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Friday, October 28, 2011

Notable Passing – Len R. Sholer Omemee ~

Len R. Sholer, 85, Called Home to God-

Leonard Roy Sholer, age 85, peacefully slipped home to God, Wednesday, October, 26 2011. Len, beloved husband of Eleanor Marie Pollard (pre-deceased), loving father of James (pre-deceased), Jeanne (Bill Sanders) of Oshawa, Suzanne,and Leonard; was a caring grandfather to Charlotte Hannah, Jessie,and Elizabeth. He is deeply missed by niece Lorraine Van Alstyne (Pollard) of Collingwood, and her daughters Terry, Tracey,and Stephanie (Bowmanville), and their children. Visitation will be held Sunday 3 to 5 pm. with service on Tuesday 2-3 pm at Mackey’s Funeral Home, with reception to follow at Queen Street United Church.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Canadian Diabetes Association would be appreciated. Online condolences, and donations may be made at

Most Omemee area residents have a story or two to share about my father. Here are some of the highlights of his public life as told to me by Dad, others, and our life together as a family. I hope others will add to this in the comments,as a single viewpoint is always a poor one.

Entrepreneurial Roots

My father grew up during the depression ‘on the wrong side of the tracks’ with his mother, Vera Sholer (Wellington); sister, Violet Pollard,and wheelchair-bound grandmother at 4 1/2 John Street,Lindsay, Ontario-across from the school. Life was not easy, and Dad became an entrepreneur at a very young age, picking fruit and selling it door-to-door from his wagon to help support his family. Through his life he: started the first taxi business in Lindsay,then with Mum’s help,became: a landlord, a farmer(Spring Creek Farms),had a aggregate business, ran Fuel Delivery and burner service companies (Omemee Fuels, Len Sholer Fuels, Baker Fuels), and after working at Bowes and Cocks Realty, opened All Gold Realty.
True Love
Dad met Mum while doing dishes together at his sister's home. After Mum left, he informed Aunt Vi he was going to marry mother. Mum wanted nothing to do with him, but after some twists and turns along the way, Mum finally did marry Dad.  Mum and Dad were a team in more than one sense of the word. Dad would set ideas in motion, and Mum would keep the ball rolling. They loved each other dearly through thick and thin. After Mum passed away, Dad was lost without her.

‘Len Sholer Would Give You the Shirt Off His Back’

‘Len Sholer would give you the shirt off his back’, Don Mitchell Sr. shared today. Dad was a philanthropist (at times almost to a fault). He believed in deals made on handshakes,and the word of people. He bought the old Railroad station to install as a place for the village children to keep warm while skating,then loaned it to the school for storage when approached by a trustee. A strong believer in education, he funded the first school trip for Omemee Public School. Dad was a member of Omemee Lions for many years,and contributed to the work of the community.
He believed in the word of people, in giving people a chance,and looking at abilities, not disabilities. Older locals remember some of those who worked for him in the Fuel business: Don Windrem,and George Hart in particular. There were times Dad would give to others while he went without. If someone asked for something, he felt their need was great.

‘Len was a Real Card’

When Dad made the rounds at the local coffee shops,he usually had some story to share. Dad had the ability to take the most tragic of circumstances,and retell them as a side-splitting humorous story. He had a hard life as a child,and rather than let it fester as bitterness, would recall glimpses as entertaining stories, laughing whole heartedly. Dad’s philosophy was ‘It’s better to laugh than it is to cry.’ He was a real prankster, and enjoyed pulling jokes on others. Some of his favourite pranks involved hiding a large rock in Mickey Rider’s purse, switching letters on Morrison‘s Bakery sign,and giving kids a fright when working on a hearse with his brother-in-law Ivan Pollard.

‘Len Loved Kids and Animals’

Dad’s love of animals started in childhood with the goat his family kept for milk. He frequently returned home from the sale barns with an animal on its last legs for Mum to nurse back to health. For Dad, animals were family extensions. He even had a goat or a pony ride around with him in a vehicle at times.
Dad’s love of children started when his sister Violet handed him his niece Lorraine,saying:’Len,hold the baby’. It was love at first site. One of Dad’s favourite things to do in later years, was to visit the Omemee Children’s Centre to bring them items to reuse for crafts. He was especially pleased with the proposal they made a few years ago, about turning the Old Omemee Railroad Station into a hands-on Children’s Rail Museum. He thought it important for children of the village school and Daycare to be able to learn about the early years of trains in Omemee. He spoke of it often,and it was one of his greatest wishes that the station could be restored, and used for the education of children in Omemee.

‘Len Loved God’

Dad found it difficult to attend church after his mother died,for the emotions were too overwhelming, but he had a strong faith which he put into practice in his dealings with others. As a young boy he saw prayer work healing miracles in his relatives lives. He saw his daughter Jeanne awake from a coma after he asked Jesus to heal her, Mum recover from 4th stage Cancer,and myself healed from Fibromyalgia. He enjoyed Sunday School as a child,and attended Bethel, then Trinity United Church in later years. He enjoyed Mum singing and playing Old-time Gospel – especially ‘The Garden’. Some of Dad’s favourite passages were the 23rd Psalm, John 3:16, and ‘that one about the seasons’. He missed Mum terribly in the last years,but when doctors asked about his depression,would reply:’I’ll let God decide when it’s time to take me home.’ Dad lived a good life. ‘Well done, Good and Faithful Servant.’ echoed in my mind when Elizabeth and I last prayed with my father.’Well done.’
Suzanne Sholer

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