An advocate for the humanities and schooling: Lincoln’s Val Fleming fondly remembered

Val Fleming (third from the left) died Nov. 16, leaving behind a legacy of philanthropy. She’s pictured here at a 2018 groundbreaking for the Val Fleming Butterfly Garden with members of her family. From left: Johanna, Vernah, Val and Arthur Fleming.An advocate for the humanities and schooling: Lincoln’s Val Fleming fondly remembered

There have been few areas of Niagara that Artwork and Val Fleming’s philanthropy didn’t contact.

From schooling to the humanities, well being care to recreation, the Beamsville couple shared their wealth with nearly any trigger in want. Val, 94, died Nov. 16.

“There is no query that she was a really, very sturdy lady. And once you had conversations along with her about issues, they weren’t frivolous,” mentioned Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton.

Val met Artwork when she moved to Niagara within the late Nineteen Forties to be taught secretarial expertise and be a farmerette, choosing fruit at native farms. They’d go on to develop the household’s hatchery enterprise, Fleming Chicks, in addition to their very own household, elevating 5 kids.

Over time they’d give again in some ways, creating the Fleming Basis. The Flemings supported many organizations and establishments, together with Brock College, the Shaw Competition, Niagara Well being and extra. A brief distance from their residence on Ontario Avenue sits the Fleming Centre, so named after a $500,000 donation helped construct the sector and library.

Extra lately, the Val Fleming Butterfly Backyard was constructed close to the centre, thanks partly to a $20,000 donation.

Regionally, the Flemings have been sturdy supporters of the humanities, together with the Shaw Competition.

“Val was such an engaged theatre supporter and schooling advocate. Niagara is so fortunate to have had them in our nook, and Val, specifically, at all times had a joke of her time on their farm, or favorite anecdote concerning the Shaw’s earlier days to share, once we met,” mentioned Tim Jennings, government director on the Shaw.

Val frolicked on the Shaw’s board, one among a number of comparable positions she held all through her life. For many years she and Artwork, who died in 2014, would hardly ever miss a gap efficiency, and thru their basis, the Shaw will proceed to be supported, Jennings mentioned.

A press release from Brock College additionally supplied condolences to the household. Val went to the college as a mature pupil within the Seventies, and was in a while the board of trustees. Their help helped construct Taro Corridor (now the Goodman Faculty of Enterprise), the Walker Sports activities Advanced, and the Marilyn I. Walker Faculty of Advantageous and Performing Arts.

Nevertheless it wasn’t simply financial help. Easton remembers an annual occasion the Flemings would throw annually for the Associates of Lincoln’s Historical past group.

“It appeared to present that fledgling group … a variety of confidence figuring out that that they had her help,” Easton mentioned.

Lincoln chief administrator Michael Kirkopoulos name Val a “larger-than-life individual when it comes to her impacts to Lincoln.”

“The Fleming household has left an indelible impression on our group and Val’s ardour for the setting and Lincoln are on the forefront of her legacy. We’re all fortunate to have identified her and been part of her life.”

A religious household and members of the Church of Christ, the Flemings additionally funded a number of mission journeys, and Val attended many herself.

And whereas Val discovered the correct mix of modesty with centered willpower, she maintained a way of humour. Easton recalled speaking along with her through the opening of the Fleming Centre.

“I had my chains on, and he or she had a really elaborate piece of bijou on a necklace that was very, very, very elaborate. And she or he mentioned, ‘Sandra, I wish to have my image with you, as a result of I feel my bling is larger than your bling,’” Easton mentioned.

“However I imply, she was a reasonably humble particular person. It was all about simply doing the perfect for the group and setting expectations.”

A celebration of life will likely be held Sunday, Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. on the Beamsville Church of Christ at 4900 John St., Beamsville.

 

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