We Remember

LEITCH, Malcolm “Mac”

October 14, 1927 — August 25, 2021

Malcolm James Robert Leitch died of COVID with his children by his side on Wednesday, August 25, 2021, at the age of 93 in Kelowna, BC.  “Mac” was predeceased on June 7, 2009, by his loving wife of 54 years, Joan; and his brother Donald Leitch. He is survived by his older sister Isabel McLeod of Kingston, Ontario; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was the best father to his children, Malcolm (Joanne McLeod), Ian (Theresa) and Melanie Grant (Jim), always supporting them and providing love and guidance. He was a caring and loving grandfather to Ian, David, Andrea, Laura, Maria, Anna, Stuart, Erin, and Katie and a great-grandfather to Hazel, Ingrid, Vera, Maeve, Thatcher, Clara, Isabelle, and Nolan.

Mac was born on October 14, 1927, to Robert Stanley and Isabel Constance Leitch in Pathlow, Saskatchewan. Mac enjoyed growing up on the Prairies despite the hardships of the Great Depression followed by the Second World War. He enjoyed telling stories of driving farm tractors as a teenager, getting up before dawn to milk the cows, and other stories of Prairie life. Mac was proud of his prairie roots. Anyone he met from the prairies would be inundated with questions until he could find a personal connection. This would always put a huge smile on his face.

He graduated from high school in 1945 and after spending a few years at Brandon College in Manitoba moved closer to home to the University of Saskatchewan where he received a Bachelor of Arts in 1951. He graduated from Dental School at McGill University in 1955. While in Montreal he met Joan Fraser and after a very short period they were engaged and married on June 25, 1955. Mac and Joan then moved to Kelowna, where he was the 6th dentist in the growing town. They raised their 3 children in Glenmore.

Mac practiced general dentistry in downtown Kelowna for 37 years. He generously volunteered his time to help improve the dental profession. Mac was the president of the B.C. College of Dental Surgeons from 1981-1982 and also served for several years on the board of the Canadian Dental Association. He was awarded a fellowship in the International College of Dentists among other accolades for his contributions to the profession. What attracted Mac to dentistry and what he missed most after retiring was his interactions with his patients.  He loved hearing their stories and catching up on their family news. To him, they were all family. He just loved people.

A very important part of Mac’s life was his involvement in the First United Church in Kelowna. When he moved to Kelowna in 1955, his father, Robert Stanley Leitch, was the minister of the church. Sundays were always a special day for Mac, as he celebrated his faith by attending church every week. He loved to help out in all aspects of the church, including ushering into his 90s.

He joined the Kelowna Downtown Rotary Club in 1966 and was president in the early 1970s. He seldom missed the Tuesday noon meetings and enjoyed the fellowship of the members and guest speakers (when he could hear them in his later years).

Mac was a very supportive father and ensured his children had the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports. Our lives were filled with golf, tennis, hockey, water and snow skiing.
Mac was a long-time member of the Kelowna Golf and Country Club, where he enjoyed walking the course and chatting with his regular foursome. He passed on his love of the game to his 3 children, who hope they are able to play to the age of 90 just like their Dad.

Mac’s favourite sport was skiing with his family at Big White for over 50 years. He loved to ski with his 9 grandchildren, sometimes all at the same time! We have so many great memories of our family time together at our condo in the Monashee. After moving to Magic Estates, Dad walked daily on Knox Mountain, not only for the exercise, but to collect the cans and bottles to keep the mountain clean. He was proud to tell you that his collection tab for returns was over $2000.

Mac’s love for Joan is what his family will remember. Theirs was a loving partnership, but the family all knew that it was Joan who ran the house. When Joan was suffering from Alzheimer’s Mac continued to care lovingly for her and kept her at home as long as possible. Once she moved to Brookhaven he would drive over twice every day, at noon and dinner to sit with her and be by her side.

As Mac’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, we are so grateful that Dad chose Kelowna to provide us with a wonderful playground of opportunities in our childhood and beyond. Never to be forgotten is his unconditional love, support, and encouragement for whatever we chose to do in our lives. We will miss you Dad, Grandpa and Great-Grandpa. xo

Our family is grateful for the wonderful support and care he received from all the staff at Mission Villas and more recently at the Spring Valley Care Centre. We especially thank Dr. Wendy Wickstrom for her compassionate care as Dad’s family physician. Due to COVID restrictions, there will be a private family gathering to celebrate Mac’s life.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the MS Society of Canada, would be greatly appreciated.

