In Loving Memory
Leonie Louise McGinley


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Leonie Louise McGinley
6/5/1958 -18/5/2024
Suddenly at home.
Cherished daughter
of Jim and Jocelyn (both dec.)
Much loved big sister
of Marcia and Judith,
sister-in-law of Greg and
beloved auntie of Tim and Mary.
A life well-lived.

Requiem Mass for the
of the soul of
Ms Leonie Louise McGinley
will be offered at
St Patrick’s Catholic Church,
128 Princes Highway, Pakenham
(Entry via O’Shannessy Street)
on Wednesday 29th May 2024
commencing at 11:00 a.m

A burial will follow at 
Cheltenham Memorial Park
Wangara Road, Cheltenham
(Entry via Reserve Road)
in the Cherry Blossom Lawn Section

arriving at approximately 1:45 p.m.

Should you wish to send your personal condolences
to the family, please leave a message on the
“Leave a condolence” link located on this page.

Condolences / Guest Book

  1. Leonie you have left us to soon.
    You will be missed by a lot of people.
    You were so full of life when you came
    to Probus a few weeks ago and looking
    forward to joining our group.
    Gob bless you Leonie, Rest in Peace.
    Love to your family.
    Regards from, Lyn Stephenson

    Lyn Stephenson
  2. Let me pass on my condolences firstly to Leonie’s family
    and also to her former colleagues, and her many friends,
    personal and through her tireless work at St Patrick’s
    Parish in Pakenham and elsewhere.
    She will be greatly missed for her enormous contribution
    she made at the parish on a weekly basis and throughout the liturgical year.
    She was looking forward so much to overseas travel but also,
    to contributing so much more to the community in so many ways.
    That’s the sort of person she was.
    She so deserved finally to enjoy her retirement doing
    the things she had put off or thought she had time for.
    I know that she will be looking down on us next Wednesday,
    as we celebrate her life in prayers, stories
    and her favourite in music and song.
    Missing you very much, Leonie.

    John Fanchette
  3. Ms McGinley – a very very special lady. I came to know her when I was toying with the idea of moving my teenage children from homeschooling to high school. Ms McGinley was so respectful of my position, and spent a good deal of time with me, talking through the why’s and why not’s. I could tell from my very first meeting with her, that she was a resolute, well-respected woman, having the highest degree of integrity. When I finally enrolled my two teenagers, she took them under her wing, taking a special care for them and their time at the college. She had the perfect balance of firmness and fondness for my children. They quickly developed the same (if not more heartfelt) affection and respect for her as I did. I’m sure many other KWRSC kids had similar experiences. I was very sad to hear of her passing, so close behind her retirement from KWRSC. She’ll always be remembered fondly by my children and I, and stories of our experiences with her will continue for many years to come. May she rest in peace. Our sincerest condelences to the family, and close friends of Ms McGinley – she will be sadly missed. The Walker Family.

    Pania Walker
  4. An inspirational teacher, who will be fondly remembered. Sad that Miss McGinley didn’t get to further enjoy her extremely well deserved retirement.
    Condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.

    Susan Kruizinga
  5. Miss McGinley was a teacher you come across once in a lifetime. She was truly inspirational. The respect she had for herself, her students and her profession was something most can only aspire too. Miss McGinley was my favourite teacher, because she demanded the best from me, she pushed me and believed in me and that meant more than I can ever say.
    The world is a little less without her in it. Rest in Peace and Love.

    Nikole Schellekens (Charlton)
  6. It’s been 29 years since I have left high school and this has absolutely rocked me. This lady shaped me into who I am today. She was my teacher, VCE year-level coordinator, mentor, guide , choir teacher, music director and you name it. I was in every school musical, and every music festival, I was Ms Mcginley’s runner/assistant 2 years in a row. She really left a mark on my life and thousands of others. I am eternally grateful that I was blessed to known her. Thank you for showing me “to do what you love with passion”. May she rest in peace.

    Kylie Warren
  7. So sadden to hear this sad news. Miss McGinley was the best history teacher. One of my favourite teachers ever. I have a great love for history and I owe it all to you Miss McGinley. The Boer War in year 10 started my passion for history and you my history teacher back in the mid to late 80’s Rest in peace

    Kim (Humphries)
  8. Condolences to Leonie’s family, friends, colleagues and students past and present, who are missing her so greatly. Her grace and poise and ability to take the load from other’s shoulders, in her calm, selfless and knowledgeable manner, will be long cherished by me. Never a negative word about others, only preparedness to truly listen, guide and help those who needed it. Her wisdom and kindness are cherished and remembered. Leonie was a lady in the truest sense of the word. I am grateful to have known her.

