Elliott and Edna Leppert
This is the story of Elliott and Edna Leppert and their family. Elliott’s parents, Vernon and Anne Leppert, were born in Wainfleet, Ontario, parents of three children, Glenn, Elliott, and Carol Anne. Elliott’s father, Vernon, worked in farming, and during WW II he operated the lift bridge over the Welland Canal.
Edna’s parents, Edgar and Clairabell, were born in Trenton, Ontario. Ed worked at the Battawa (later Bata) Boot and Shoe Factory in Frankfort, Ont, during WW II, making footwear for the Armed Forces overseas. They had eight children – Edna, George, Mary, Ed, Jack, Dorothy, Gordon and Bruce. IN 1949, the family moved to Long Beach Provincial Park on Lake Erie. Edna’s parents managed this park, including maintaining and renting 50 cottages. Elliott’s father, Vernon, assisted with the work at this park and many members of both families pitched in as well.
Edna and Elliott met during Grade 10 at Pelham High School in Fonthill, Ontario, in 1953. After high school, Edna worked for Ontario Hydro for three years, travelling throughout the Niagara Region in her work upgrading Hydro resources. Elliott began teaching school at the age of 17 right out of high school himself, training as a teacher as he went! In the one room schoolhouse he taught 52 children in eight grades; the oldest student, age 16, while he was only 18 years of age! The couple married after 10 years of dating, in 1963, at Morgans’ Point. Soon after, the couple moved to Arnstein, Ontario, where Elliott had obtained a teaching position. The couple made this area their home for the next 45 years. Elliott taught in a variety of one and two room rural schools, before moving to a new nine room school in Port Loring. He coached many sports teams during his teaching career, often transporting the entire team to games in his own vehicle! Elliott retired from teaching in 1984. The couple have two children: Kenneth Elliott and Kristina Louise. They are very proud of Kenny’s work, initially with the Canadian military, and with the OPP during the last 18 years. He and his wife, Dawn have three children; Rochelle, Kirk and Cassandra. Elliott and Edna are very proud of their grandchildren, especially enjoying Rochelle’s accomplishments in pole vaulting, Kirk’s in hockey and golf, and Cassandra’s in horseback riding and show jumping. Their daughter, Kristina, resides in Ajax, with her beautiful white husky. She has worked 22 years as a graphic designer/commercial artist in Toronto and has been an important member of the marketing team for many name brand products.
After retiring from teaching, Elliott and Edna began a 15 year career running a fly in fishing camp owned by Darrel and Judy Rogerson, on Smokey Lake. Elliott became a much sought after fishing guide, regularly finding the “big ones” and cooking up wonderful shore lunches. Edna ran the fishing camp, cooking, housekeeping and generally organizing the camp. The couple spent much of each winter travelling to the United States to promote the camp at numerous sport fishing shows. Edna and Elliott left the camp and moved to North Bay in 2006 to be nearer to their son and family. Elliott speaks passionately of his fishing and camping trips, by canoe, to Smokey Lake, every summer since their move, with good friend, Reverend Ken Deer. The couple were very happy in their home on Jane Street, before re-locating to the Empire Living Centre, and again to Nipissing Manor in Corbeil, where they feel very involved and well cared for.
Their work with the Sunday School Boys’ Clubs in Niagara in the ‘50s began a 60 year career with volunteering. Edna ran a leadership group for 24 boys aged 9 – 12 for many years. These grateful boys surprised the couple for their wedding by providing an honour guard with hockey sticks arched overhead as they left the ceremony! Elliott, who also led a boys’ group for many years, became a superintendent of United Church Sunday Schools in Niagara region, responsible for the supervision of 400 children. Elliott was a member of the Argyle Lion’s Club for 45 years (ARGYLE stands for AR=Arnstein, GY=Golden Valley, L=Loring) for 45 years, and the North Bay Lion’s Club for 5 years. He became a Club legend for his fundraising efforts, raising +$15,000 for Eye Laser Equipment at the North Bay General Hospital and thousands more for the Specialized Children’s Room at the Sudbury Regional Cancer Centre. His challenge to all comers was a game of crokinole, with $50 to the winner. All his winnings went to his fundraising, and he never lost a game!!
Edna and Elliotts’ continuing dedication to each other, their children, grandchildren, and their community inspire all who know them.