Ken MacLeod, “the veterans friend,” passed from this world to his heavenly home on December 27 2018. Ken leaves his beloved wife and companion Cheryl, daughter Patricia Jean, son Neil, sisters Chris (Glenn) and Edie, brother George (Cheryl) as well as many nieces and nephews, relatives in Scotland, beloved friends and neighbours in Courtenay, across Canada, and in Italy, the Netherlands, and France. He also leaves in-laws Bill (Mary) and stepchildren Kirk, Greg (Patricia), Leda, Louise, and their children. His parents Kenneth and Edith, sister Marion, and nephew Tom predeceased him.
Ken touched many lives through his inspiration and various involvements in the community.
In 1995, Ken became a guide with Special Travel International veterans/ military tours to Canadian battlefields and commemoration sites of WW 1 and 2, leading 29 pilgrimages and escorting hundreds of veterans and their families to NW Europe and Italy. In his lifetime he interviewed over 500 persons, including old-time fishermen, South Vancouver pioneers, and hundreds of veterans, many of whom he became friends with.
With the assistance of former high school alumni, Ken produced the large tome The Story of South Vancouver and John Oliver High School, which revived and reconnected the early South Vancouver community. He initiated numerous high school reunions and kept former students in touch through an alumni e-newsletter.
Following retirement from teaching, Ken relocated to Courtenay. He went on to produce 18 musical shows, including an annual Remembrance Day music show to honour veterans and to help support the Komox 386 Air Cadets. For the past eight years he produced a fund-raiser for the Courtenay Sonshine Club Luncheon Program, which raised approximately $20,000. He also participated in the Evergreen Seniors Drama, Choristers, and ran a seniors karaoke for many years, as well as a monthly concert at Glacier View Lodge.
Ken was a passionate promoter of Canada’s history and heritage, as well as an outspoken defender of the disadvantaged. He coached more than 60 sports teams in his life, beginning at the age of 16. He was known for his quick wit and passion for gardening, audio-visual, and fishing. He also spent nine summers doing basketball camps for Athletes In Action.
In recognition of his work with veterans, Ken was one of the first Canadians to receive a Veterans Affairs Canada Commendation, was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and made an Honorary Life Member of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada and the South Saskatchewan Regiment.
In the words of an old Eddy Arnold song (Ken’s favourite singer):
“I have my Lord above
And a good girl to love me;
I’m the richest man in the world!”
Ken would like to thank the wonderful health providers at the Comox Valley Hospital.
A memorial service will be held at 1:30 pm, Saturday, January 12 2018 at the Courtenay Fellowship Baptist Church, 2963 Lake Trail Rd with a preliminary photo show and gospel music concert by Jacqueline Lambeth Singers at 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Sonshine Club Luncheon Program http://www.stgeorgesunited.com/soupkitchen/ in memory of Ken.
“In My Father’s House are many mansions” (John 14: 2)