  9. My deepest condolences to family and friends.
    My mum Teddy, worked in the office.
    She has now passed, however she always mentioned,
    ‘I remember the first day she walked into the school’.
    She never said why it was so memorable.

    Judy Parlett
  10. Leonie was a wonderful woman who dedicated her life to Kooweerup Secondary College. I had the absolute privilege of working with Leonie for 20 years, and throughout that time I got to know and love an amazing woman who was strong, gentle and kind, whose knowledge of the college was second to none, and who put the students and staff under her charge front and centre. The support you gave me and others under your wing was amazing, and I’m sorry (not sorry) I kept taking “your” school captains out on camps when they were wanted at school! haha.
    I will fondly remember our last conversation together, in your office as you and I both left the College. We were remembering all the good times we had, the funny stories and the people we met along the way. You were telling me of all the adventures you had planned, and what your life might look like when you retired. You asked me to keep in touch, and we have had a number of sms conversations since, usually about my kids and what they were up to. They loved you like an aunt, and I love you for that.
    May you rest in peace Leonie, you were an amazing person to know, and I feel nothing but gratitude that I knew you like I did. Thanks for always having my back, and for loving my kids the way you did. Auntie Leonie and her lolly jar ❤️ Your legacy will live on xxxxx

    Cristie, Andrew, Oscar and Lexie
  11. Leonie was a true dedicated professional and loved Koo Wee Rup Secondary. It was an honour to work along side her in the Lions Club Youth Of The Year for many years Her encouragement to the students was second to none. Her genuine concern for the welfare of the students was also evident. It is an honour to say that I knew Leonie through Lions and professionally. My condolences to her family and the local community. She will be missed.

    Steve Lewis
  12. Thank you for all that you did for our children at the High School.
    We are all devastated to hear this sad news.
    We had the utmost respect for you and thank God we got so speak with you
    at the Australia Day ceremony after obtaining your well deserved award.
    Heaven has gained an Angel xx

    Nella & Sam Bertuna
  13. My deepest sympathy to Leonie’s family and friends.
    Over the past 22 years, Leonie & I collaborated on music & liturgy in our parish. Our church has been blessed to have Leonie as a dedicated & enthusiastic pianist who accompanied the singing at mass almost every week. She was passionate about music & was a very caring & hard working person. So sad that her life was cut short & she didn’t get to enjoy her retirement. She will be greatly missed by all. Rest in peace, Leonie.

    Liz Merrigan
  14. Hard to find the words at this sad time. Leonie left a mighty legacy at KWRSC and in our community at St Pats. She leaves our world having left her mark. Go well and rest easy, Leonie, you will be fondly remembered.

    Sean, Sandie, Emily, Tammy, and Joshua Downey

    Sean Downey
  15. You were my best soul and adviser when I was there. You loved the kids and the college. It was a privilege to work with you and you were amazing in so many ways.

    Kym Bridgford
  16. In this sorrowful time, we would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Leonie’s sisters, family, colleagues, friends, and our St Patrick’s choir members and community. May our Lord comfort you and your loves ones.

    I was deeply saddened to hear about our beloved choir leader Leonie leaving us too soon. It was a shock for me as I was waiting for her to send the song to be played for mass, unfortunately she was already gone.

    As we remember and honor Leonie’s life and remarkable journey of a leader and musician, whose hands not only graced the piano keys every Saturday evening at the 6pm mass but also led our choir with strength and passion. Her passion for music and dedication to our choir touched all our hearts. Leonie warm smile, generosity, and boundless kindness made her a beloved figure in the St Patrick’s parish.

    She saw potential where we saw uncertainty and I was blessed that she offered me the incredible opportunity to play the drum together with Leonie every Saturday 6 pm mass that I will cherish forever.

    Leonie was more than just a musician. She was a visionary who saw the potential in me, Matthew and Josh both guitarists and encouraged us to reach for perfection. She was a generous mentor, guide, always eager to share her knowledge and passion for music, nurturing the next generation of musicians.

