Russell David Leask
September 30, 1924-April 26, 2012
As a proud and fearless paratrooper, Russel David Leask, affectionately known as “Gus” to all who knew him, took his final jump on April 26, 2012 in Campbell River, British Columbia. He was in his 87th year.
Gus was born in Uxbridge Ontario to Thomas Cockburn Leask and Grace Climie Leask (nee Austin). He is survived by his constant companion, soul mate and ever loving wife of 59 years, Patte Leask (nee Grant); daughter Susan Leask and husband David Keiver (Campbell River); son David Leask and wife Jennifer Armstrong (Toronto); and four grandchildren, Hannah and Emily Keiver, and Miranda and Malcolm Leask, all of whom he was so proud.
He was predeceased by his older sister Margaret Climie Leask, and his younger brother John Austin Leask.
Gus graduated from Uxbridge Secondary School and volunteered with the No. 2 Canadian Army University Course at the University of Toronto. With several friends, who would become life-long friends, he joined the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion and saw service in Europe as part of “Operation Varsity” during the Second World War. After returning home to Canada, he graduated from the University of Toronto in Electrical Engineering and Physics.
Gus worked in Ottawa at the Department of Mines and Technical Services where he met and married the love of his life Patte Leask. After several years pioneering the first mapping of the Canadian Arctic by air he joined INCO in Copper Cliff, Ontario as Chief Physicist with the Geophysical and Mineral Exploration Department. Gus spent his entire career with INCO and retired as Superintendent of Geophysical Research.
Retirement saw many hours tending flower and vegetable gardens, bird watching, and peregrinations; including frequent coast to coast travel in the family station wagon, several trips with First Para to reunions in Europe and across Canada, as well as visitations to numerous tropical climes.
In 2005 Patte and Gus left Copper Cliff and their many friends, moving to Campbell River; trading their Ontario lifestyle for the year round green and watching the ocean going traffic from the comfort of their home.
He was a man of few words and a generous, loving husband, father, and grandfather. A private family service was held April 28, 2012. Friends and family wishing to celebrate Gus’ life are encouraged to raise a glass in his honour. If desired, memorial donations to the Salvation Army would be appreciated.
The family would like to extend special thanks for all the care and support from; Dr.James Proctor and the staff at Seawatch Medical Clinic, all the dedicated medical staff at Campbell River Hospital, the ladies at the Pacemaker Clinic (Cathe and Rita), Evergreen Seniors Home and their compassionate home support workers (Alyssa, Darlene, Kim and Shasta), Barb and Marlene at VIHA Home and Community Care, the pharmacy staff at the Willow Point Peoples Drug Mart, Darlene Cook, dear friends Laurie and Ernst, Ros at the Campbell River Museum, and all of our many kind and thoughtful neighbours.
Island Funeral Services-Elk Falls Crematorium