We Remember


January 29, 1933 — September 10, 2014

Peacefully, at 1:23 a.m. on September 10, 2014, with family at his side, Leo McGinn passed away at Kelowna General Hospital at the age of 81 years. Dad was predeceased by his parents Daniel and Agnes (nee Callaghan), brother Louis, and sisters Dorothy and Marion. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Isabelle, children Carole (Bernie) of Tamworth, N.S.W., Australia, Michael (Martine) of Winnipeg, Paul of Seoul, South Korea, Anne-Marie (Terry) of Vancouver, and five grandchildren (Eryn, Maegan, Kaelin, Derek and Rachael).

Dad was born on January 29, 1933, the fourth of eight siblings, on a farm just outside of Charlottetown, PEI. Despite the wishes of his father, Dad decided that farming was not the life for him and, with the help of his mother, pursued his education at St. Dunstan’s University (now UPEI), first completing high school followed by his university degree, graduating in 1956. While at university, Dad worked, along with his older brother Louis, at a steel mill in Hamilton, ON, travelling by train or hitch-hiking. He also worked a few summers at Jasper Park Lodge, travelling by train from Charlottetown and back again. After graduation, Dad was invited to teach high school at St. Dunstan’s, which he did for a year or two before relocating to Ottawa. While in Ottawa, Dad met his future wife, Isabelle, on a blind date. Mum spoke only french when they met so they had to double-date for the first couple of months with one of her bilingual friends, Dolores Thellen, who provided translation services. Language proved no barrier and Mum & Dad were married on December 31, 1959 and Dad brought Mum to Winnipeg where, despite not yet having obtained his teaching certification, he’d begun his first teaching job at St. Paul’s High School that previous September. Living in a small apartment on Balmoral Street, the newlyweds welcomed their first daughter, Carole, into the world on December 15, 1960. Dad completed his teaching certification during summer school in 1959 and 1960 and moved his family to Manitou, MB in 1961, where he’d taken his first full paying teaching job. There, Mum gave birth to their first son, Michael, on May 24, 1962. In August 1964, Dad became the principal of Thomas Greenway Collegiate Institute in Crystal City, MB. Mum was expecting their third child at the time of the move and, travelling back to Manitou, gave birth to a second son, Paul, on November 15, 1964. Two years later, on July 6, 1966, Anne-Marie was born to complete the family. Dad was principal of TGCI for 9 years and made many good friends while in Crystal City, including many members of the local RCMP detachment, located right next door to the McGinn home. In August 1973, Dad took a position with the Department of Education as a school inspector and moved his family to Carman, MB for two short years before being transferred north to Thompson, MB in August 1975. After 9 years in Thompson, Dad took an administrative position in the Department in Winnipeg where he completed his career in 1993. Over the next three years, Mum & Dad became the proud grandparents of three beautiful girls, who provided Dad with countless precious memories. In retirement, Dad took up golf, curling and volunteered at one of the Winnipeg Police Service’s community service centres; the first of many volunteer roles he was to undertake during the next 20 years.

In 1998, one year after Carole, Bernie and their three daughters moved to Australia, Mum & Dad decided to escape the cold Winnipeg winters and moved to Kelowna, B.C. There, Dad quickly entrenched himself in the community, joining the Board of the Sunrise Village retirement community, where Mum & Dad lived for the first eight years after relocating to Kelowna. He also volunteered at the Kelowna General Hospital for 14 years where he met many special people, including Bob Burns and Ivan “Monty” Montgomery. Dad’s faith was a very important to him and throughout his life he was very involved with his church, most recently the Immaculate Conception R.C. parish in Kelowna. He was also involved with the Father Pandosy Mission. Dad remained very active as long as he was able with golf, curling and trips to the gym three times per week. He loved sports and in particular, CFL football, where he split his allegiance between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and B.C. Lions. While Dad loved his quiet time at home, he and Mum travelled extensively. They travelled to Australia regularly to visit their “Aussie” grandchildren and to Winnipeg to visit Derek and Rachael, their “Canuck” grandchildren as well as trips to the Dominican, Palm Springs and cruises to Alaska, the Panama Canal and the Caribbean.


Although Dad’s final few months were difficult, he never complained and carried himself with dignity and courage. Dad was always organized, practical and pragmatic in life and this was true right to the end. In typical fashion, he had pre-arranged everything for when his time came; one final act of caring for his family.


The family would like to thank Dr. Khoo, Dr. Perini and especially Dr. Appleby (and his receptionist, Laura) for the care and support provided to Dad during his illness. In lieu of flowers, donations in Dad’s name may be made to the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation. A funeral mass will be held on September 17, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, 839 Sutherland Ave., Kelowna, B.C., with a reception to follow in the church hall. If you wish to send a condolence, post photos or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Share Your Condolences.”

