Leonard Baldwin

Leonard Edgar Baldwin

Monday, October 26th, 1925 - Tuesday, January 14th, 2020
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Len was born in London, England on October 26, 1925. Sadly, Len’s father died of tuberculosis when Len was only four years old. Len was also predeceased by his mother and older brother Gordon.

Uncle Gordon and Len spent a happy childhood at the Royal Russell School for Boys in South London. The school’s motto was “Not for one’s self but for all” and Len lived up to that motto his whole life. One of the highlights of Len’s trip to England in 2014 was to visit his old school and sit in the choir loft where he sang as a boy.

As a youth, Len participated in many athletics including tennis, swimming and diving, soccer and cycling. His interest in sports continued throughout his life but increasingly as an armchair participant including telling the Vancouver Canucks and Whitecaps how to play!

In his early twenties, Len decided he would like to emigrate to see what opportunities and adventures he could find. He chose Canada and eventually ended up in Vancouver. There he worked at the St. Regis Paper Company where he met and fell in love with Elsie Catto, a country girl from a big Fraser Valley family. They married on February 12, 1949. Len was well accepted into the extended Catto clan but, as a “limey”, received a fair bit of good-natured teasing from Elsie’s brothers and brothers-in-law. They completed their own family with the births of Gordon in 1951 and Kathy in 1953, followed in time by their grandchildren, Daina (Stuart), Erin (Andrew), Andrew, Teddy and Elly (Jeff).

In the mid 1950s, Len joined the Firestone Tire Company. His employment there resulted in the family moving to Saskatoon and then Calgary. After re-locating back to Vancouver in 1960, Len stayed with Firestone but relinquished subsequent opportunities to move up in the company because it would have meant leaving Vancouver and his and Elsie’s supportive extended family. He took early “retirement” from Firestone in the early ‘80s and started his own bookkeeping company Baldwin Accounting Services, which meant having to learn to use a computer as a senior citizen. He enjoyed his work and continued to keep busy with it into late 2019. Being his own boss suited Len, letting him spend more time with Elsie and his family and enjoy gardening, golfing, travelling and volunteer work (and a good beer).

When Elsie passed away in 2010, Len continued to live in the family home he and Elsie built in 1962. The love and assistance of his friends and neighbours (most especially Terri, Richard and Lettie) made it possible for Len to remain in the home he loved.

Len was a friend to all he met. He was outgoing, good natured, generous, thoughtful, honest, forthright, energetic and had a great sense of humour. He was a loving and supportive husband, father and grandfather. Throughout the 94 years of his life, he continued to make friends, young and old, but to Len nothing was more important than family. He was a wonderful role model for his children, grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He loved deeply and was deeply loved. He lives on in each of us.

Simply put, Len was a really great guy!
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Service Details

  • Service

    Friday, February 21st, 2020 | 2:30pm
    Friday, February 21st, 2020 2:30pm
    North Lonsdale United Church
    3380 Lonsdale Ave
    North Vancouver, BC V7N 3K2
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Posted at 12:00pm
How do you say goodbye to a remarkable person like Len Baldwin? Like the family Baldwin, they struggled to compose a heartfelt message to Len to let him how much they love and appreciate him not only as their father or grandfather but as a great human being. I myself took this long to write up this message as I too is still unable to comprehend how much I will be missing Len.

My life is in a moment of sadness right now partly because I didn't get to see Len before he passed. I was going to see him this January but it snowed and I couldn't drive to the hospital where he was confined. I didn't get to tell him the last time that another "daughter" outside the Baldwin family loves him and will miss him. I learned a lot from Len who did not hesitate accepting me being from another country. He taught me a lot of things the Canadian way. He taught me how to be mindful and told me to keep being honest with my work and life the universe will reward me.

I could go on and on praising him to no end like how everybody else saw him as a human being but one thing for sure, my Anna's cake will miss him as well. Baldwin family, expect a cake from Sue D in honor of Len this Christmas.

Smile and the world smiles with you!

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