Obituary of Basil Joseph Leonard
August 14, 1931 – September 15, 2023
On Friday, September 15, 2023, in his 92nd year, Basil “Bas” Joseph Leonard passed away at the Lakeridge Health Centre in Oshawa. Beloved husband of Kathleen (nee Collins) for 72 years, he was a proud father of four children: Mike (Catherine) Leonard, Patty (Paul) Milinkovich, Kathy (Scott) Siersma, and Brenda (Kent) Guest; Grandfather of: Jason (Venita) Leonard, Ashley Leonard (Brody), Miranda - nee Milinkovich (Adam) Mantle, Paul Jr. Milinkovich (Cecilia), Tyler (Mallory) Siersma, Ryan (Linnea) Siersma, Brayden (Mel) Siersma, and MacKenzie – nee Guest (Gordie) Sherk; and Great Grandfather of: John Siersma, Sam Siersma, Sophia Leonard, Valmay Wight, and Maverick Mantle. Basil was born in small town Atherley, Ontario. It was in nearby Brechin that he met his future wife, Kay, at a dance. It was love at first sight for the two teenagers (15 and 16 years old) who would still be together 77 years later. In 1950, Bas left his apprenticeship job in Orillia and travelled to Oshawa. He walked into a manager’s office and talked his way into a receiving job in the North Plant of General Motors. Once he was able to save enough money, Kay joined him and they were married March 31, 1951 and settled in Oshawa. With hard work and extreme resourcefulness, he worked his way up in GM to become Manager of Supplier Quality where he travelled to automotive suppliers around the world. In 1985, Bas and Kay moved north from Oshawa to a five-acre property in Sonya that had a barn and a pond. The setting was perfect for his future entrepreneurial endeavours. After retiring from GM in 1992, Bas did not slow down. With his wife’s support, he started three businesses including Environ Mills International where he designed and built machines in his garage for clearing algae from ponds. He also split and sold fire wood and ran a vehicle-storage business out of the barn. Bas operated the businesses into his late 80’s. In 2019, after 34 years in Sonya, they moved back to Oshawa, just before the pandemic. Bas will be remembered for his ‘larger than life’ personality, his obsession with his IPad and the knowledge he gained from it, his desire to engage you in debates, and his free advice whether you wanted it or not. He was always family-first. He was very protective of his family and worked hard to be able to provide good times and adventures. Some happy family memories included camping trips across Canada and the US, fun in the backyard pool, mini-bikes, snowmobiles and boats, Christmas gatherings, game nights, and many more. Above all, he was a loyal and devoted husband to his ‘girl’ Kay and told everyone how she was the best thing that ever happened to him. As per Basil’s wishes, a cremation has taken place with no service.