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DONALD THOMAS (LOU) LEITCH
January 14,1932 – August 14, 2023
With sadness, but also knowing that Don is no longer in pain, the family announces that he passed at Charleswood Care Home on Monday, August 14, 2023. He was 91 years old, “prairie tough” to the end.
Don is survived by his wife of 66 years, Marilyn; sons Bruce (Lois), Glenn (Tori) and Mark (Donna); grandchildren Ashleigh (Brian), Griffin (Laura), Brooklyn (Brandon), Bennett (Anna), Matthew, Ryan, Kevin, Brandon and Peyton; great-grandchildren Camden, Harper, Colbie, Quinn and Blakely; and sister Loreta Barnett, her husband Bert and their children, Evie, Tom & Sarah and their families. He was predeceased by his parents Annie May & Thomas Leitch and his son, Brian Leitch.
Don was born in Grandview, Manitoba and was raised in Grandview, and spent time near Kississing Lake before moving to Winnipeg.
Always an athlete and a lover of sports, Don played on the Manitoba team that won the Western Canadian Lacrosse championship in 1951. He was inducted into the Manitoba Lacrosse Hall of Fame in October of 2018 by his good buddy, George “Jeep” Woolley. He played hockey as a young man (defense) and coached the Kirkfield Juvenile team to a city championship and then coached the St James Jr Canucks for several more years.
Don worked approximately 45 years for E H Price, although the exact number of years remain rather nebulous, as he was still heading into the office in his 80’s to “bother people” as he would say. He also would remark “Well, they haven’t taken away my phone yet”. He started at the company in 1957 when there were only 4 employees including himself. He believed in a firm handshake to close a deal, and that was his word. He became close friends with his business associates, especially Al Zlotnick & Ed Dolynuik and was well respected for his integrity in the industry. He was a dedicated employee, continuing to check out louvers and grills even after retirement. When requested by senior management, Don never hesitated to express his opinions very concisely and they were always well received and acted upon. He very humbly would state he was “in sales” when in fact he was VP of Sales.
Don will be remembered as a man who loved his family. He was known as “Lou” to his family, which could cause some confusion when talking to others who knew him as Don! This nickname originated back in the early 70’s when it was determined by some of Bruce’s buddies that he bore a resemblance to Lou Grant, both in looks and demeanor. He carried that name with family from that day forward.
Don enjoyed watching westerns on tv, especially John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. He also liked the country music of Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. He and Marilyn had season tickets to the Blue Bombers for over 30 years, and enjoyed following them and the Winnipeg Jets. Don loved his life’s work at E H Price, horses, going to the races at Assiniboia Downs, the Brandon fair, rodeos and boats. His favorite foods included chicken pot pie, bacon sandwiches, soup, corn on the cob, coconut, Mac and cheese, pie, cornbread, beef — he loved those Angus cattle, Billy Miner pie and Chinese food from the Shanghai! He liked to dance and loved talking about farm life, canola & wheat, cattle, coaching and the “boys” on the team!
Don loved to fish — with his friends and business associates, with his wife and sons, and with his grandchildren. He caught a lot of fish in his lifetime, but he was pretty much a catch and release kind of guy, although he did love his freshly caught pickerel every once in a while!
In his later years, the neighborhood could set their watch by Don’s morning ritual of heading out to Tim Horton’s for his hot tea and twice toasted bagel with cream cheese!
Don had a good sense of humor and a strong mind, right up to taking his final breath. Although he was in constant pain for many years, he never wanted to burden anyone with his struggles.
He always talked fondly of Uncle Pete’s farm, telling stories of driving the horses when he was a young boy, and all the farm chores, including throwing on some gum boots and heading out to slop the hogs. Don loved to tell his sons that manure was one of the world’s sweetest smells!
Another special place for him was Lake of Two Mountains. There was a group of work associates who became great friends, and every year they would plan a fishing getaway at the Zlotnick cabin, where besides fishing, we are not sure we should be in on the details! Don’s ashes will be scattered between these two places that meant so much to him.
Don’s family would like to thank staff at Grace Hospital, Victoria Hospital and the Charleswood Care Home. He was well cared for, and we appreciate that.
We encourage you to look at the photos submitted by family and please share a story or memory of Don by using the comment section on this tribute page. We look forward to reading them. Thank you.
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