On the morning of September 23, 2016, our beloved Leah lost her battle with cancer and slipped away to embark on a new journey. Left behind to cherish her memory are her loving husband of 25 years Dennis Bucholtz, daughter Bailey and son Dayton, big sister Yvonne, countless close friends and “adopted” kids from all over the world as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
Leah was born to Bob and Lorraine DeRosier on October 6, 1962 and lived her entire life in the Okanagan Valley. It quickly became apparent to all that she was a restless soul. It was not unusual for her to escape the confines of the classroom, kick off her shoes and race home. Once home, she would fling herself on the back of her pony and fly under the rays of the Okanagan sun. She had a soft spot for all animals and was well known for rescuing and nurturing strays. It was accepted by all that Leah’s cats were treasured members of the family.
Leah had many passions and gardening was but one. She expanded her love of gardening into a flourishing business and transformed many properties in the Vernon area. Every winter Leah was drawn to the snowy slopes of Silver Star Mountain where her smiling face was a welcome sight at Paradise Camp and Long Johns Pub. Her boundless energy was her trademark. Driftwooding along the shores of Okanagan and Mara Lakes was a favourite getaway for Leah and she transformed the pieces she collected into works of art. Leah loved to cook for her “people” and she prepared countless chicken dinners. It was her traditional welcome to a newcomer.
Dennis and Leah met while working at the Village Green Hotel. They shared a strong work ethic, love of the Mexican sun and a zest for life. Together they created a beautiful, warm and loving home and their door was open to all. There was no judgment – only acceptance. Young people from all corners of the world found safe haven there. Leah became “Mom” to so many and her memory will live on in many faraway places.
Leah was a wonderful mother and encouraged her children to honour their unique qualities and follow their dreams and passions. Both Bailey and Dayton share their mother’s incredible artistic qualities and it is apparent in many aspects of their lives.
Leah and her sister Yvonne were orphaned at an early age, and their bond forged as sisters only strengthened with the passing years. They enjoyed a close friendship and shared wonderful memories of many excursions to Mexico, pool parties and Judy’s garage sales on Saturday mornings.
So precious Leah, you will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved you. Safe journey as you sail into the mystic and we all take comfort knowing that we shall meet again one day for happy hour.
As an expression of sympathy, those who wish to do so may send donations in memory of Leah to the Vernon SPCA.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday October 8, 2016 @ 1:00 pm at Pleasant Valley Funeral Home.