Leo Joseph Donovan

Born: Tue., Sep. 16, 1924
Died: Fri., Mar. 6, 2020

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Leo Joseph Donovan

Leo Joseph Donovan died in Buchanan Memorial Hospital, Neil’s Harbour on Friday, March 6, 2020, after a brief illness, with his loving family in attendance.
Born in Ingonish Centre on September 16, 1924, Leo was the son of the late Florence Doyle and Thomas James Donovan. The last surviving member of his immediate family, Leo had nine siblings, including step-siblings. Leo’s mother Florence died in February, 1930 when he was only six years old. Between February and September, Leo’s grandmother arrived to help out around the house, but come September, Duncan, his step-brother, and his wife Frances moved from Sydney to help raise the children.  Like so many children of his era, Leo left school with a grade-six education but he eventually became a voracious reader, especially of pulp novels and mechanical magazines.
                 When he was 16, Leo walked to Sydney with Paddy Cook and got a job at the Point Edward Naval Base in Westmount. After he received his draft notice in August 1943, Leo enlisted in the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, Mechanical Division. He was sent overseas in May 1944 and he landed at Juno Beach in France as part of the Normandy Invasion in June 1944. Leo saw action throughout the war in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. After surviving the brutalities of war, he developed an independent spirit and character. He accepted life's challenges head on and he refused to be intimidated by anyone or circumstance.
               After the war, Leo returned to Ingonish. In 1946 he met beautiful Sarah Ann MacLellan, a native of Sydney Mines, who had come to Ingonish to work in the fish plant. After a two-year courtship, they married in 1948 and they went on to have 11 children. Leo had started to work for the Nova Scotia Power Commission in 1945 as a diesel operator in their Ingonish generating station.  When the generating station closed in 1964, Leo started to work as a lineman, travelling throughout Cape Breton. He usually hitchhiked home on the weekends to be with his family. After a few years, Leo was posted to Ingonish, retiring in 1989 after 44 years of working for the power company.
Leo was a kind, empathetic and generous man who was well liked throughout the community. He was proud of his Irish heritage and spoke with an Irish lilt, reminiscent of the old country. He loved children and was kind to neighbours, especially the elderly. He wired electricity to more than 50 homes in Ingonish for little or no money. He was a devout Roman Catholic and he was active in the church, the community and the Royal Canadian Legion. Remembrance Day was always a special day in our house and Dad's death marks the end of an era, since he was the last living World War Two veteran North of Smokey. Special thanks to Paul, Lisa, Leo Gene and Meals on Wheels. Paul was Dad's dedicated, primary caregiver; Lisa provided home-cooked meals and Leo Gene looked after Dad's personal needs.
Leo was the beloved husband of the late Sarah Ann and father of eleven children, eighteen grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Leo's children include: Ken (Barbara), Ingonish; Lila (Jeff), Moncton; Stewart (Wanda) Fredericton; Glenn (Sarah) Woodstock, On; Paul (Maureen) Ingonish Beach; John (Dana) Ottawa; Alvin (Olivia). Hampton, NB; Lisa (Francis) New Haven; Leo Gene (Janice), Ingonish Beach. Leo was predeceased by two infant daughters, Anne and Euphemia Irene, as well as his grandson, Jackson Phee-Donovan.
The eighteen grandchildren include: Susanne, Brad, Alison, Kieran, Hugh, Amanda, Paige, Sarah, Emma, Kate, Erin, Alex, Christopher, Patrick, Erica, Caitlyn, Nicholas and Connor. The eight great grandchildren are John, Silvia, Maria, Kian, Leo, Hudson, Maxim and Thomas. There will be a memorial service for Leo in August 2020. Words of comfort may be forwarded to his family at www.jmjobesfuneralhome.com

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Condolence Booklet

James Leadbeater
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
On behalf of the members of the Royal Canadian Legion, District A, we extend our sincerest condolences to his family and friends. We will remember them.
Comrade James Leadbeater
Deputy District Commander
District A, Nova Scotia/Nunavut command.

Brent Rudderham
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
My thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time.

Jean Eyking and Fred Williams
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
Our sincere condolences to you Ken, and your family.

Andy and Shirley MacNeil
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
We are so sorry for the loss of your Dad. Our deepest condolences to your family. He was such a kind man and gave us so much help over the years. He was a great summer neighbour. He will be missed.

