It is with great sadness that Joe’s family share the news of his passing on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 in his 89th year. Beloved husband of Mary Catherine Leatham, nee Chalmers for more than 62 years. Loving father of Jean Rudland and her husband Thomas of Cambridge and David Leatham and his wife Christine of Waterdown. Devoted and proud Papa of Allison and her husband William, Matthew, Tyler and Jordan.
Survived by his sisters Maureen Carroll and Audrey Sobczuk as well as his brother Don and his wife Florence. Dear brother-in-law of Lois and Bala Balakrishnan, Eleanor Leatham, Sherrin and Joe Detzler, Jean and Ken Keith, and Dave Chalmers. Predeceased by his parents Joseph and Clara (Askin) and his brothers Fred, Jim, John, Bob and Harry.
Joe will be fondly remembered and cherished for his loyalty, patience and quick wit by his many nieces and nephews, as well as his wide circle of lifelong friends and colleagues.
Joe was a graduate of Western University (BA) and University of Toronto (Master of Education). He taught for many years and was a Principal with the Middlesex County Board of Education at Prince Andrew, Oxbow and Caradoc Central Public Schools. Upon retirement, Joe continued to enjoy his connection with students while driving a school bus for Murphy Bus Lines.
Joe was a long-time Elder and past Clerk of Session at Oakridge Presbyterian Church where he was also a member of the chancel choir for over 60 years. Music has always been a big part of his life, singing with his brothers and in several quartets. He was also active with the Kiwanis Club of Middlesex and a faithful volunteer with Canadian Blood Services. Joe was very passionate about sports and enjoyed playing hockey, golf, bowling, and curling at the Ilderton Curling Club. He especially treasured his time with family, friends, and of course the birds, at the cottage in Harcourt Park.
A private family service will be held at Harris Funeral Home in London. Cremation has taken place and interment will be at Greenwood Cemetery in Milverton. A memorial service will be planned at a later date.
The family would like to thank Dr. Greg Gillis and the staff at Mount Hope for their care and compassion. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to Oakridge Presbyterian Church, the Kiwanis Club of Middlesex or Mission Services of London would be appreciated.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. --- 2 Timothy 4:7
May 15, 2020, 12:37 pm
I am so very sorry to Mary and family for the loss of such a true gentleman.My thoughts are with you at such a difficult time.Rest in peace Joe.
Bill and Sue Chalmers
May 15, 2020, 3:43 pm
To Mary Catherine and Family,
Please accept our sincere condolences on hearing Joe had passed. He truly had a full life. Our thoughts are with you at this time.
Jon and Beata
May 15, 2020, 3:53 pm
Jean, Tom, and Family. We are deeply sorry to hear about your loss of Joe. Our thoughts and prayers are with you through this difficult time. Sending our love.Jon and Beata
Kees and Hillie Cnossen
May 15, 2020, 4:11 pm
Dear Mary and family,
Sending our deepest sympathy to you all. We have not known Joe that long but we have many long-lasting memories of this dear friend. Keeping you in our prayers through this difficult time.
Blessings,Kees and Hillie
May 15, 2020, 4:48 pm
I remember Joe so well as one of the best principals I ever had. I taught with him at Prince Andrew PS. He was always kind and patient, with a great sense of humour. My sympathies to Mary and the family.
Paula and Scott Gregory
May 16, 2020, 9:34 am
Mary and family: Please know that you are in our thoughts at this difficult time. It was my pleasure to work with Joe, at Prince Andrew School, as I began my career as an educator. Joe led by example, sharing his love of teaching, while leading all of us to work cooperatively as a school community. Joe’s gentle, understanding smile was heartwarming. The staff parties that you and Joe hosted always fun and very welcoming. May your memories, as a family, bring you great comfort. Sincerely, Paula ( Barrett) and Scott Gregory
May 16, 2020, 2:38 pm
Mary, Jean, Tom, Dave, Christine and families, I would like to express my sincere condolences on the passing of Joe. Joe was such a kind and sweet man. I will always remember his wonderful smile! May you find peace in the memories and fun times you shared.
May 16, 2020, 3:21 pm
Dear Mary and family,
My sincere condolences to all. Joe was such a gentleman, fine sportsman, faithful and devoted to all his passions. Mary, I have fond memories as if they were just yesterday, of curling at Ilderton with you.
May your precious memories of a loving life with Joe bring smiles to you all as you enter this new path in your life’s journey.
Clive and Cindy Waugh and family
May 16, 2020, 4:28 pm
Mary and family,
We remember Joe fondly when we think of our time at Oakridge. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.
With much love in Christ,
Clive, Cindy, Aaron, Jamie and Rebecca
James G Blair
May 17, 2020, 8:36 am
Please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of Joe. He was a pleasure to be with ever since we came to London - initially at OPC and then Ilderton Curling Club.
He was soft-spoken but always interesting and fair-minded.
Sandra and Peter Kleinstiver
May 17, 2020, 8:04 pm
Our sincere sympathy to Mary and family. We enjoyed so many fun evenings at Ilderton Curling Club. Joe had such a wonderful sense of humour. Thinking of you.
May 19, 2020, 9:28 am
My deepest condolences to you and your family on the passing of your dear dad. What an amazing man with so many talents and a life full of blessings that he shared with many. I love that he drove the school bus in his retirement, what a kind-hearted and genuine person. May you find peace in the wonderful memories you hold.
May 19, 2020, 10:06 am
Jean and Family,
Please accept my heartfelt condolences for the loss of your dear father (grandfather).
My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Take good care,
May 19, 2020, 12:46 pm
Dear Jean & family,
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Your Dad Joe was obviously a wonderful man and will be greatly missed. I see the same kindness in his eyes that you have in yours. May his memory and legacy live on through you.
Thinking of you.
May 21, 2020, 8:33 pm
Sincere sympathy from Gwen King and family.
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