February 8, 1939 - July 15, 2022
In Loving Memory ~
Jack was a highly accomplished man—mechanic, aviator, mariner, supervisor, administrator and consultant—and he was humble. His many achievements only became apparent to friends as filtered through Jack's stories. He tackled mechanical issues in the aviation, marine or automobile realms with the same gusto that he engaged in political debate or advocacy.
A voracious reader, Jack easily conversed with anyone on a wide range of topics with tremendous expertise and curiosity. Truly, he never met a stranger. Many will remember Jack's wry sense of humour, twinkling eyes and his innate ability to make you smile.
Born in Armstrong, British Columbia in 1939 to Ranald Bruce McLeod and his wife Julia Piro, he was the middle child of five siblings. Jack passed away in North Island Hospital Comox Valley after a six-year battle with Myelofibrosis.
Jack's work ethic developed early in life. At age 8 he worked for his father as a wrangler, in charge of the saddle horses used by a geographical survey team. "I was just a kid, but happy for the responsibility!"
Still in his teens, he worked with the Army building the Alaskan Highway and also ran a garage service station in Watson Lake, Yukon. The nickname, "Yukon Jack" perfectly describes these years as he not only earned a pilot's license, but flew his own plane servicing remote outposts and enjoying fishing in pristine lakes.
Jack left the Yukon for Vancouver Island and went to work for Island Copper near Port Hardy and rose to the position of Mine Maintenance Superintendent. Jack was there for 25 years. "I loved every day I worked there. It was always interesting," he recalled, "Of course," he laughed, "A lot of people who worked for me couldn't say the same!"
While at the copper mine he met the love of his life, Mary McGee, an occupational health nurse at Finning Tractor. "A Newfie friend who couldn't stand to see us both single introduced us." Mary and Jack were married in 1982.
With the same company and in the same role, Jack took Mary to Chile in 1992—a six-year posting that brought them each fulfillment in learning the language, the cultures and the people. Together they would travel to twenty-nine countries for business and pleasure.
After 31 years in the mining industry and a move to the Comox Valley in 1998, retirement brought time for Jack's many interests and passions. Golf, skiing, and fishing were augmented by volunteer work.
Jack was a board member of Comox's RC Marine Search & Rescue, and a member of the Comox Air Force Museum Heritage Aircraft Team that undertook the Labrador and Spitfire MK IX Restoration Projects.
His membership in the Comox Valley Vintage Wheels Car Club brought him particular joy with his beloved 1930 Model A Ford —and with good friends in the "Model A Mafia". Jack derived much pleasure from his long-standing membership in the Comox Valley Probus Club.
Jack will be deeply missed by Mary, his loving wife of 40 years, and her children Kathleen McGee Shaw and Michael McGee and the grandchildren: Kevin Shaw and Megan and Matthew McGee as well Jack's brother Jim McLeod.
Also surviving are Jack's children Gwen, Cary, Jackie (pre-deceased), Tracy and Darcy, and their mother Gladys Royer as well as 12 grandchildren & 4 great grandchildren.
The family is grateful for the many caring individuals who supported Jack during his illness, in particular Dr. Desmond Konway.
To honour Jack's wishes there will be no funeral service.
Plans for a Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.