Leonard James Gardner – Aakweyaash “Shkeem”, age 87 of Dinorwic, Ontario, passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.
Leonard was born on July 9, 1934 in Dryden, Ontario. He lived and attended school in Dinorwic and began to work early in his life at 13 cutting wood for his father and as a fishing guide.
He married Esther Pitchenese and had two children, Tina and Leonard Jr. He began working in the woodlands department with the mill where he continued working until his retirement. He was proud of learning how to skillfully operate a Feller Buncher.
Leonard in his youth enjoyed playing baseball and hockey in the local leagues. Later he loved coaching and umping baseball games and tournaments.
Leonard’s true passion was preserving the Ojibway language, and enjoyed sharing it with anyone that wanted to learn. Collaborating many times to record, educate and preserve the words of the Anishinabe people he loved so much. Serving as an Elder in both Wabigoon and Eagle Lake First Nation Communities.
Leonard loved his family which always seemed to include more and more people with every time he would say “Yeah, that’s my cousin”. He always had a good story and an even better joke.
He is predeceased by his wife Elsie and brothers John and Henry. He is survived by his siblings; Robert Gardner and Nancy Gardner, daughter Tina Gardner, son Leonard Jr. (Liz) Gardner and grandchildren; Shara (James), Dominique, Emma, Koen and Maddax.