a social Phyllis substituted for her sister and at first Les thought she was her sister, Donna.

 

They dated for a year and a half and then married in August of 1974 and went to Thompson, Manitoba to live as Les was with the Manitoba Hydro.  While in Thompson, Phyllis worked for the Burntwood Medical Group which she very much enjoyed.  She curled, Les played baseball, they had lots of good friends and they bought a house there.  Soon Scott was born, in June of 1979 and when Scott was two months old Les quit his Hydro job and they came back to Winnipeg.

 

They rented a home for three years and then in 1981 when their daughter Angela (Angie) was born they bought a house in Fort Gary.  It was a wonderful area for the kids and they were soon involved in Brownies, youth bowling, swimming and all the activities their kids were involved in.  It was a happy time for all of them.

 

When the children were small, Phyllis worked opposite shifts to Les at Canadian Tire  but when the children started school and Angie was in Grade 1,  Phyllis became a Teacher’s Aid.  She worked at the High School with health risk students and high needs students.  She is particularly proud of the work she did with a group of 7 guys that were high risk and she refers to them as the Magnificent Seven.  They had been written off by the administration but she worked with them and they ended up never missing a class.  Phyllis was able to teach them general business skills and at the end of the year they all wrote the exam, all got their credit and she was very proud of them.  They met her in the parking lot after and gave her a present of a 40 oz bottle of vodka.  They had pooled their money and bought it for her, which was very special.  Only two of the seven ended up in trouble so she felt that she had made a difference in their lives.   She gets very involved with her special needs students and has stayed in contact with some of them even after they have left school, some of whom are now married.

 

When their daughter Angie developed an eating disorder they found very little help available for their family to deal with the disease.  Les was very supportive during this time and Phyllis became very active in establishing a family support group, which eventually became the Eating Disorders Association of Manitoba.  Because of the lack of services or support for families and girls she has dedicated her life to establishing this program.  The Association was established in 1998 and in May of 2001, after three years of lobbying, they were able to open an Adolescent Day Treatment Center.  They now support about 160 families and she is now focusing on lobbying for an adult program.  She speaks at conferences, in schools and is passionate about helping in this way as she has seen first-hand how the disease destroys families.

 

One of the delights of her life is that she became a grandmother on July 10, 1999 to grandson Mickey, and also a granddaughter Cierra born in 2005.

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SCOTT LIGHTFOOT

 

  • Born - June 6, 1979

  • Mother  - Phyllis Brown

  • Father – Leslie Lightfoot

  • Partner - Tamra Hawkins

  • Children- Michael, Cierra

Scott was born in Thompson, Manitoba on June 6, 1979 where he lived there for 6 months before moving to the Maples in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

 

Scott’s earliest memories are very vivid.  It was when he was two years old and his sister, Angie, was born.  He remembers going to the hospital and running towards his mother.  He remembers asking for a glass of water and being given a blue cup.  He remembers the water jug and all of his surroundings, even the stairwell and the smells that made up the hospital environment. 

 

Also, when he was two, the family moved to their new home on Oakenwald Avenue, in Fort Garry, Winnipeg, Manitoba, just after Angie was born.  He remembers going to the new house for the first time.  They got a table from behind the garage, he says, and had Kraft dinner.  He even remembers the song that was playing on the radio as they were driving up which was “Who Can It Be Now” by Men At Work. 

 

He started Nursery School at Vincent Massey Collegiate and attended Oakenwald School for Kindergarten through 6th grade. He always loved school and was there early before school started playing games like dodgeball in the gym or any intramural games that were being played that month.

 

When he got a bit older he got into training for the Super Run which was a 2.6 km race and then went on in Grade 5, 6, and 7 to enter the relay race for the Manitoba Marathon where he ran the second leg.

 

When he entered Junior High at General Byng School, he was still interested in sports and began to play baseball for the community team.  He took up the tenor trombone and played in the Junior High Band.  Summers were fun and he always looked forward to the trips the family took to the lake.  His granddad (Art Lightfoot) sold the family cottage at Laclu when he was only six so most of his wonderful memories of the lake are at the Grists’s Cottage at Lake Austin. His family would always look forward to their visits with Rhonda and Gord and their cousins.

