Really, part deux

Garden Kitty

I am so sorry to hear this news. I met Lee in person once, but really felt like I got to know her and the things that were important to her from her posts. My sincere condolences to @Gerry , her family, her friends and the students she influenced during her career. Gerry's posts in this thread were such a pure demonstration of enduring love and care.


Well-Known Member
Heartbroken to learn of this sad news. I had the joy of hosting Lee and Gerry in San Francisco several years ago. She was a light to all who encountered her.


Well-Known Member
This is hard to hear. The loss is great and words are so inadequate. It's taken me awhile to process this sad news. While I didn't have the pleasure and privilege of meeting Lee and getting to know her, I've followed this thread these past years and I've always been heartened to learn more about Lee and to add my support and prayers along with so many others in the FSU community. Thanks to those who knew Lee well for your fond reminisces. A special thanks to Lee's good friend @pat c for helping to keep us informed about Lee over the years. I'm so sorry for your loss.

God's blessings to Gerry. Thanks for devotedly sharing with us your journey with Lee! Your love together is such a beautiful example of strength, courage and enduring faith. Lee fought the good fight and the battles she won with grace, humor and determination really continue to be a source of hope and inspiration.

My deepest condolences to you Gerry, and to your family and to all of Lee's dearest friends. Her kind and loving spirit remains. Her fight was not in vain. May she rest in peace. :saint: ♥
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Heartfelt condolences, @Gerry and all Lee's friends and family. Thank you so much for sharing Lee's journey over the last few years with us.


Beach Bum
I am so sorry for the loss of Lee. She was such a fighter, and Gerry is just the picture of devotion. My condolences to Gerry and the family, pat c and all FSU-ers who knew Lee.


I am so sorry to hear this. Lee was always so funny and kind even when snarking. I have missed her these past several years and will always remember the fun she brought to this board. My deepest condolences to you @Gerry and to your loving family. @pat c you have lost a dear dear friend and I am so sorry for your loss.


Well-Known Member
Can I post her Obituary here? If any of the admins doesn't think it should be, go ahead and delete it. I have shared Lee's struggle with everyone, and been fortunate to have met so many of the people here while tagging along with her, but there were other parts of her life that I wanted to talk about.

Alicia “Lee” (Woodhouse) Varty

1959 - 2020

It is with profound sadness we announce the passing of Alicia (Lee) Varty on Monday, June 8, 2020, at the Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre.

Lee will be forever remembered by her husband and forever friend, Gerry, who she met and married while they were both students at the University of Calgary. Over the next 37 glorious years, they taught and lived in the communities of Alder Flats/Buck Lake, Ponoka, Crestomere, Mecca Glen, and Bentley, Alberta ... raising their 2 children, Kami and Ken. Lee was a dedicated and talented teacher, a profession she aspired to from a very young age, and one in which she continued to learn and grow throughout her career, during which she taught multiple subjects, from grades 3-10, attained a Master’s Degree, served as a School Administrator and an Instructional and Technology Leader and Coach. She will be fondly remembered by her school communities and parents, colleagues and team-mates, and the students she loved so much.

Lee loved to watch her daughter skate, and became deeply involved with the Figure-Skating community, working at a variety of positions with the Ponoka Skating Club, the Alberta CFSA Section, and loved being part of that family almost as much as she loved complaining about sitting in the cold bleachers while the kids lit up the ice. In later years, she enjoyed being connected to an international network of Figure-Skating athletes, officials and fans, travelling to competitions across North America, and meeting like-minded people previously known only through their internet connections. (That would be you guys)

In later years, as their children grew and moved away from the nest, Lee discovered a new love; travelling. She loved nothing more than to pack up the motorhome, and together with Gerry, go searching for new places to camp, driving across Canada and the USA, visiting places they had only seen in pictures or read about in books. Sitting in that front seat, telling Gerry where to go, was a rare pleasure that they planned to pursue even more as Lee wrapped up her teaching career.

