Obituary for Lynne Woolstencroft
Lynne Elizabeth Woolstencroft, who saw life as offering chances to love, to laugh, and to gain wisdom, died at Lisaard House, Cambridge, Ontario on Monday, May 13th. She was the loving and beloved wife of Peter, mother of Anne Chadwick (Mick McDonald) of Kitchener and Robert Norman (Kristen McIntyre) of Oakville, and grandmother to Maggie, Colin, Liam, Dylan, and Caitlin. She was born on September 23, 1943 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to Dr. Norman L. Brown and Grace I. Brown, deceased, and predeceased by her brother, James.
Lynne and Peter were married in August 1965. In 1970, Lynne moved with Peter to Waterloo. For over 40 years her belief in community building expressed itself through public service and involvement in many organizations, from girls’ hockey to charities, from the environment to social advocacy. The Canadian Federation of University Women was a centrepiece of her life for over 40 years.
A few months after settling in Waterloo she was elected to the then Waterloo County Board of Education, serving for thirteen years, including three as Chair. Active in provincial and national school trustee organizations, she served as President of the Association of Large School Boards in Ontario.
After six years on Waterloo City Council she retired; was elected again to council in 1997 and then Mayor from 2000 to 2003. She served on Waterloo Regional Council, the Waterloo Public Library Board, the Grand River Conservation Authority, the Kitchener-Waterloo Social Planning Council, and numerous boards and commissions. In victory or defeat, Lynne saw politics as a high calling; and the job of a politician was to look ahead, as she did on many issues, most notably the environment.
Lynne taught in Calgary, Edmonton, England, the United States, and for many years at Conestoga College. She had an extraordinary ability to connect with students, whether in university settings or in programs for those who had dropped out of school. In any class, whether it be on Elizabethan and Jacobean literature, or environment problem solving, or how to prepare for the work world, she inspired her students while demanding their best. She had a rare ability to see the potential in people and the means to inspire people to achieve.
Lynne gained much recognition for her extensive community service, and most recently received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Jack Young Civic Award.
A philosopher described Lynne as an uncommon combination of Platonic idealism and Aristotelian practicality. This was seen in all aspects of her life, but most vividly when she served as a member of the Canada Pension Plan Disability Review Tribunal, where she was highly regarded for her judiciousness.
Cancer took Lynne’s life but not her capacity for love, her deep emotive force, which runs through her family. Her remarkable writing ability caught the essence of her relationships with people and will long be treasured by the many recipients of her letters. Her abiding curiosity is manifested in her cherished grandchildren. Her beautiful smile and infectious chuckle live in the minds of many.
Lynne, believing in the importance of medical research and education, donated her body to the Division of Anatomy, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto.
Memorial visitation will be held at the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King St. S., Waterloo on Friday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. The Memorial Service will be held at Parkminster United Church, 275 Erb St. E., Waterloo on Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 11 a.m. with Rev. Elaine Beattie officiating. Reception to follow at the church.
Instead of flowers, friends are asked to remember Lynne through the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre, the Working Centre, or Mary’s Place and may be arranged through the funeral home, www.erbgood.com or 519-745-8445.