A kind-hearted Moorlander has suddenly passed away at the age of 67. Leslie Kirkland, who lived in Oakamoor, sadly passed away on Friday (January 8).
A kind-hearted Moorlander has suddenly passed away at the age of 67.
Leslie Kirkland, who lived in Oakamoor, sadly passed away on Friday (January 8).
The former trucker had appeared in the Times & Echo numerous times regarding his and his wife’s various donations to a number of local charities; and for the couple’s amazing efforts in decorating their front garden at certain themed times of the year.
Leslie’s wife Sonya, who explained to the Times & Echo that Leslie had passed away from a sudden heart attack, said: “I miss him so much – it hurts so badly. I feel like my heart has been taken out.”
Leslie was born in Tean and lived in the Moorlands all his life, latterly in Oakamoor.
He used to be a biker and worked as a HGV driver before retirement.
Leslie, who had been married three times previously, married Sonya ten years ago at the Raddle in Hollington.
Sonya said: “Leslie loved German Shepherd Dogs – he had them all his life and even gave one to the RAF.”
The couple’s latest pooch pal is Cody and they also have a number of other rescue pets including Lilly the Dove who would sit on top of Leslie’s head, a rescue Pigeon called Pig, and also a little rabbit.
Sonya said: “Leslie had a heart as big as the world – he would help anyone out. He would even go without himself, to help someone else out.
“The most important thing to Leslie was helping people out.
“We went car boots to get things which other people wanted. He would buy things that they were short of.
“He did a lot for homeless people on the streets. He would get sleeping bags etc to keep them warm.
“He used to go around and give them a bit of money, some food, warm blankets, and toiletries.
“He also, on Christmas Day, delivered food parcels to lorry drivers who were stranded locally.”
Sonya added: “Leslie did such good things in the community. I will try my best to keep his legacy going. I can not drive but I will do my best.”
One of the local charities which Leslie was a firm supporter of and had donated many items to was the Luosko German Shepherd Dog Rescue in Cheadle.
Stuart Harvey at Luosko told the Times & Echo: “As a rescue we are no stranger to the kindness and generosity of the general public, without whose help and support we would not be able to continue our efforts.
“Leslie Kirkland was the very essence of kindness and generosity that made the world a better place, even in these unprecedented times, not just for us but for many other charitable organisations too.
“Leslie and his wife Sonya have supported our rescue by collecting many donations to help all the dogs in our care to have a better life.
“Leslie was a great lover of German Shepherds and his love for them shone very brightly along with his love of trucks, he will be sadly missed by all of us here at the rescue.”
Stuart added: “The heavens have gained a gentleman and a true angel, may you rest in peace young man.
“Our hearts and thoughts go out to Sonya and their GSD Cody. From all the staff, volunteers and dogs here at Luosko German Shepherd Dog Rescue.”
Another large donation of items Leslie and Sonya had made recently, was a pile of toys to the Cheadle Toy Bank Appeal which was co-founded by councillor Jamie Evans.
Cllr Evans said: “I am very sad and shocked to hear of the passing of Leslie Kirkland.
“Since I’ve been on the council we have had many a chat about issues of Cheadle and surrounding areas.
“Leslie got us over 100 presents donated for the Toy Bank and delivered them to Cheadle PC repairs dressed as Santa. He was always doing charity work.
“My thoughts go out to his family and friends at this sad time.
“Sad day and sad start to 2021. RIP Leslie.”
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