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 11:00 am

Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church

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In lieu of flowers, donations in Dad's name may be made to the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, 2268 Pandosy Street, Kelowna, BC V1Y 1T2


Service Information

Service Details

The service for MCGINN, Leo is scheduled for Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 11:00 am. Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church

839 Sutherland Avenue Kelowna, BC


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  • Michelle Wiebe says:

    I am sorry to hear of Leo passing, I was fortunate to have had the chance to know him as patient in the lab and often had a chance to speak to him. What an amazing man, often spoke of his family and career. In my career I see alot of people but he is someone who clearly has left an imprint on myself, and someone I will remember , sorry for your loss

  • Patrick McInnis and Jennifer Kszywisko says:

    Needless to say, we are both mourning the loss of Uncle Leo. Uncle Leo, you were there for me (Patrick) as I was growing up and had many questions about what courses to take, etc.

    We will miss your kind, and your gentle voice. I admired your ability to defend our faith, and defend your point of view if need be.

    Uncle Leo, you were loved, and we will miss you. You have left some really big shoes to fill.

  • Stephanie Haverstick says:

    I am so deeply saddened to hear this news. Leo was such a beautiful person and leaves behind a wonderful family – proof of what a great man he truly was. My deepest sympathies to Anne-Marie, Mike, Paul, Carole and Isabelle.

  • Karen Davis (Weselowski) says:

    To the McGinn’s: I am so sad to hear this news. Growing up, you guys were my extended family. Mr. McGinn (as I still refer to him as) was a very special person who I will never forget. Thinking of all of you during this difficult time. Karen

  • Harold McCort says:

    Surprised and saddened to see Leo’s notice in the Winnipeg press. I found that we had more in common than our mutual friendship, we share the same birthday, although mine was four years earlier and likely colder at 50 below in Edmonton.
    I worked with Leo at Manitoba Education and was always aware of his being above the average in attitude, concern and ability. As a true gentleman he will be fondly remembered as a good person who has been a credit to mankind and secular life – as a closing point, what more could you ask of one. Thanks, Leo, and with fond memories for being a wonderful part of my life.

  • Kevin Davreux says:

    So very sorry for your loss.

  • Deanna (Milliken) Sutherland says:

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. McGinn. I remember him fondly from my short stay with your family during my exchange trip to Thompson. Thinking of you all and keeping you in my prayers during this difficult time.

  • Suzanne Ryll (Kawahara) says:

    I am so saddened to hear of Leo’s passing. I have gotten to know Leo at KGH as he was one of our best volunteers! Always so friendly, compassionate , and always willing to help. We would often chat in the mornings as we were getting our morning coffee and tea at the Perking Lot! I will miss him greatly…. May you rest in peace Leo… Thank you for being you!.,,,, Suzanne from Pt. Registration dept.

  • Patsy Gauer says:

    We are so sorry to hear about Leo’s passing. I always remember him as a very gentle man and he was blessed with a beautiful wife and family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Patsy, Rudy, Logan and Taryn Gauer

  • Marilyn and Gino DiBenedetto says:

    We were very sad to hear of the passing of Uncle Leo but take great solace in knowing that he is at peace with his brother and two sisters in heaven. RIP Uncle Leo

  • Michael and Norma Pierce says:

    Leo and I became friends in Thompson, Manitoba where we both worked for the Provincial Government. He was dedicated to his career, family and church. We both shared a belief in the younger generation and he asked me to take over his chairmanship of the Air Cadets when he left Thompson. I know he was highly regarded by his colleagues, and for his work in education. Above all his family and his faith were his cornerstones. Norma and I will miss him a great deal. We send our love and condolences to Isabelle, Carole, Michael, Paul, and Anne Marie and their families.

  • Karen Roche says:

    Just wanted to send our condolences to Isabelle and family. Uncle Leo was a very special person and will be missed. I loved spending time with him on Cathy and Dons front porch. Had a very nice chat. He was very proud of his family. Love and prayers to all. Karen and Clarence.

  • Denise and Marcel Bergevin says:

    Dear Isabelle and family. May love surround you, may faith sustain you, may hope encourage you day by day. Very sorry to hear of the loss of Leo. May the belief that he is now with God bring you comfort. Our thoughts and our prayers are with you. Sincerely, Denise and Marcel Bergevin. +

  • Murt Gilbert says:

    Leo & I began volunteering at KGH on at the same time, & on the same shift. During the years we shared many laughs, & concerns.
    He will be missed by many.

  • Ray Bourassa says:

    All my love and best wishes to Isabelle and family. We were your across the street neighbours on Pike Crescent in Thompson. My wife Lois died in November 2002, after battling cancer for 3 years. We moved to Brandon in 1986, and I still live here. I have 3 daughters and 7 Grandchildren.
    God Bless you all.
    Ray Bourassa and family.

  • Deborah Norris says:

    Uncle Leo: a man with a beautiful soul, a good mind and a loyal heart. We so looked forward to his and Aunt Isabelle’s visits to the Island. I will miss those visits but will cherish his memory forever. Rest in peace dear uncle. Deb & Dan Norris

  • Cindy Tierney says:

    My deepest condolences to my family at the loss of their father and my uncle Leo. While I did not know him well my mother Dorothy always spoke of him so fondly! I know how hard it is to lose a parent no matter what age you are and my heart goes out to aunt isabelle and my cousins. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. I take comfort knowing my mother has another loved one with her in heaven 🙂
    Love to you all
    Cindy, Carly and James Tierney

  • Bernice Callaghan says:

    My sincere condolences to Isabelle & family. I was saddened to hear of Leo’s passing.My late husband, Desmond, was his first cousin. We always enjoyed his visits to the Callaghan homestead in Emyvale, PEI.May he rest in peace.

