Captain Leonard Benstead – 1936 – 2022
Leonard Alfred Benstead, known to family and friends as “Len”, age 85, of Pickering, Ontario, passed away on April 28, 2022, in Lakeridge Hospital Oshawa from complications related to Dysphasia and Neuropathy. Len was born in October 1936 in Kingston, Ontario, to Alfred and Hallie Benstead. As a young man, he attended Western Tech and Commerce before joining the army in Montreal, Quebec where he served for three years.
He later became a firefighter at the East York Fire Department where he held the ranks of firefighter and retired as a Fire Suppression Captain in the borough of East York. Len was beloved by his fellow firefighters for preparing excellent meals in the fire hall and for his fun-filled spirit.
Len loved the outdoors and especially enjoyed gardening, hunting, and fishing. He had a passion for classical music and was also an avid sportsman having played football in his youth and hockey all his life up until age 81. He won many hockey awards including 1st Place in the Snoopy’s Senior World Hockey Tournament in 1998 receiving a trophy presented to him by Charles M. Schulz, the creator of Peanuts. After hockey, Len enjoyed playing golf weekly with his retired Firehall buddies.
In his retirement, Len also played banjo in a musical group at Durham Senior Center. Len married Christina Philips in January 1971 in Toronto. They raised their family together in Williams Point and Pickering and lived there together until Chris died in 2018. Len was blessed with love again in his senior years, marrying Enid Edwards Kretsedemas in 2020. Len lived his life as a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his wife Enid Benstead, son Jason Benstead and Linda Hurst, his daughter Lisa and her husband Michael Kaine, three grandchildren, Jaylin, Morgan, and Tyler, his nieces, Heather, Shari, and Christine, and numerous other family members and friends. Len’s life centered on his family and friends. The beliefs and values that guided his life were: an honest day’s work for an honest dollar, treat others as you would like to be treated, be kind and always choose your words soft and sweet.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, May 2, 2022, at McEachnie Funeral Home, 28 Old Kingston Road, Ajax, Pickering Village Ontario.
Viewing starts at 10:00 am, Funeral Service at 11:00 am, followed by interment at Duffin Meadows Cemetery, 2505 Brock Road North, RR1 Pickering Ontario.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Len’s honor to Sunnybrook Foundation at https://sunnybrook.ca/foundation/ and click “Donate Now”.
Our Sincerest Condolences from all our Retiree Groups go out to the Family and Friends.
In Solidarity, Retired Toronto Fire Fighters Association I.A.F.F. Local 3888