Less than a week after being inducted into the Ontario Squash Hall of Fame's Class of 2022, Leslie Freeman has sadly passed after battling with cancer for 5.5 years. On April 28th, Leslie was represented by partner Tim Mallory at the induction ceremony and Leslie supporters were graced with a video interview previously filmed by longtime squash partner and friend Jim Paton.
Leslie was inducted as a Player/Volunteer for racking up a total of 44 doubles tournament titles, refereeing at a national level and helped promote women's participation in the sport.
Leslie will be dearly missed by the Ontario squash community and will forever be celebrated for her squash accomplishments and dedication to the game.
From the Toronto Star Obituary:
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Leslie Jill Freeman, on May 4, 2022 at the age of 66, after living valiantly with cancer for the past 5½ years. Leslie is survived by her loving husband and soulmate Tim Mallory, her sister Lorri Zagar (Peter) and brother Kevin Freeman; as well as her nephews Myles Zagar (Emily) and Aidan Zagar, and niece Ell Zagar (Zach). Leslie was predeceased by her parents Doug and Eleanor Freeman and her sister Jennifer. She will also be missed by her extended family as well as a multitude of friends whom she cherished deeply. During her illness there was nothing more important to Leslie than the love, kindness, concern, support and encouragement shown towards her by her many friends and relatives. Thank you all. Leslie was born in the small town of Markdale, Ontario, on July 13, 1955, and grew up in the town of Brampton, before moving to Toronto as an adult. She attended Guelph University and graduated with an Honours Bachelor Degree of Science in Human Kinetics. Post-graduation, Leslie began working in the sporting goods industry at both the retail and wholesale levels, progressing to representing several brands including Ocean Pacific, Hang Ten and Collins, before becoming a founding partner of West49. Under Leslie's operational leadership, West49 became Canada's largest retail skateboard and snowboard chain. Leslie was an excellent athlete. Among her many athletic achievements were pitching for the Ontario Under 17 women's softball championship team, winning two Ontario University doubles badminton championships, playing Ladies "A" level tennis and was a highly decorated Doubles Squash player, winning 18 Canadian Championship titles, 3 World Championship titles, as well as numerous Ontario Provincial championship titles. Also, she was recently inducted into the Squash Ontario Hall of Fame. Leslie shared a love of travel with her husband Tim. They traveled the world together to destinations including Hong Kong, Thailand, Bahrain, France, England, Ireland, Venice, Barbados, numerous trips to Mexico, as well as coast-to-coast trips to many different US and Canadian destinations. Throughout Leslie's years living with cancer, she received high quality, world class care from the doctors, nurses and numerous health care workers and assistants at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. A special thank you goes out to Drs. Lheureux, Oza, Deljoomanesh, Hannon and Bhat. As per Leslie's wishes, there will be no funeral service, but rather a Celebration of Life will be arranged at a date to be determined.