Please encourage all of your friends and family to get vaccinated, or to seek a medical professional if they have questions. We need to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

A Private Family Service will be held, however, due to the pandemic restrictions, it will be by invitation only. The family would like to invite all who want to pay their respects to join online by Zoom on SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2021, at 10:00 AM PDT. A recording will then be posted to view at any time.

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos, or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.

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MS Society of Canada Link: mssociety.ca

 


 


Condolences

  • Sheilagh Livingstone says:

    Peter and I send our sincere condolences, Melanie.

  • Debbie Wilkison says:

    As with so many other long time Kelowna residents, Dr. Leitch was our family dentist from 1969 until his retirement. Oh how we missed him! He really did have a special way with people whether it was in his office or about town, he always left you feeling important and cared for. Our sincere sympathy to all his family. His grace, kindness, sense of humor, singing and strength of character were much admired and will be missed.
    Debbie and Terry Wilkison (nee Shemley)

  • Krista says:

    It is with a heavy heart and teary eyes that I write this…
    I have known Mac for the past two years and came to grow quite fond of him. I always looked forward to visiting with him and he always greeted me with the biggest most genuine smile. Mac was a true gentleman. He always looked sharp and well put together. His home was kept immaculate. Everything had a spot and nothing was ever out of place. Sometimes I’d pop by while he was watching the hockey game. But Mac would never fail to grab the remote, turn off the TV, and insist I was not interrupting. I can still hear him say, “Come on in, sit down and stay for a while!” Mac loved telling stories about growing up on the Prairies and playing ice hockey. Each story he’d tell with a smile. His humor was often subtle and when I’d catch it, I’d get a kick out of it! He always asked about me, who I was, where I was from, what I liked to do and what my story was. He was a genuine kind soul and really cared about getting to know the people who were around him. He will be greatly missed.
    To Malcolm, Ian, and Melanie: Mac spoke very highly of the three of you. He would often bring each of you up individually and he’d share different things about your success and accomplishments. He was a very proud Father, Father-In-Law, Grandfather, and Great-Grandfather. I know that because he told me that (with a smile) on many occasions. Your Father put a huge smile on all our faces at Mission Villas, and he will always have a special place in my heart. My sincere condolences to you all. It was such a pleasure to have known your Dad and I have always admired the love you showed toward him.
    RIP My friend, Mr. Mac
    Love, Krista xo

  • Cathie Pavlik says:

    Dear Mel and family. Sending our deepest condolences to you.
    Sincerely,
    Cathie and Dave Pavlik

  • Geoff Hann says:

    Malcolm, Ian, Melanie and families: So sorry to hear about Mac’s passing. I was privileged to know him (and all of you) going way back, and through golf, skiing, visits at your house and at the Monashee, and also at the dentist’s office! My fondest memory though was how he and your Mom were always so genuinely interested in what Cheryl and I were up to and how our family was doing. He will be missed by so many!

  • Florence Cockwill says:

    Dear Malcolm, Ian, and Melanie, It is so sad to lose the oldest male member of our precious band of cousins., and you were blessed to have him as long as you did. His visits to family her in Saskatchewan were so treasured. Mac had a rare and precious characteristic of concentrating intensely on whoever he was speaking with and was genuinely interested in us all. We loved observing his closeness with our father, his “Uncle Bert”, Your parents always extended warm hospitality to family who visited Kelowna, as did their children, who stand as a credit to them both. Mac and Joan left us all with lovely memories.

  • Audrey Beal says:

    To Melanie , Ian & family, I was so sad to hear that Mac was taken by Covid. He was such a wonderful man and was so welcoming and friendly to me at First United Church when I was a new member. It was a privilege to have known him. My heart , thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of sorrow. My sincere condolences. Audrey Beal

  • Louise McAree (Lucas) says:

    I am so sad to hear of your dad’s passing. He enjoyed his life to the fullest and I know he will be dearly missed.
    To me your dad was always Dr. Leitch. He was our family dentist from 1956 on. Our family attended the same church. My dad, Bill Lucas, build your family home on Glenview Avenue and he would always comment how well it was built.
    After high school he trained me as a dental assistant, and I learned a lot. He was always very patient and never got angry. When I left to join the airlines he always said, keep a look out for a red headed pilot that’s my cousin George Serviss, say hi to him for me. As it turned out I had a number of flights with George and today I still keep I touch with his wife Marg we attend the same church.
    Over the years he kept in touch with his Christmas letter, he was very proud of his family.. I will miss his Christmas letters.
    A friend also a dental assistant and myself were able to visit your dad a few years ago when he lived on Magic Drive, we had a delightful visit as he talked about his yard the good neighbours, the deer the view and all the things he was still doing and going to do. He was amazing you are all blessed to have had such a wonderful dad. What a legacy he left.
    Will miss you Dr. Leitch.