 

He also remembers going to Calgary for Christmas with his other cousins, which was always fun.

 

In High School at Vincent Massey Collegiate he started dating, which added another dimension to his life.  He particularly remembers going to the International Peace Gardens for a Summer Band Camp.  He eventually moved on to play the bass trombone and often thinks now that he would like to get another trombone and take up the instrument again.  He played in a jazz band, a brass quartet and in both Junior High and High School they entered the Optimist Festival Competition.

 

He was really young, maybe about 7 years old, when he first started bowling.  His parents were always very keen bowlers and he went along with them to the bowling lanes.  He was always a competitive bowler and continues today (2006) to bowl in the Men’s League at Dakota Lanes.

 

For a time he even worked at the Garry Bowling Lanes but in about 2005 it eventually came down to make room for a Shoppers Drug Mart and it was kind of sad to see a place that held so many wonderful memories come to an end.

 

When he was quite young Scott really believes he saw a ghost, and so began his fascination with the paranormal.  He has become the Canadian Representative for the International Paranormal Investigators group.  He even has a website where you can get more information about their work at www.shadowsofmanitoba.ca   He says originally he and a couple of friends would get together and go to cemeteries taking photos and recording sounds at night. They have also been asked by individuals and businesses to do research on paranormal activities in private homes or places of business.  They go in at night and set up their equipment, cameras and audio records, and then later go through the tapes they have collected.  They then prepare a report on their findings for the client.  He has always been interested in the sciences and trying to figure things out.

 

He attended the University of Manitoba and Winnipeg Technical  College to get a Diploma in Information Technology.  He has worked for both the Federal Government and Provincial Government on a contract basis to upgrade their computers.  The contract for the Government of Manitoba took him up to Thompson, The Pas, and Flin Flon, which was really interesting considering he was born in Thompson and had never been back since he was a baby.  That same contract found him working with a small team to upgrade 5,000 computers over a three-month period. 

 

In 2006 he was working for a small computer business that was starting from the ground up.  He was working as a computer technician and as a developer and editor for role playing game books.

 

His son Michael was born July 10, 1999 and daughter Cierra on June 3, 2004.  He lives with his partner Tamra Hawkins and their daughter Cierra and gets to have Michael spend weekends with them.  

ANGELA (Angie) LIGHTFOOT

 

  • Born - October 1, 1981

  • Mother  - Phyllis Brown

  • Father – Leslie Lightfoot

  • Partner - Ryan (last name?)

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Angie’s earliest memory is fairly dramatic.  She remembers being about 5 or 6 and it was the day of her birthday party.  Before the party she was having a bath to get ready for all the cousins coming over to celebrate.  She saw her mom’s razor and decided she would shave her legs just like her mom did.  The problem was she didn’t know how to do it and ended up cutting herself badly and it was a little scary when the water began to turn red.   After getting patched up she was able to enjoy the party and play Pin-The-Tail-On-The-Donkey.  She also has an early memory of it being Fall and going to Fort Whyte Nature Center.  Her mom took her there and she has loved the outdoors every since.

 

She loved school and always enjoyed being with her friends.  In the fourth grade she started running and she and her brother Scott trained to run in the marathon races.  For about five years they ran the Super Run and Relay and they ran together.   Very early in their lives they were introduced to bowling which has been a life-long sport that she still participates in.  She played baseball and joined Brownies and her Mom was the Brown Owl, while she was in the Pixie Pack.  She really enjoyed going to the Stonewall Quarry with her mom, where there was a swimming hole, but the highlight of the summer was going down to Auntie Eileen’s cottage at Whytewold.  She has lots of fun memories of that cottage and the many summers she spent there with her cousins.  They used to dress up and have a wedding, play in the huge playfield between the main cottage and the guest cottage and swim in the lake.  There were always lots of kids around and tons of fun things to do at the lake.

 

Angie says her brother was the really smart one at school.  She had to work a little harder but she did OK also.  She always loved geography and learning about the world, and how we all got here.  She was never happier than being out in the bush and spending time in Nature.