As her children married and started families of their own, Lee discovered a captivating new hobby… spoiling grandchildren. Kami (Kevin) Gelinas introduced her to Brenna and Paisley, while Kenny (Christy) Varty added Kelton and Lacey to the party… these four darlings knew her as “Nannie”, and adored spending time with her almost as much as she enjoyed time with them.

She was the matriarch, the central love of our families. Loved deeply by her husband Gerry, her daughter Kami (husband Kevin, plus grandchildren Brenna and Paisley) and her son Ken (wife Christy, plus grandchildren Kelton and Lacey).

She is lovingly remembered by her step-father Edward Brown, her sister Chris (Gary) Vandebunte and family, and her brother Bruce Brown, of Edmonton. She was pre-deceased by both her mother, Joyce Brown, and her father, Ken Woodhouse Sr.

Lee believed that ‘one can never have too much family’, and so she sought out and re-connected with her ‘other’ family (Woodhouse), consisting of 3 half-brothers – Larry (Wendy), Bill (Linda), and Ken (Sharon) (and their families!) who all reside in Ontario. On this side, she was pre-deceased by her half-brother, Dave Woodhouse.

Due to current gathering restrictions, a small, private remembrance service will be held.

Keeping this service private was a difficult decision, arrived at after much discussion by the family.

We are acutely aware of how many lives Lee touched, as a Teacher, a friend, a community member, courageous, smiling patient and stand-in-rent-a-mom for kids young and old, and we are deeply sorry that we cannot have an open, large funeral celebration for everybody to say goodbye.

But if you really knew Lee, you know that she would have everyone’s safety ranked first on her priority list… if her farewell celebration turned into a ********* super-spreader event, she would be very upset, not to mention quite capable of haunting us all for that poor decision.

Those who so desire may make memorial donations in lieu of flowers to the Bentley School Breakfast Program, something Lee started and took great pride in, helping every child start the day with the security of food in their stomach with no judgment or discussion.

Any donations can be made payable to Wolf Creek School Division, and mailed to Cards 4 Lee, Bentley School, Box 299, 5314 49 Street, Bentley, T0C 0J0.

Regardless of whether you choose to donate, I would like to ask one more favour of you:

So many of you have sent beautiful cards that Lee and I read and discussed; those cards and letters were a highlight of her day, she would tell me about you, about where she had met you, about what she knew of your lives... those cards were deeply honoured at Lee's bedside, and they brightened her world. If you send a card, please take the time to include a little anecdote, picture, story, or memory you have of Lee – so that we can all share those inspirations to keep her legacy alive in our hearts. Or post your story or anecdote here, where we can share it in her memory.

Because as always, she is still lurking. :)

Loving Lee was easy … she loved every one of us, and our lives are a little brighter because of her smile. Thank you for amplifying that smile with your own.

We Love you all,
Gerry, Kami, and Kenny


Where's my book?
Thanks Gerry. That's a wonderful tribute to Lee. Thanks to the friendships she fostered in this community, people around the world know how terrific she was.


Well-Known Member
In later years, she enjoyed being connected to an international network of Figure-Skating athletes, officials and fans, travelling to competitions across North America, and meeting like-minded people previously known only through their internet connections.
I would like to copy and paste this onto my own obituary. I will be making a donation soon!

Spun Silver

Well-Known Member
I love those photographs. And the obituary, brimful of love and life. Even if her time on earth was cut short, she "really" did have a full life, rich in friends and family and no doubt beloved by her students. Thank you for sharing those, Gerry.


Staff member
As per Gerry’s request, here are my anecdotes about Lee.

I first got online in 1998 and immediately gravitated over to FSW where Lee was already a long time established member. I never got involved with the WPW midnight ramble thing as a seven hour time difference between me and Lee made it a bit impossible. I did think everyone involved was actually a bit mad though. :lol:

Anyway, FSW wasn’t the place for me so FSU came to exist and after the demise of FSW I was pleased that Lee among others, came over here. She even helped me admin from around 2004-2007. She was as strong a presence here as she was on FSW and instead of the WPW midnight ramble, she set up camp in Sekret Sources in the hot tub. Again, due to time differences I wasn’t involved and still thought everyone who was were absolutely barking mad. 😎

Lee and I occasionally chatted on the phone and eventually met at Skate Canada 2004. We drank copious smirnies (Smirnoff Ice mixed drinks) and had a great time. It was lovely to finally meet her and go to dodgy nightclubs! :lol:

We maintained a friendship up until she sadly went into hospital. Occasionally when things were improving for her it would make my day to get a Facebook message off her or even see her post here.