  • David Smith says:

    I met Leo but once. He attended his brother’s funeral in Dartmouth, NS. I was with Lou and his immediate family at the time of his passing and Leo in the most gentlemanly manner asked me about that. It was clear to me the Lou’s brother carried himself with dignity and just under that surface was a man who cared deeply about family and about dignity. He left a singular mark on me and I want to express my sincerest condolences to all the McGinn clan. For you have lost an elder – in the best sense of the term.

  • Anne-Marie McGinn says:

    On behalf of Isabelle and the family, we would like to thank you all so much for your wonderful stories and kind words. They are greatly appreciated. We feel blessed to have shared our lives with a truly exceptional man.
    Thank you once again.

    • Brenda and Robert Bridges says:

      We were saddened by the news of Leo’s passing. He was My teacher and principal in the Thomas Greenway Collegiate many years ago. After I was married and had children I became friends with Isabelle. I do believe that Anne Marie went to school with our oldest son Steve.
      We lost touch with them after they left Crystal City. I would love Isabelle’s address or e-mail address if you would be so kind to send it to me. Our hearts are with you at this most difficult time. Brenda and Bob Bridges

  • Laurie Gatzke says:

    I am sad to hear of Leo’s passing. Leo was the school inspector for the north when I began my teaching career in Lynn Lake. Leo knew my brother Len well from Crystal City days and always stopped to check in with me when in Lynn Lake. His friendly face and reassuring words were very welcome to a brand new teacher living far away from family. It is evident that Leo had many fine days with family and friends after retirement. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. Peace be with you.

  • Paul Tierney says:

    I think the last time I saw Uncle Luis was at my Mom (Dorthy) and Dad’s (James)50th wedding anniversary. The McGinns were a very close and proud family. It was a pleasure to know Luis and please accept my deepest condolances. Paul, Sandra, Spencer and Duncan.

  • Margo & Ken Knox says:

    We knew Leo and Isabelle when they lived in Sunrise Village. He was always a pleasure to work on the Sun Villa Society, he as president and myself (Margo) as secretary and then treasurer. He was a great team member as part of the Pancake Breakfast crew where we worked together (Ken). We also would see Leo at KGH when he was volunteering, always with a smile and lent a helping hand in getting you to where you needed to be.
    Leo, you have passed onto your final resting place where there is no more pain.
    Our thoughts and prayers go out to Isabelle and family. May God comfort you during this difficult time.
    Margo & Ken Knox

  • Robert Hepburn says:

    Leo was a special friend. We worked together for many years as volunteers at KGH.
    I was very impressed with the way Leo lived his life here, and know he will do even better in his next place.
    I will miss you.
    Bob Hepburn

  • Kim McGinn says:

    Thinking of you today…Sending Love, Hugs, and Prayers To All.

  • Debbie Speed says:

    I am Leo’s barber from Econo barbershop. I wanted to send my condolences to the family and just share what a wonderful kind generous man I found Leo to be. He would share many stories of his time as a volunteer at the hospital and always chatted about his family. Always on his way to the gym he seemed to have boundless energy. I will miss Leo, he always made my day a little bit brighter. Rest in Peace Leo. Debbie Speed

  • Shirley Gardiner (nee McTaggart) says:

    I am late in seeing Leo’s obituary but wanted to let the family know what a positive influence he was to me while I was a student at TGCI in Crystal City MB. He was strict but kind, letting us learn from our mistakes and guiding us in the right direction when we needed it. So sorry for your loss. I have always remembered “Mr. McGinn” very fondly.

  • Lloyd McTaggart says:

    I was a student at Thomas Greenway in Crystal City, MB back in the 60s, when “Mr. McGinn” was the principal. I wasn’t exactly a model student, but what I learned from Leo was something I would call “people skills.” His way of dealing with problems was unique in those days. He always took the time to understand the other side of the story and then come to a solution that always felt “right.”

    Resolving conflict in the most “human” way possible was the most valuable lesson I learned from Leo, and it has stayed with me all my life.

    I am sure that many, many people were the recipients of this important lesson in human relations. That is just one of the legacies that Leo will be remembered by, and what a valuable one it is.

    He was truly a good person.

  • Derryl and Linda Hall says:

    We were both fortunate to have had Leo as a teacher in the Manitou High School and had come to admire and respect him for his dedication in helping students.
    I also had associations with Leo as he was involved with the Manitou Mercs hockey team. Several years later I worked for the Department of Education in Manitoba and Leo was my supervisor.
    I remember Leo as an honest man who demonstrated commitment and integrity in all aspects of his life. We both admired and respected Leo.
    My dad, Bert Hall, who passed away in February of this year, also had great respect for Leo.
    Leo McGinn still stands in our minds as a role model upon which we can base our lives.

    Derryl and Linda Hall

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