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Easton grew up along with his younger sister, Helen May, in the north end of Winnipeg where Easton would meet his life-long friends, as well as his wife Debby (Deborah). He had many fond memories of his childhood, even though he grew up during the Depression.
He started elementary school at Isbister School, before moving over to Champlain School in Grade 4. It was there that he eventually became Crossing Patrol Captain at Champlain, one of the first schools in Winnipeg to adopt the patrol program.
Easton moved to Machray School for Junior High School before moving onto the famed St. Johns Tech for high school where he fondly remembered great teachers and lots of good times. During this time, The Triple E club was formed at the YMHA of which Easton was a founding member. The Entirely Eminent Esquires chummed around and produced dinners and dances; along with help from some of the girls' clubs at the time. These members became and remained life-long friends.
With the end of the Second World War in June 1945, Easton's May call-up on his 19th birthday was no longer required. In the fall of 1945 Easton pursued an Engineering degree at the University of Manitoba at the old Osborne Street Campus, graduating in May 1948 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree.
Easton joined his cousin Cecil Blankstein at one of the only Jewish architectural firms in Winnipeg, Green Blankstein Russell Architects (GBR), as one of their first full-time Structural Engineers. Easton would spend 50 continuous years in service to GBR Architects and Engineers spending the last 20 plus as managing partner. While at GBR he would be involved in scores of projects around the country and outside, including many of Winnipeg's iconic structures, such as City Hall, the old Airport, and the Asper Jewish Community Campus. He took great pride in his professional achievements and his long-standing commitment to Manitoba's architectural legacy.
Easton became politically active in the 1960s when he became involved in the campaigns of Mailtan B. Steinkopf, a man of substance and integrity, and someone Easton greatly admired. He went on to actively campaign for other Conservative Party candidates, Bud Sherman and Sidney Spivack.
Firmly committed to public safety in the design and construction of public and private buildings, Easton contributed his expertise to the Winnipeg Building Commission, first serving as a member and then as Chair. At the national level, he went on to serve for over two decades on the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes in various capacities, including as Chair.
Easton was a strong contributor to the Jewish community as well.
Easton enjoyed the camaraderie at the old All-Jewish Maple Leaf Curling Club, ultimately acting as President until the club closed their building in the early 1970s.
The Lexiers were a founding family of the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue. Easton served in numerous capacities, including President of the congregation in the late 1980s. He remained a member of the Building Committee for many years.
He invested a lot of his time and efforts into the community. This sense of duty, and model behaviour, greatly inspired his children to make volunteerism, advocacy, and political action part of their ethos. It was partly as a result of this, that in 1997 a scholarship was created in his name at the University of Manitoba to financially support Engineering students who demonstrate these traits.
He was a great support to his wife of 68 years, Debby. Together they raised three children, travelled, entertained, enjoyed their grandchildren, and produced their multi award-winning garden at 690 Lanark, at the home they built together and treasured for over 60 years.
Predeceased by his parents, Jack and Lena, as well as his dear sister Helen May, Easton leaves his wife Debby, daughter Jill Lexier (Neil Samuels), sons, Jonathan (Paula) Lexier and Micah Lexier (Guy Anderson), grandchildren, Josh Lexier, Suzanne Lexier and Lex Samuels, as well as some 50 nieces and nephews.
He led a full and productive life to be celebrated, and he will be missed.
Funeral services will be held on Sunday, January 5, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. at Shaarey Sendek Synagogue, 561 Wellington Crescent.
In lieu of flowers, tributes can be made to the Easton I. Lexier Award for Community Leadership at the University of Manitoba.
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 04, 2020
Condolences & Memories (5 entries)
I met Easton through his wife, Debby, who was a fellow professional interior designer. Debby and I became casual friends, and as such I grew to know Easton. If memory serves me correctly, when I was a fourth year interior design student (and it was 31 years ago), Easton was instrumental in obtaining drawings for me of the former Shriners Children's Hospital which I used as the basis for my thesis project in 1990. I fondly remember him as a kind and thoughtful man. Many years later after my husband and I moved to Vancouver Island, I had lovely visits with Easton and Debby on several of their winter getaways to Victoria. My most sincere condolences to the family. - Posted by: Sally Manning (Acquaintance) on: Jan 20, 2020
Our boys, who are in their 50's today, delivered the newspaper to the Lexiers' and were always treated well. Also lately Mr Lexier and I spoke of our flowers whenever we met on the street for many summers now. Debbie used to come down and check ours out. We were not in the least competitive but just curios to see what we'd each done that year. WE'll miss him for sure. - Posted by: Barbara and Barry BIRCH (OVER 5O YEARS A NEIGHBOUR) on: Jan 09, 2020
Sending heartfelt sympathy to all the Lexier family on the passing of Mr. Lexier from all of our family. Our family, the Heaps (Roger and Ailsa), were neighbours many years ago on Lanark, we were at #702. Our paths have crossed a bit over the years and it was always great to say hello again. So sorry for your loss, Jane and family, Murray and family, and Sue and family - Posted by: Jane (Heap) Romaniuk (former neighbour on Lanark) on: Jan 07, 2020
Mr. Lexier was a great neighbor. It seems just a few weeks ago that we, once again, we able to stop, and update one another on the recent changes in our lives and families. I remember that he had a beaming smile, this summer, when I told him that I proudly showed our daughters that I knew one of the artists in the National Gallery when I showed them one of Micah's pieces of art. I remember how he and Mrs. Lexier were able to share their memories of the neighborhood when they joined my wife and I for our backyard wine and cheese after we were married. I remember how he graciously gave advice on our pile foundation when we were building our house. While these memories may seem small and somewhat trivial to some, to me they add up to a lifetime relationship with a neighbor who was friendly, helpful, honest and an example of integrity. - Posted by: CALUM H LUNN (Neighbor) on: Jan 05, 2020
I had the privilege of working with Easton on my first job as a Project Officer and he set the standard for all consultants that I would work with in subsequent projects. He was a hard act to follow, in his work and his community, a great teacher and a true gentleman. My sincere sympathy to his family. Audrey Hawkins - Posted by: Audrey Hawkins (Colleague) on: Jan 04, 2020
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