On a personal note though, I will always remember Lee as a very supportive friend, she was a source of comfort during the messy break up of my first marriage in the mid 00s and she was thrilled for me when I remarried in 2013.

In summer 2017, I met up with @Louis and @Aaron W in Cardiff. We were laughing about the drinking Smirnies at competitions days and :lol: that they tasted absolutely disgusting to us now. One of us had the idea though that we should have Smirnies for Lee, so we did and took a photo of us all, Smirnies at the ready and sent it to Lee to give her a smile. We even drank them, talk about taking one for the team there Lee! :lol:

I will always remember Lee with a smile, even though her too late for me late night antics made me always think she was a little batshit crazy! (But I think she would like that!) ❤💔❤

I will brave a Smirnie soon, just for Lee!

Thanks to @Gerry for letting us commemorate Lee’s contribution to the online skating world with a banner and thanks to @Daphne for the design.


Well-Known Member
I had tears in my eyes reading that obituary. I never met Lee and only ever read her comments first on FSW and then here. Lee was clearly well loved and I'm sure will be a guardian angel to those she loved deeply. Once again my deepest condolences go to Gerry and his family as well as those who counted Lee as a friend. She was clearly a very special lady.


Isolating from mean people
I first "met" Lee on the (rssif) newsgroup when it was hosted at UDel. I was trying to get back into skating and had tons of questions having never participated in test track lessons at any level. Lee was most helpful and I gradually got brave enough to participate in some of the other discussions. What struck me was how patient she was, even with the craziest of posters. Don't think that she just stood by and took it, though, as her intelligence and sharp wit were just what many threads needed when they started to go off the rails.

I found FSU in 2005 and it didn't take long to put two and two together to figure out who Really really was. I think it was the references to Kami that tipped me off, but it might have been her unique posting style. I admit to lurking around The Hot Tub, but never jumped in. When I saw her posting in the Canadians threads, she'd patiently answer my questions about the up and comers and sadly describe the demise of those whose light burned out too quickly.

Boston Worlds brought many of us together. I remember driving to the AirBnB that @pat c had rented to pick up my tickets from @manhn . Gosh, she was pretty, with sparking eyes and that amazing red hair. I vividly remember bouncing back and forth from our cheap seats to the area around her much better ones every time she signalled that the coast was clear! And who can forget the private PBP during Hendrickx free skate!

My last memory is from around this time last year when she briefly popped in here and was posting on Facebook. Seeing her post made me SO happy!

RIP, Lee. I hope you have a heated bleacher seat up there!


Well-Known Member
Gerry if an obituary can be a beautiful thing, then Lee's is. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the rest of the family.

Now to stop the tears before I go back to work.


Let the skating begin
I never had the pleasure of meeting Lee in person, but I was one of the Hottub threads regulars and they were a source of many, many :lol: moments. And @SHARPIE is probably right that we were--make that are--all a little mad. Lee's sense of humor was the center, and reading Gerry's posts, it was something she retained through the trials of the last few years. I figured you had to have an ingrained sense of humor to teach math to a bunch of 12 and 13 year olds. Lee used to talk a lot about her GrandDog before the grandbabies came along. I have two Standard Poodles and always understood what she was talking about. She had a wicked sense of humor and a razor sharp wit, she was always kind, she adored her family, her friends adored her and she lives on in our memories and in her children and grandchildren. Tell them stories about their Nannie.


#teamtrainwreck #teamjapan
So sad to hear about this. Just heartbreaking. Condolences to @Gerry and everyone close to Lee. I didn’t know her, but followed the thread, and so hoped for a different outcome. RIP Lee!

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Do Not Sell My Personal Information