    Leonie, believed in the transformative power of music and worked tirelessly to create space where young talents like Matthew and Josh could flourish and grow. Leonie was a source of inspiration for them. Her teaching was not just about imparting technical skills; it was about igniting a love for music, about encouraging creativity and expression, fostering a supportive environment for aspiring youth (Matthew and Josh) where creativity and collaboration flourished. “Her teaching was the greatest musical gift given to me,” said Matthew.

    One of Leonie’s favorite songs she never missed an opportunity to play was ‘BREATHE’ hill song that is deeply rooted in the idea of reliance on God and finding peace in His presence. If we can play and sing this song for her a last time let us hold on the beauty that Leonie saw in the world to take a moment to breathe and trust that God has everything under control, especially during times of stress or anxiety. “Breathe, God has you in His hands.”

    As we mourn her absence, I find solace in the beautiful harmonies she contributed to our St Patrick’s Parish.

    Thank you, Leonie, for the music, the opportunities, and the memories. Your legacy will continue to resonate through the notes we sing and the melodies we work together in my heart and in every choir family. we will forever cherish the moments we shared with her.

    Losing Leonie, a great pianist is indeed profound loss. It feels like a cherished chapter has closed, leaving behind a bittersweet melody that lingers in our hearts.

    With deepest sympathy,

    Patrick, Matthew, Josh, and choir family

    Patrick Anthony
  17. I was privileged to have Leonie as my colleague and friend for over 30 years at Koo Wee Rup Secondary College. With her exemplary dedication to the College, the well-being of students and staff, and the broader curriculum, she was an inspiration to me and all other staff members. We, and the thousands of students whose lives she helped shape, will be aghast at how cruelly suddenly and unexpectedly she has been taken from us. More so, being just at the start of the retirement she so richly deserved to enjoy for many years. Still, I have many memories of Leonie to treasure, not least the happy times I shared with her during school musicals and music festivals. Thank you, Leonie. Rest in peace. John Eddy

    John Eddy
    • Hi, I Just Wish To Send My Sincere Condolences To All The Loved Ones Of Leonie Louise McGinley. “May Her Good And Holy Soul , Rest In Eternal Peace”. Promissing U All Of My Prayers. My Neice Told Me That She Is Such A Sweet Person, Who Is Always Available For The Church And The People. in Sharing Her God Given Talent. I Can Assure U All That She Is Already With Our Creator. Let’s All Try To Immitate To Be Like The Late Ms. Leonie Louise McGinley . With Lots Of Prayers And Love. Be Blessed In Abundance.
      “Eternal Rest Grant Unto Louise

      Bro. Celestine Nathan. sdb. (Tanzania).
  18. I could not believe it when informed of your death Leonie. We had lunched just a few days before planning some travel and you enjoyed your visit to Pakenham Probus.
    i worked with you for over 20 years and you were so grounded for the students who you assisted – even the very naughty ones. Your patience was wonderful and you inspired so many students and staff at Kooweerup Secondary.
    Your work with music has been inspirational both for the school and St Patricks. This will be very hard to replace.
    You deserved to have time in retirement to enjoy your life after hard work.. My sympathy to your family and to those connected with you.
    Thank you for your time with me over many years.

    Olive Elston
  19. To have worked with and learned from Leonie was truly a lesson in patience, forgiveness and strength. I remember sitting in her office with ‘difficult’ students and her calm manner was certainly something to behold. Her acceptance of all was something out of the box and came without judgement. Leonie will be sadly missed at KWRSC by those who worked with her, the students she encountered and the community that she dedicated her life to. Go now and rest Leonie, you deserved a retirement longer than you received.

    Bernadette Simpkin
  20. The Officers and members of the Koo Wee Rup Masonic Lodge together with our ladies are saddened at the sudden passing of Leonie.
    We have enjoyed a special friendship with Leonie during the past twenty-two years in the special handling of the Secondary College Scholarship
    presentations made on behalf of the lodge. We will miss her kind and caring demeanour…our thoughts and prayers are with her family.

    David Bull
  21. Leonie was one of the most special people in the world. So dedicated to her profession and the Kooweeeup Community. One of the most loveliest qualities was her acceptance of others. The highlight of every day was popping into her office for a smile, a kind word and a treat out of the lolly jar. I spent many years sitting side by side at school events and enjoying her company and humour. I am sorry that she didn’t get to spend the time she truly deserved in her retirement. Rest in peace knowing you made the world of difference in so many people’s lives.