  • Christina (Tina) Topf says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Mac was a great neighbor to my parents Yvonne and Dieter for many years.

  • Colette Henczel-Groves says:

    Dear Melanie, Ian, Malcolm and families.
    So sorry to hear of Mac’s passing.
    What a beautiful obituary and picture tribute.
    Mac had such a wonderful and full life.
    I have fond memories of my time spent with Mac, and his lovely Joan.
    Mac was always so very kind, supportive, and encouraging to me.
    I’ll miss his annual Christmas messages, and his cards.
    My deepest sympathy and love to you all.
    Love from Colette and Bob

  • Guy Leclerc says:

    Being so close to Mac for such a long time it is with profound sadness that we learned of his passing away. When we moved to Kelowna 27 years ago two doors down from Mac and Joan’s Magic Estate home, few days later, they invited us for dinner and introduced us to their friends. We were just new in town and already thanks to Mac we were members of the best circle of friends in Kelowna! Mac introduced us to golf at the KGCC and skiing at Big White. I golfed with Mac all those years until some 3 years ago. And I skied with him at Big White all those years also until he was way past 85!. I am not much younger than he was but his zest for life has allowed me, us, to enjoy such a rich social and physical retirement life. We owe him so much! It was such a privilege to be in his company for so many years. I, we, will miss him, even though we have not seen him in the most recent him. Knowing he was there at the Mission Villa was OK by me. Now he is no longer…. I have never met someone so proud of his accomplished family. In conversation, Mac always had a word of praise about his children and his grand children. Melanie, Ian, Malcolm, please accept the expression of our most sincere condolences.
    Guy et Jacqueline Leclerc

  • Wendy and Darryl Hazell says:

    We are so very saddened to hear of Mac’s passing. Our heartfelt condolences to you Ian, Melanie, Malcolm and your families. Mac was a true gentleman and with a heart full of love for all of you. He always had a kind word and always took time to have conversation when we would see him at your family get togethers. I’ll never forget the first time I saw him hiking Knox on his own, not even huffing and puffing like I was!
    The beautiful video tribute shows a life well lived with a family he loved very much and yes, How Great Thou Art.
    Peace be with you all.
    Wendy, Darryl, Cameron and Alana

  • Joan Gilbertson says:

    To Mac’s Family,
    Although I am unable to view Mac’s memorial service this morning, my thoughts are with you all.. Please know that we, too, knew Mac as a loving and sincere part of our extended family.How blessed we all were to have known and loved him.

  • Nancy and Dick Longman says:

    What a beautiful service for your dad. It was our pleasure to know your mom and dad for so many years at First United and we always looked forward to seeing him at the symphony and having a short chat. They were truly a gentle and warm and welcoming couple.
    Best wishes to all the family,
    Nancy and Dick Longman

  • Tracy & Mike Berube says:

    With heavy hearts we congratulate you on such a beautiful service for your dad, Ian,Melanie,Malcolm, Theresa, Jim, all the grandchildren & great grand children. We wish we could be there in person to give you all a big hug. We wish you all the best of so many memories of such a great man. I will always remember him fondly with a big smile.

  • Jeff and Tara Stewart says:

    our thoughts and best wishes go out to the entire family. Ian, Melanie and Malcolm, Your Dad was an icon and will always be remembered by so many.

  • Tom Kinahan says:

    Ian and Mel; so sorry to hear of your father’s passing, I remember you talking about him and his long dental career. All the best, Tom K.

  • Debbie Harford (Beger) says:

    Melanie, I just saw your father’s obituary. I am so sorry for your family’s loss. I just lost my Dad this past Saturday, so I am experiencing first hand the same emptiness you must be feeling. We have been blessed that our Dad’s have lived such good lives, and that our families have many great memories of growing up in this beautiful town. Still I am missing my Dad so much, as I am sure you must be missing your Dad. Keep all your memories fresh in your heart and don’t be afraid to talk to your Dad each and every day.

  • Carole and Graham Mellor, Caithness Scotland says:

    We were very sad to hear the news of Mac’s death. Although we never met his Christmas letter and card was always a joy to read. Sending our sincere condolences to all the Family. Thank you for taking the time to let us know at this trying time for you all. Carole and Graham Mellor

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