Charles Joseph Walter McLeod was born on Jan. 26, 1922 and passed away on Jan. 20, 2017 at the age of 94 years.
Charles was born in Grouard to John Jack McLeod and Nora McDermott. Charles was a wee baby. He liked to say he looked like a wee doll, thus his lifelong name Weedal as many called him.
In his young life, Charles lost his beloved mother, Nora, in 1929. Charles uncle Pat McDermott and his wife raised Charles for a few years, until Pat’s wife passed on. That was when Charles grandmother Koma took him in and raised him until he was 16 years old.
When he left his Kohkom he went fishing in Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories with his uncles. He fished in Northwest Territories for a few years. He lost his beloved Kohkom Aug. 22, 1955 at the age of 88 years.
Charles was always a hard-working man. He fished 82 lakes in Alberta, and in the coast of Prince Rupert, B.C. Fishing for a living was getting hard so he changed his career to truck driving and heavy equipment operator.
In 1960, after returning back to Grouard, he met and married Yvonne Cardinal on Sept. 20, 1961. The young couple then made their new home in Hay River, NWT where Charles was a grader operator. Together, Charles and Yvonne had five children: Eddie, Connie, Tanya, Tracy, and Charlie. Charles and Yvonne lived in Hay River until 1967.
Charles was a stepfather figure to Yvonne’s children: Fred, Loretta, Donald, Doug, and Anita. It was in September 1967 that his loving wife Yvonne was hospitalized and passed on Dec. 12, 1967.
Charles lived in Grouard until 1969, then moved to Gift Lake where he fished and logged until he gained employment with the Department of Highways in 1973. Here, Charles was a grader operator, as many will remember him faithfully keeping the roads in good condition. His beat was from Muskeg Lake to Highway 88.
Charles took holidays to go commercial fishing. One day Charles called in his hours to his foreman Jackie Bramwell. As Jack used to say, “It was always eight and two.” One morning Charles called Jackie for his hours and Jackie said, “What the heck is that rooster doing crowing in the background?”
In 1980, Charles and Linda started their life together. Ole Blue Eyes fell in love again. On Nov. 6, 1981 they tragically lost their son John Ryan at birth. In 1984, Charles little buddy Ryan was born, in 1985 their daughter Kelly was born.
In 1987, Charles retired from his years of service with Alberta Transportation. Charles was now able to fish all he wanted. He didn’t just sit back though, he took up making grave covers which kept him busy, teaching his sons Eddie, Charlie, and Ryan the trade.
Charles took pride in keeping his yard clean and the grass cut. He loved riding on his John Deere tractor.
In October 1991, Charles and Linda married, figuring it’s time to get married before the warranty ran out, so he said. Charles loved to tease his children and grandchildren, as they can recall many of his one-liner jokes. He was happy hearing them laugh. That’s how he was, with a glint in his eye and a quick smile and a by golly. This was good times with dad, never a dull moment.
Through the years Charles made many friends. If you were his friend you were his friend for life. Charles enjoyed talking to friends and family on the phone. He never said goodbye, it was always see you later. As Linda recalls, one day Charles was talking to his nephew Dorreum on the phone and he said, “OK, we’ll see you.” Well, Linda thought they were going to visit Dorreum and Jill got ready real quick. Charles asked her where she was going. She said, “Ma, I thought we’re going to visit Dorreum.” He said, “Oh, I just said that for a laugh.”
We could write a book about Charles and his jokes and antics. Charles will be dearly missed by many.
Charles was predeceased by: his grandparents, Myles and Charlotte McDermott; parents Jack and Nora McLeod; his seven siblings, Edward McLeod, Irene Plante, Vina Tocher, Violet McLeod, Buck McLeod, Roy McLeod, and Tony McLeod; his wife, Yvonne McLeod; his sons Eddie McLeod and John McLeod; his Chapan, precious Gracie; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He leaves to mourn: his passing his beloved wife Linda McLeod; beloved children Connie McLeod, Tanya [Denis] Halcrow, Tracy McLeod, Charlie Cunningham, Ryan [Rachel] McLeod, Kelly [Rod] Anderson, and Hope Gladue; as well as 21 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
We have lost a great man, but heaven has gained an angel.
On behalf of the family, I would like to thank you all for your love and support during this difficult time.