A loving tribute to Leilani

Leilani_Muir_1997

Image: Leilani Muir in her Devon home, 1997


With great sadness, today we said goodbye to our friend Leilani. She passed away in Devon, Alberta on March 14, 2016. Here is the Edmonton Journal obituary.

Leilani inspired all who knew her. Until her last days she worked hard to help others stand up to abuse and bullying. To honour this – and because it was Leilani’s favorite colour – attendees at today’s memorial celebration wore pink. We did our best to send Leilani off, and even played some Elvis, whom she adored. Mostly, we shared in this great loss and remembered her resilience, deep sense of humanity, and accomplishments.

University of Alberta Art Collection staff made a special trip to temporarily install Nick Supina’s beautiful painting of Leilani in the chapel for all to enjoy during the celebration. Nick walked us through the symbolism of his artwork.

Father Jim Holland spoke eloquently to the importance of treating everyone equally. Friends and family shared stories about Leilani. We laughed, we cried. The Honourable Rachel Notley sent this tribute:

We’ve lost a true champion. Leilani’s courage and determination serves as an example to people around the world to stand up for what is right. She leaves us with an incredible legacy as an advocate, trailblazer, and mentor. It is now up to us to keep her story alive as testament to her struggle against mistreatment. We can do this by leading lives filled with dignity and respect for all people.
– Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta

Thank you for being you, Leilani.

Your loving friends