“To me, cars are freedom. They take you anywhere you want to go.
They’re a release from the daily grind.” – William Sharman
Wesley Norman was born on November 18, 1952, to proud parents Robert and Margaret (Bull) Leybourne in Toronto. Wes was the older brother to Charles, and they grew up in Toronto. Wes attended Danforth Tech for one year and continued on to attend multiple private elementary and high schools in the Toronto area. He started university taking law, but after a year, he realized it just wasn’t for him.
Wes started his own company in Bobcaygeon, Leybourne Sand and Gravel Company, driving dump trucks delivering sand and gravel. He then started driving a taxi in Toronto. Wes welcomed his two sons, Edward in 1972 and John in 1974, and shortly after, he met someone that changed everything for him. Wes went to get insurance, and one of the insurance brokers, Susan Margaret Oram, started to give him a hard time. He instantly felt a connection and went to her house to pick her up for a date. However, she was already out on a date. Wes decided to wait and sat at the house with Susan’s mom until she came back! The two fell in love and Wes, Susan, and the two boys became a family. They lived together for years, and the two were married on December 20, 1983.
Wes and Susan made the decision to move to Beeton so they could get out of the city. They bought B.A.T (Beeton, Alliston, and Tottenham Taxi), and also bought five video stores, in Tottenham, Alliston, Beeton, Shelbourne, and Discount Video in the States. Wes also started his own whistle cleaning company, and travelled all over, helping contractors cleaning new homes. While in Beeton, they went to a party, and Wes and two of his buddies had to go to the bathroom. Instead of going inside, they went outside, and tried to pee over the fence. What they didn’t realize at first when doing this was Susan’s mother was looking out of the window, watching the whole thing. When they noticed, they ran and never looked back because they knew that she would be on the warpath!
They moved from Beeton to Colgan and sold the video stores. They then started their own printing business, Flyers Express. When they bought their home in Colgan, it was a twelve acre hobby farm, with sheep, pigs, and cows. Wes and Susan sold the printing business after twenty years and moved to Meaford. After a year in Meaford, they didn’t enjoy being in town there, so they made the move to the main street in Paisley, where they remained. Once in Paisley, Wes made one of his passions his career when he started his own business Southwest Trucking. In 2009, he retired and then sold the business shortly after.
If you knew Wes, you knew that his biggest passion in his life besides his family was cars. He owned many cars over the years, but before he passed, he owned fifteen. That’s a lot of cars! The cars they owned ranged from 1901-2011, and believe it or not, they had names for each car! Wes was a member of multiple car clubs; Ford Model A Club of Ontario, Fairlane Club, H.A.C.K (Historical Automobile Association), Falcon Club of Canada, and Viper Club (in the States). Wes and Susan travelled everywhere to attend car shows. They also owned a motor home that they enjoyed travelling with all over the States. They enjoyed getting away and the many friends they met along the way.
Wes enjoyed playing tennis and watching sports. He liked watching NASCAR, the Toronto Blue Jays, any Canadian hockey team, and the Toronto Raptors. When the boys were younger, Wes enjoyed playing apple baseball in the yard with them. Wes had a very big, sweet tooth. If someone brought sweets home, they often didn’t get a chance to enjoy them all because Wes would get into them! He enjoyed manicotti and putting Kahula in his milk. While in the States, he would often order White Lightning, which was 50% alcohol.
Wes was very sociable, making friends everywhere he went. He was also very honest and was taught to never lie by John’s principal in school. One day when John came home from school, he told his dad that he had to do a speech for show and tell. Wes told John that the way to make a mortgage was to cut your “manhood” off. Like most young boys, they listen to what their dad tells them, so he told his class that. Wes was called and summoned to the principal’s office, and was taught that you never lie, and definitely don’t teach your children that! After that, he never lied again.
On July 13, 2023, Wes had an accident and sustained severe head trauma. He was airlifted to London and had emergency surgery on his frontal lobe. Wes was in a medically induced coma for two months, and unfortunately succumbed to his injury and passed away on Monday, October 16, 2023, in his 71st year.
Beloved husband of Susan. Loving father of Edward and John, both of Paisley. Cherished grandfather of Chelsie and Elizabeth, and Donovon True-Leybourne, and family dog Bella. Dear brother of Charles of Tennessee and nephew of Charles (Margaret) Bull. Adopted brother of Norma Jones. Wes will be missed by his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends from all over Canada and the United States. Predeceased by his great-granddaughter Nevaeh, his parents Robert and Margaret (Bull) Leybourne, and friend Paul Jones.
A celebration of Wes’ life will be held at the Klages Mill, Chesley, on Saturday, October 28, 2023, from 1 – 4 p.m. Inurnment in Paisley Cemetery.
Memorial donations to Diabetes Canada would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.