Innis and Helen Budge
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
Our sincere condolence to all of Leo’s family.

Hughie Buchanan
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020

Sorry to hear about Leo’s passing my condolence to his family

Marie MacDonald
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
My Sincere Condolence to ALL Leo's Family,My thoughts & Prayers are with You All at this sad time. Leo will be missed for sure by anyone who had the privilege to know Him.

Lester/Maureen Capstick
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
To Leo’s family, we would like to offer our deepest sympathy.
Lester and Maureen Capstick

Alice Whitty
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
I'm so sorry to hear of your Dads passing.. Prayers and thoughts are with you all at this difficult time. God bless.

Lucy Williams Robbins
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
So Sorry to hear of your dad,s passing,I use to babysit for him and your mom,I think at that time there were only 3 children as I moved away at 15 ,Condolences to all the family

Shaun & Bev Shea
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
Dear Ken, Barb and family. Please accept our sincere condolences on your dad's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Shaun & Bev Shea

joe powers
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
iam so sorry for your loss,i new leo well as did everyone in ingonish and afar ,had a lot of chats with leo great man in my books ,rip my friend

Bruce and Marilyn Driscoll
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
To Stewart, Ken, and all the Donovan family, our deepest sympathies on your Father's passing. Although we didn't know Mr. Donovan, we offer our thanks for his service to our country, something that each of our fathers did as well. As descendants of these brave and selfless individuals, we all live better lives.

Lynn Leblanc
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
We the family of the late Alvin LeBlanc would like to send our condolences to all the family. Da and our Mom Anna used to take us to visit you guys. I have pictures of us in the yard with Alvin and Lisa.

Mary Kehoe
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
Sincere sympathy on the loss of your father, Ken. May he Rest In Peace.

Karen Rafuse
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
Leo was such a kind and generous man who always made me feel welcome every time I visited Lisa at the family home. He had a great sense of humour and was always up for a good laugh. He and Ann raised a wonderful family, some of the nicest people I know. Sending you all my deepest sympathy at this most difficult time, may you find comfort in the fond memories that you have.

Cathy Pinto
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
I’m so sorry to learn of Leo passing. I remember him as a very kind man with a big laugh. Thinking of you all at this difficult time.
Kindest regards
Cathy Pinto (Dauphinee)

Jennifer and Steve Piggott
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
Lila and Jeff and family,
So sorry for your loss of your father. Just letting you know we are thinking of you at this difficult time. Take care
Jennifer and Steve

Rod Donovan
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
Our condolences to the Donovan family ,God Bless ...

Gregg Capstick
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
Condolences to Leo Gene and all the Donovan family.

Lois and Doug Foster
   Posted Tue March 10, 2020
To all the family we extend our sincere condolences.

Pat Manley (Dauphinee)
   Posted Wed March 11, 2020
Thinking of you ,Lila,at such a very sad time.I have many happy memories from years ago.My sincere condolences to you and to all of your family.

Sharon and Larry maloney
   Posted Wed March 11, 2020
Paul and family so sorry to hear of your fathers passing.

Mark LeBlanc
   Posted Thu March 12, 2020
Sympathies to family and friends 🙏

George and Janet Robinson
   Posted Thu March 12, 2020
Rest in Peace Leo... you leave a wonderful legacy of a life well lived and the raising of such a loving, caring and smart family. God Bless you all.
George and Janet Robinson

Randy Lucas
   Posted Thu March 12, 2020
Sorry to hear of your loss! Dad must have been a great person to have raised such great children! Rest in peace! Lest We Forget!

Mary Sue Mackinnon
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
Our sincere condolences. May each happy memory remain a joy in your hearts forever. Mary Sue & Gladstone

Tim and Lori Doyle & family
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
Sincere condolences being sent to all of the family.

Denise Leonard
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
He was a wonderful man and beloved grandfather to Hugh. Denise.

Paulette & Robin Tedford
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
Dear Ken, Barb and all the family our sincere condolences on the loss of your father. Leo was a sweet caring man. My grandmother,his aunt Belle loved when he came to visit her. Our prayers go out to you at this time.
Paulette & Robin

Clary Peters
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
Deepest condolence cousins on your Dad's passing.

Carol Ann MacNeil Rolls
   Posted Thu April 02, 2020
Ken, Barb, Susanne, Brad and families - So sorry to hear of Leo's passing. Sending you love. CA

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