    Aviva Miller
  22. Leonie was a great support to myself as I navigated the Australian high school system.
    She helped with bullying, learning difficulties and other family problems too.

    I was with her during a few musicals and saw how much work and effort she put into it.

    She always made sure everything was just right.

    Then I saw the joy in her face when a child hit that musical note or got the dance step.
    At the end of the musicals or when someone just thanked her for help.

    Leonie is such a big loss for the whole community and personally I’m forever in her debt for helping me and my family.

    May you rest in piece Leonie- as you sure deserve too.

    Condolences to everyone who know her.

    Amanda Hall and family

    Amanda Hall and family
  23. Leonie, or as you were more affectionately known to many students “Ginners” your genuine care, time and inspiration given to so many students and fellow teachers will not be forgotten. You gave you all in everything you did you shared your love of history, music, lighting the fire of knowledge and kindness in others over a span of so many dedicated years. You had an impact in not only my life but also more recently both my children’s. I feel so lucky to have recently heard about your journey in your speech at the years Australia Day awards such a legacy! Thank you for all the lives you touched you will be missed by many RIP – Danielle Symons (née Conway) Brady and Chloe

    Danielle Symons
  24. I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Leonie.
    She was a regular client at my work and a lovely lady,
    she really cared for the students at Koo Wee Rup Secondary College.
    She was passionate, dedicated and kind.
    Rest in peace ️

  25. So sad to hear of your passing.
    Every school needs a Leonie.
    You were there for students, teachers and parents.
    I looked forward to the schools monthly parent committee meetings, which were always lively, engaging, lots of laughter and Leonie trying to keep us on track, but often joining in.
    We always felt that Leonie listened to our concerns and she often said, she like to hear things from a parents perspective.
    Bless you Leonie, thanks for everything you did at KWRSC.

    Kerry Smith
  26. Absolute shock. So sad.
    Wonderful teacher to all. Thank you for not only helping me but all my school friends in the 90’s.
    RIP ‘Ginna” – Love always your “little boss”.

    Rashelle de Haan
  27. My deepest condolences to all of Leonie’s family. I remember her starting at the school in my final years. Then when my girls came to the school she welcomed them with open arms and encouraged their musical talents. I have fond memories from working with her with the musicals making the costumes. She will be sadly missed.

    Wendy Gontier
  28. Where do I begin it was such a shock to hear of your passing considering my son and I only seen you on Thursday doing shopping. I couldn’t believe it when that compass notification came though. Well I know you would already know every seat today was taken and people outside too you inspired so many and helped so many I remember when you got your p’s you gave myself and my friend a lift to pakenham no worries in the world ,wouldn’t do that today! Can’t thank you enough for what u did when I was there and also the last couple of years my son begun at kwrsc u were the one who delt with the issue and stopped it happening even though u delt with the senior school more than junior thanks Ms McGinley may u rest now your work is done I’m sure u will still be supervising from up there. Sending condolences to all your family and friends

  29. I worked with Leonie from 1983 to 1993. She taught my daughter, Kate. Leonie worked tirelessy to extend students, whether it be in the classroom or in her work on the musical activities. Her role supporting Claudia in the music program was superlative. She was warm, passionate and erudite. My condolences to both her family and those who worked closely with her for many years more than I did.

    HELEN Malone
  30. One of those few teachers that stays in one’s thoughts for a very long time. High expectations, faith and kindness. I have no doubt Miss McGinley had a significant impact on many, many students in her time at KWR Secondary.

    Andrea Terry
  31. Along with perhaps three or four others,
    Ms McGinley was one of the teachers who had the most impact on me while I was at school.
    She was quite strict but impeccably fair.
    She was my house coordinator, and as I was heavily involved in the music
    and theatre programs at school I had a lot of contact with her through that.
    I didn’t have her as a class teacher all that often,
    but one that I vividly remember was a year 9 history elective
    that she taught on folklore and mythology, which I loved.
    She’s one of those teachers who I’d have loved to have connected with after leaving school,
    especially given our shared interests, and I’m sad that I didn’t reach out when I had the chance.