Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

Ellen Gray Leckner


With heavy hearts the family of Ellen Gray Leckner announce her passing.

Olive, as she was affectionately known to many, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on Saturday January 15, 2022 in Rochester, NY at the astonishing age of 104 years young.

She was born December 22, 1917 to the late Peter and Elizabeth (Oakes) Gray. She was united in marriage to John Leckner August 25, 1973. He predeceased her July 7, 1998. Before his passing they enjoyed numerous, adventurous road trips.

She is survived by her four children, Gerald, Doreen and Marlene of Akwesasne and Francine (Todd) of Rochester, NY.

She is also survived by 15 grandchildren: Jay, Serena (Bobby), Lisa (Michael), Deanne (Elliott), Nathan (Heather), Mindy (Dave), Shari (Christopher), Tricia (Wendall), Sharla (PJ), Oren (Emma), Ohontsiiosta (Billy), Craig (Jen), Garrett (Crystal), Ryan (Heather), Waylon (Mariah)

44 Great grandchildren: Kuyra, Kuylin, Kobryn, Haylee, Kaylee, Shaylan, Tianna, Laila, Moriah, Aronhiaronnions, Rahsontanohstha, Tewennine, Michael, Xavier, Trey, Kearin, Kylee, Troi, Payne, Breann, Brilynn, Rawson, Kaden, Jace, Wren, Hank, Liam, Brooks, Dakota, Zachary, Magen, Hudson, Anthony, Michaela, Gino, Rogan, Jaylen, Crystal, Savian, Peyton, Aria, Leila, Selena and Ziggy.

10 Great-great grandchildren: Cruz, Ocean, Cree, Teiotenhariio, Kawisatens, Teiohsontathe, Hazelle, Leddi, Rydyr, and Stella.

As well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Olive truly enjoyed her life to the fullest and had such an unforgettable smile, the sweetest laugh, and gave the best hugs ever! She meant so much to all of us. We all have so many words to describe her. She was incredible, wise, witty, iconic, caring, legendary, selfless, loving, genuine, youthful, glamorous, intelligent, beautiful, unstoppable, amazing, kind, courageous and had a heart of gold.

She was so proud to have 4 generations behind her and made sure to make every grandchild, great grandchild, and great-great grandchild feel special with her love. We were all so amazed by her sharp mind and all the beautiful memories she shared right up until her last waking moments. She really was a walking encyclopedia, sharing memories of 'way back when'. There was always a story to share with those amongst her company and it wasn't often that any of us ever heard the same story twice.

She shared her love with her garden as well, always showcasing to the family her vegetables, fruits, plants and flowers. It was so nice to just sit with her and share a cup of coffee, while eating sweets and pastries of course. No matter the occasion she was always dressed to impress, hair always curled and wearing her signature blue eye shadow. At any celebration you could find her on the dance floor, and never needed a special occasion to enjoy a glass of wine.

Her talents also included knitting and crocheting. Keepsakes for any new baby in the family included a hat (or bonnet as she would say), sweater, booties and a blanket which we all knew were made with such love and pride.

Olive now joins her siblings who predeceased her, Eva Merkeley, Josephine Garrow, Gloria Cook, Spencer Gray, Peter Gray, Harrison Gray, Andrew Francis, and Peter Thompson. She is also predeceased by a granddaughter, Corleen Jackson as well as 2 sons-in-law, Frank Delormier and Thelbert Bigtree.

Due to Covid restrictions, a private memorial was held. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date when it is once again safe to gather.


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