 

During the years when she was 13 to 17, she wasn’t well emotionally or physically.  That period of her life is a blur to her but those difficult years became a foundation on which she has built a good life for herself.  She continues to get her inner strength from being in Nature and just recently did a five-day canoe trip and a seven-day hike.  She loves camping and every chance she and Ryan (boyfriend, not Ryan Eade) get they are off to woods.  They also have a great deal of fun paintballing.  They have friends that have a Bed and Breakfast place in Lac du Bonnet and it is a great place for paintballing.  She says they have a ton of fun there.  They dress in camouflage, go into the bush, choose up teams and play.  The paint gun holds 300 – 400 tiny balls of paint and there is a lot of strategy involved in planning how to hit your target without getting hit yourself.  They have BBQs after the game and sit around in the middle of nowhere just enjoying the tranquility of Nature.   Sometimes they go canoeing and go from lake to lake, exploring caves and setting up camp when evening comes.  There are places in the Lake of the Woods where you can go from lake to lake and she has been to as many as 8 to 12 lakes.   She dreams of one day owning a cabin in the woods but for now she heads out of town on as many weekends as possible summer and winter.

 

Angela's boyfriend, Ryan, loves the city and needs the pavement to follow his passion for skateboarding.   With Angie handling the camera they have made videos of Ryan skateboarding and he has been featured in a couple of videos and magazine articles.  They also travel so that he can enter skateboard competitions.  They met when they were in High School and were introduced by mutual friends.  After a couple of months they began to date and have been together ever since.  At December 1st, 2006 they were together for eight years.

 

In about 2002 or 2003 they bought a house and were lovingly redoing it.  The house was pretty solid when they bought it but they have put in new windows, new carpet, repainted everything, and redone all the landscaping after totally ripping out everything.   Ryan installs carpet for Home Depot and so is pretty handy when it comes to carpentry so he has figured out how to do the work himself.  He remodeled the bathroom, put new fencing around their house and sidewalks and they had plans for the basement and new cabinets in the kitchen.  Angie says that they moved 11 times from place to place in the first five years they were together but never found any place they wanted to stay for very long.  However, after finding this house and making it their own they have finally found ‘a home’.

 

For seven years (from about 1999 to 2006) she worked for a home cleaning service called “Very Clean”.  She started as the secretary, handling the customers, banking, any complaints and general office work.  The couple she worked for had been in the business for 30 years.  One morning the man walked by her on his way to his office, said good morning, went into his office, had a massive heart attack and died.  It was a tremendous shock.  After the funeral his wife sold everything, packed up all her belongings and moved to Florida to be near her daughter, leaving Angie to run the business.  It was a tremendous responsibility but the plan was to sell it in October so Angie felt she could keep things afloat for three months.  However October came and went and the next date given to her was Christmas and then March and still the business didn’t sell.  In the meantime she was left doing the work of three people and trying to figure out the parts of the business that had been done by both of her bosses.   It is a very successful business with 300 clients and a staff of 21 employees so it was no small task.  She found herself working 12 hour days just to keep everything going and being amazed that the woman would just walk out leaving a 22 year old person to run her business.  Although she has managed and the business is till turning a profit and doing well it is just too much work, especially when it isn’t her own business. It has taught her a lot, though, and she has realized that she doesn’t want to run her own business, it is much too stressful and takes an enormous amount of time that she would rather be doing other things.

 

With this in mind she decided to go back to school and get her certification to be a para-educator for special needs kids.  She had to hire a person to answer the phones while she added school on top of all the business demands but has survived the course, graduated and now completed her practicum.  It has taken two years but she now wants to look for a job working with teens.  During her practicum she found she just loved working with teams especially and even Ryan said she was much happier when she came home, with tons of interesting stories to tell. Her boss knew that she would be leaving as soon as she could find a job in her new field and she was looking forward to the next chapter in her life. In 2006 Angie was working in the Pembina Trails School Division.

 

As of 2006, Angela and Ryan were engaged for three years, and were working towards getting married, maybe the next summer.  They would like to have a family eventually but in the meantime were enjoying their cozy home, their weekend getaways and their hobbies. 

Update: Some time in 2013 or later, Brenda Cruickshank and I (Ray) boarded a WestJet flight and our flight attendant was Angie! What a pleasant surprise.