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Date of Passing: Jan 26, 2017

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LEONARD ANTHONY SANDEMAN On January 26, 2017, our amazing father Leonard Sandeman finally left us after 93 years of a life well lived. He passed away surrounded by the love of his family, both in person and in spirit. While profoundly saddened at our loss, we know that his essence lives on not only in our memories, but in the beautiful artwork he created which was so much a part of him. And what a rich life it was! He was born in London, England on June 9, 1923 to Oscar "Charlie" Sandeman and Crimene Josephine Maria Ferrari, the youngest of five siblings. He developed a keen interest in art at an early age, kindled by summer holiday visits to the major art galleries and museums of London with his brothers Cyril, Reg and Les, and sister Iris. He and brother Les could have been twins, so connected were they to each other and so alike were they in temperament. As young lads, they began collecting stamps as a hobby. Len also demonstrated an early appreciation for the written word and frequently represented his school "house" at verse competitions, winning several oratorical awards. As a student, he had a love of art, biology and woodworking and was an avid swimmer. Those interests endured throughout his life. When the Second World War broke out, Len served in the Home Guard and Air Cadets while waiting to enlist in the Royal Air Force. Len trained as a navigator and eventually was sent to Canada to the Rivers Navigation School in Manitoba. It was during that period that he first met the love of his life, Carol Dahl, a young dental assistant in the Canadian army. Upon completion of his training, he was assigned to RAF Transport Command and went on to serve in India, Burma, Thailand and Indo-China. While the Second World War was the worst of times, as he grew older it was always his adventures and new experiences in the war that he remembered best. He crossed the Atlantic on the Queen Mary, tried skiing for the first time in the Himalayas and flew British P.O.W.s out of Thailand after the war. He truly loved flying and the fact that he and his crew survived many flights through the low cloud cover and high mountains of the infamous "Burma Run" is in part a testimony to his skills as a navigator. Throughout this period, he continued to correspond with Carol. When the war ended, Len immigrated to Canada and he and Carol were married in Winnipeg on February 11, 1947. They purchased a house with a small acreage on what was then rural property south of the city and Len commenced work as a commercial artist in the Advertising Art department of the T. Eaton Company. During the early years, they supplemented their income with a small scale agricultural venture growing potatoes and raising turkeys! They soon started their family with the birth of a son David in 1950, followed by their daughter Lesley in 1952. Eventually, they moved to Cunnington Avenue in St. Vital. In 1960, the arrival of their third child Jeffrey made Len's family complete. In 1963, Len and two other artists started their own commercial art business, Sandeman-Morley. After his business partners returned to England in 1964, he and Carol ran the business themselves. This was also a particularly prolific period in the development of his skills as a watercolourist. In 1948, Len had begun painting watercolours and exhibiting his work. In 1952, he joined the Winnipeg Sketch Club (WSC) and in 1956, was elected to full membership in the Manitoba Society of Artists (MSA). He served as president of the WSC from 1961 to 1962, and was then elected president of the MSA in 1964. His work quickly gained notice and began to win awards at many juried exhibitions. In 1974, Len, Carol and Jeff moved to Brandon where Len had been engaged to establish the commercial art program at the newly built Crocus Plains Regional Secondary High School. He dove into this new career with the same passion he had for his art, and was intensely devoted to being a good teacher and role model for his students. He always found his students' achievements personally gratifying. In 1987, Len retired from teaching but continued to be a prolific artist, exhibiting at a variety of Canadian galleries and conducting regular watercolour workshops. It was during this period that Len re-energized his lifelong love of woodworking by taking up woodturning, creating many beautiful bowls, cups and other pieces over the next 20 years. During their retirement years, Len and Carol enjoyed many memorable trips to England as well as several trips with Carol's brother Lew and his wife Maribette; travelling to St. Louis, New York and Washington to see their niece, coloratura soprano Tracy Dahl, perform on some of the world's great opera stages. They also frequently abandoned the winter cold of Manitoba for the milder climate of Victoria and the good company of special friends Roy and Lorraine Harrington. Sadly, after 57 years of marriage, Carol died in 2004. While heartbroken, Len honoured her memory and carried on, refusing to let circumstances overwhelm him. He continued painting, interpreting the beauty of nature for all to enjoy. He kept fit and continued swimming laps twice a week until his 91st birthday. He kept his mind sharp and was a lifelong voracious reader, a dedicated member of the Scrabble Club and delighted in working on devilishly difficult Times of London cryptic crossword puzzles. He also developed an interest in culinary arts and discovered whole new outlet for his creativity. He continued to travel as much as he was able, returning to England for one more visit and even two more winters in Victoria. In his mid-80s, he and daughter Lesley began making annual fall trips to Ottawa, Ontario where they visited with Jeff and wife Debbie. These trips afforded new inspiration for Len's art, and he sketched and photographed many of the local rivers and lakes to use as scenes for future paintings. We all feel so privileged to have been blessed with such a kind and generous man for so many years. He was a creative soul with a gentle, caring nature and a marvelous sense of humour. We shall miss him. Len is survived by his brother Leslie in England, his son David (Bonnie Luck), granddaughter Madelynne, great-grandchildren Azaileia and Ayden; daughter Lesley Martel (Brent), grandson Matthew, great-granddaughter Ava, granddaughter Stephanie (Trevor Grismer), great-granddaughter Piper; son Jeffrey (Debbie), grandson Stuart Ford, granddaughter Allison (Pierre Langelier); sisters-in-law Dorothy, Marribette and Opal Dahl, Maru Sandeman; brother-in-law Bill Shipman, and many special nieces and nephews. The Memorial Service to celebrate our dear dad's life will be held at the Brockie Donovan Chapel, 332-8th Street, Brandon, on Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Brandon Regional Health Centre Foundation, (Palliative Care Unit), 150 McTavish Ave. East, Brandon, MB R7A 2B3. Messages of condolence may be placed at Arrangements are in care of Brockie Donovan Funeral & Cremation Services, Brandon, MB, (204) 727-0694
Publish Date: Feb 11, 2017

LEONARD ANTHONY SANDEMAN Leonard Anthony Sandeman passed away peacefully at the Brandon Regional Health Centre on Thursday, January 26, 2017 at the age of 93 years. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Donations in memory of Leonard may be made to the Brandon Regional Health Centre Foundation (Palliative Care), 150 McTavish Avenue East, Brandon, MB, R7A 2B3. Messages of condolence may be placed at Arrangements are in care of Brockie Donovan Funeral & Cremation Services, Brandon, MB, (204) 727-0694.

Publish Date: Jan 28, 2017

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Feb 11, 2017

Condolences & Memories (2 entries)

  • It is with interest to read of this man’s extraordinary life. While having a picture hanging in our living room and researching artist name have lead me to read his obituary. It seems as our pasts have connected as my father George Hodgson also was an RCAF in WW2 My Dad was from Kaleida, MB and my Mom was from East Selkirk, MB. I have the picture called “Morning Sky, Lake Winnipeg signed by L A Sandeman” it now holds a very interesting story to me. Thank-you! Lesley (Hodgson) Kestirke-Hooey Treherne, MB - Posted by: Lesley Kestirke-Hooey (Friend ) on: Jan 08, 2020

  • This man is the idle of my life. He was fearless, strong, funny, smart, caring, talented, so many other things and my favourite person in the whole world. I will forever miss him but take comfort in knowing I will see him again one day. Thank you for your love grandpa. xox - Posted by: Allison Sandeman (Granddaughter ) on: Apr 10, 2019

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