William Leavey
William Leavey

Obituary of William Albert Leavey

Lieutenant-Colonel (Ret’d) William Albert Leavey

15 March 1948 - 28 October 2020


Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) William (Bill) Leavey, 72, left us on October 28th, only because lung cancer left him no other option. Those who knew Bill will know that he didn’t give in easily, as there were still many things he wanted to do, places he wanted to see, and people he hadn’t told his last story to, or about.

He was very grateful for the full, rich life he’d had and spoke about this often during the last year of his life. He was thankful to have been one of 8 Leavey children growing up in Trenton, ON: Marie(Paul) Kelleher of Campbellford, ON, the late Dave (Margery) Leavey of Airdrie, AB, Jane Leavey of Trenton, Steve (Catherine) Leavey of Roslin, Phyllis Leavey (Carl) of Trenton, Nancy (Brian) Kell of Trenton, and Ben (Sharon) Leavey of Trenton. Bill was predeceased by his parents, Albert (d. 1971) and Phyllis Leavey (d. 2017) and by his brother Dave Leavey (d. 2020)

Perhaps growing up in a large community of brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends led him to flourish in the larger family of the Canadian Army, in which he served as an Infantry Officer for 42 years. At various times he wore the cap badge of The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, The Royal Canadian Regiment, the Canadian Airborne Regiment, and The Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment, which he was proud to command from 2002-2006. He served in Canada, Cyprus, and Germany.

After retirement he continued to serve as a Peer Support volunteer with the Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS), where he developed strong friendships with fellow servicemen and women who struggled with PTSD and other challenges both physical and mental. He was a strong advocate for Veterans in the community, always willing to assist with navigating the bureaucracy and encouraging hope through humour.

Bill loved to tell a good story and when gathered with friends could be pictured the same way every time - rocked back slightly on his heels, one hand in pocket, the other hammering home the critical points. When retirement offered smaller audiences, Bill picked up paper and pen and wrote a short book of Short Stories, ‘Old Soldiers Never Laugh and other Stories.’ He thoroughly enjoyed the expressions on people’s faces when they recognized themselves in one of the tales.

Humour, quick wit, great physical strength, dedication to the Army, and a big generous heart were all calling cards of Bill Leavey. He loved studying history and philosophy, was happiest debating the Big Questions, and was not at all shy about sharing his opinions. One knew when Bill had entered a room. And now, he has left the room and will be sorely missed.

He was proud father to daughter Tricia Leavey of Campbellton, NB, son Garth Leavey (Dayami) of Edmonton, and son Peter Hanly (Ashley) of Petawawa. When grandchildren entered his life, he was delighted to be called Grampa by Emma and Ericka, Maggee, and Mitchell and Kate.

Left behind to mourn his death, yet also to celebrate his life, is his wife Maureen who is grateful to have helped weave the colourful tapestry that was their life together.

A service celebrating Bill’s life will be held in the Chapel of the James Reid Funeral Home, 1900 John Counter Blvd., on Saturday, November 7th at 2:00 pm (RSVP's are required for attendance of the service as spaces are limited.  RSVP’s may be made by contacting the funeral home at 613-544-3411 from 8am-1pm daily.  COVID protocols will be in effect with masks, social distancing, and contact tracing measures. The service will be live streamed for those unable to attend in person due to COVID. Please click this link to register for live streaming.  Live Stream Link.  For those who wish, donations in Bill’s memory may be made to Soldier On and would be gratefully appreciated by the family.


Celebration of Bill's Life

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Saturday, November 7, 2020
James Reid Funeral Home
1900 John Counter Blvd
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Funeral Capacity has been reached please call the funeral home to be added to the wait list. All are welcome to watch the live stream of the service
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