Our beloved Elisabeth died on September 21, 2020, as a result of a tragic fall at her home at Ramshead Farm near Erin, Ontario. She was born in 1938 in Stockholm, Sweden.
The second eldest of four siblings, Elisabeth spent her early years on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, the ancestral home of her mother and where her father practiced veterinary medicine. She loved Gotland and returned for summers throughout her life.
After schooling in Ystad, Sweden (billeted to Max von Sydow’s mother) and studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, she joined Scandinavian Airlines Systems (SAS). Elisabeth recounted stories from the glamourous era of air travel, including visiting sophisticated Beirut, riding camels in the shadows of the pyramids, New York’s vibrant Jazz scene and of layovers in Greenland and Los Angeles. She spoke fluent Swedish, French, German and English and could easily strike up a conversation with anyone - diplomats and local shopkeepers alike.
In Stockholm, she met her future husband, Rolf, a freshly-minted civil engineer. Keen to join him on international travels, they moved to Dhaka (then in East Pakistan), immediately after the birth of their first son, Axel. After three years they returned to Europe via the South Pacific islands. Upon their return Elisabeth’s second son, Matt, was born and the family moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, where they lived for 8 years.
In 1979 the family moved to Great Falls, Virginia, just outside Washington D.C. - and then on to Toronto in 1982 where she was a founding member of SWEA Toronto (Swedish Women’s Educational Association). After several years, it was off to Frankfurt, where she witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification. Then to Amsterdam, which she adored with its charming canals and museums.
Hong Kong followed, and on July 1, 1997, she saw from her balcony the Union Jack lowered from Government Hill and China’s flag hoisted. Rolf’s retirement in 1999 brought Elisabeth and Rolf back to Canada, to spend time with their sons and their families.
Elisabeth loved to read, preferably with a cup of tea (especially Mariage Frères). She had met Karen Blixen as a child and her love of books made a strong impression on Elisabeth. A book was invariably within reach, whether on Montezuma, Queen Victoria, or pioneering women. She loved reading about Napoleon Bonaparte and could provide an extensive discourse on all aspects of the Corsican Corporal to anyone interested. Elisabeth would read aloud and take young listeners into a magical world of pirates and musketeers. In fact, Elisabeth, was deeply immersed in the lives of her children and grandchildren and often a willing co-conspirator in their exploits (with a particular fondness for slingshots).
Elisabeth leaves us with the inspiration always to act with kindness and empathy toward those around us. It came to her naturally as she had a genuine interest in people and a love for animals. (Her home served as informal animal shelter, where creatures, wild and domestic, found loving care). She particularly adored her dogs.
Elisabeth loved the outdoors and could paddle down the Credit River or zip line in the Rockies. She played tennis and was a good sport about golf, but she most enjoyed her walks. It was always a treat to accompany her on her regular strolls in nature with her dogs, through the woods and down country lanes.
In honouring her memory, we are reminded of the importance of laughter, humour and celebrating togetherness. She was always a gracious and elegant hostess who genuinely enjoyed company. She had a gift for making every occasion feel special.
In later years, she enjoyed hosting the Eglinton Caledon Hunt with its riders and hounds at her beloved farm. No matter the occasion, Elisabeth made everyone feel welcome and ensured there was always a space to include for the unexpected guest to share in a meal, glass of wine or a good story. She will always be with us in spirit and her virtues of kindness, grace, elegance, devotion to and love of family inspire all those who knew her.
Elisabeth leaves behind her husband Rolf of 57 years, her two sons, Axel (Lexie) and Matt (Jennifer) and her four grandchildren - Madeleine, Niklas, Sofia and Victoria. She is mourned by family in Sweden and friends in Canada and elsewhere in the world.
Donations in Elisabeth's memory can be to the Upper Credit Humane Society. Cards available at the funeral home or online at www.macintyrefamilyfuneralhome.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Elisabeth Kindbom, please visit our floral store.
Upper Credit Humane Society
5383 Trafalgar Rd N, Erin ON N0B1T0