Mel passed away on Thursday, August 17, 2017 at Extendicare Mapleview Nursing Home with his son and daughter by his side.
Mel was the husband of the late Isabel, father of Elaine (Tom), Derek, Glenda (Owen). Grandfather of seven and great grandfather of three.
Mel was born on January 11, 1920 to Effie and James LeMarquand in Belle Anse on the Gaspe coast of Quebec. He was the youngest of four children. Prior to enlisting for the war effort in 1939 he worked at a variety of jobs from waterfront docks to a dry goods store where they sold “everything from soup to nuts.” He developed a strong work ethic and expected nothing less from all those he worked with. During his service in World War II he was a proud member of the South Saskatchewan Regiment where he was nicknamed “Shorty.” He often said that it became known that if something had to be done they would ask Shorty. He was awarded the Military Medal of Bravery in the field. He never elaborated on this as he was only doing what was expected of him.
He met his future bride, Isabel, while on leave in Scotland and subsequently courted her by writing letter upon letter. She was smitten by his good looks and he said she had the best set of legs he had ever seen. And so, the saga began. They started their life in Canada after the war ended and lived 62 years together. They were one another’s best friend until Isabel passed away in 2007.
Dad was always very humble about his gallantry in the war. When asked “How does a poppy speak to you?” he answered, “It means the blood red of war service. It is an emblem to let people know I’m a veteran and to honour the guys who are not here. There’s a lot of good men who didn’t come home. I wear it to remember them.”
A private service was held on August 23, 2017. Arrangement entrusted to Northwood Funeral Home Cremation and Reception Centre (942 Great Northern Road 705-945-7758). www.northwoodfuneral.com