We are sad to announce that Anne Sheffield McLeod died on July 25, 2022, from Alzheimer’s; a long journey met with incredible stoicism and inner strength.
Anne was predeceased by her husband of 65 years, James (Jimmy) Barber McLeod, and her sister, Robin Abbigail Foley.
Anne was the first-born child of Abbigail and Rees Taprell of Calgary, delivered on the kitchen table of their house on Elbow Park Drive on April 21, 1934. When Anne was going into grade two, her Father moved the family to Toronto, where he worked in the investment world. Anne attended Whitney Public School and Bishop Strachan, followed by a year at McGill. She spent many summers at Camp Oconto both as a camper and riding counsellor.
Anne first met the love of her life to-be when she was partnered with Jimmy in a badminton tournament. Jimmy was instantly attracted to Anne for her good looks and athleticism. Although Jimmy was nine years older, little did Anne know at the age of nineteen, on January 31, 1953, she would become a farmer’s wife. They lived in Jimmy’s bachelor log cabin for the first few months while they built the family home across the way.
It was on the farm on the East side of Aurora where together they brought up four daughters: Heather (Emery), Robin (Peacock), Muffy (Roy) and Penny (Dillon). Anne was not about to learn how to drive the tractor for fear she would never get off the farm, as much as she liked the country life.
Anne made long lasting friendships through volunteering and playing tennis, among other sports, throughout the countryside and horse world. A good friend of many years described Anne as a very energetic, athletic and capable woman. She volunteered at Warrendale in Oak Ridges, became the D.C. of Timbertop Pony Club, volunteered for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, and earned her level two ski instructor for the Ski Bees, to name a few.
Anne was an active member of the B&R (since 1952) and Osler Bluff Ski Club, where they were able to enjoy wonderful long-lasting friendships. She was also a member of the Garden Club of Toronto where she competed in floral design in-house and at Canada Blooms. After fifty odd years, Anne was presented the Sunflower Award for her longstanding commitment to the club.
Once an empty nester, Anne partnered with her good friend Annabelle Heintzman and they called themselves the Late Bloomers. Many of their friends at the time had daughters so they were very busy doing their wedding flowers (a few parks and golf courses might have received a little prune).
Then came nine grandchildren: James & Brittany Emery (Aurora), Anders & Brenn Peacock (Calgary), Zoë & Tosch Roy (Bend, Oregon) and Mac, Willie & Abbie Dillon (Columbus, Georgia); all of whom their Grannie Annie so adored and was very supportive of their various endeavours, whether sports, music, art, academics or careers. She will be remembered by them all especially for the crazily fun times at Camp McLeod each summer when everyone flocked to the farm. There was little downtime between swimming, tennis with Terry, golf on the McLeod Par 3, building forts, arts & crafts, dress-up from the tickle cupboard, homespun music concerts, family Olympics, Highland games and the Prince Phillip games. Traditions included tea & scones at Patsy’s and manners night with Lynn, with the Grand Finale being the camp picnic by the pond in the middle of the farm. The kids had the best time climbing the weir, exploring the culvert for frogs, getting soakers and hopping in the canoe. After a yummy feast, Grannie Annie presented camp awards followed by a sunset hay wagon ride home. With so many mouths to feed three times a day and several trips to the grocery store, Grannie Annie never seemed at all phased by the chaos.
At the 2006 Sauriol Awards, Anne and Jimmy were recognized for gifting a forty-acre woodland to the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust. When Anne & Jimmy moved from the farm to the Ballantrae golf community, Anne’s new best friend was a dog called Lulu. They both explored many a path, sometimes gone for hours at a time. There she made instant friends playing bridge, tennis and golf. In her early 80s, despite macular degeneration, Anne managed to score a hole-in-one.
She also loved the ballet, theatre, visiting art galleries, garden tours, ski trips and travel, particularly an amazing trip to Africa. In her periodic spare time, she took up pottery and the odd painting class, but her main love was her perennial garden – she was a gardener of a thousand blooms.
In her own words Anne said “she was born at the right time, married a wonderful man and one of her favourite songs in her life was ‘What a Wonderful World.’”
A big thank you to Hollandview Trail Residence, the Southlake H.P.C. (Dr. So & Fariba), and to all her caregivers over the years, including Lynda, a long-time companion. Mae and Liza in particular were so thoughtful and engaging throughout this relentless journey. They made such an effort to keep Anne busy and socially engaged, and have walked many a mile with Anne & Lulu who so enjoyed being outside in the fresh air, feeling the warmth of the sun and watching the sunsets overlooking the Aurora arboretum.
A private family interment will be held at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in the fall. If you wish to send condolences, you may visit the online memorial at https://mountpleasantgroup.permavita.com/site/AnneSheffieldMcLeod.html?s=110.
As much as Anne loved her flowers, if you so wish, one may donate to the Alzheimer Society or the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust (specifically the McLeod Nature Reserve).