Crossing the bar: Claude Leduc

This post is a small and personal tribute to my father, Claude Leduc, who passed away in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, on Sunday, April 03, 2022. He was a most loving and supportive father; always eager, engaged, and interested in hearing all my sea stories, career developments and gripes. A constant grounding force and voice of compassion and reason, he was a champion of my causes.

Thank you dad, I miss you.

Claude Leduc, circa 1955

Claude Guy Joseph Leduc
Born May 15, 1935, Valleyfield, QC, died April 03, 2022, Nanaimo, BC (86 Years Old)

Our father, Claude, left the confines of his terrestrial vessel on a tumultuous spring day in April, 2022, just shy of his 87th years on this earth. With a rainbow in the sky, his soul ascended to the heavens, to takes its rightful place amongst the stars.

Claude was the only child of Yvette and Gaspard Leduc, popular owners of various entertainment enterprises in their hometown of Valleyfield, Quebec. Claude attended the nearby Royal Military College, where he was a decorated boxer. A Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Air force, he trained as a pilot near the end of the Second World War.

While living in Montreal he would meet his spouse, Louise, where they married in 1963. A Civil Engineering graduate of l’École Polytechnique de Montreal, he would go on to work for Nuclear Chicago, in the early days of medical imaging, among other projects.

He built the home for their young family, in the new Montreal suburb of Ste Therese. Claude and Louise would go on to have six children there; Catherine, Francois, Genevieve, Anne, Isabelle, and Martin.

Claude and Louise Leduc, 2001

He loved traveling and would frequently be on the road, for work and pleasure. Long road trips percolated our family life, experiencing the amazing sights and culture across the United States and Canada. His arrival home from frequent business trips would be a family celebration, discovering what treasures he brought from mysterious lands.

Claude Leduc, circa 1985

We have fond memories of him leading our tight knit family unit in so many activities; Isabelle and Anne in the back seat of one of the station wagons he had, Francois Genevieve and Catherine in the middle seat, Martin on mom’s lap, next to dad. One of these outings was on Saturday nights, to attend the philharmonic symphony. Among many others, going to Oka for cheese or Lac Louise, where they had bought a small piece of property, etc, all are treasured and special memories.

Frequent family walks in the beautiful fall colours of Quebec are part of some of the vivid tapestry of our family life. Sunday mornings were filled with church activities, followed by dad making his speciality crepes, and the very special rare occasion of going to McDonalds.

He was physically strong all his life. It was cause for celebration when the kids finally were able to drag him to the ground, in the back yard at 60 rue Cadieux. With six of us on him, the youngest seven years old, he finally took a knee. All the children would be heavily involved in competitive swimming and diving, with his tireless volunteering at the CAMO swim club in Montreal. He was a firm believer in health, always exercising, placing a high emphasis on a balanced diet – although he did have quite a sweet tooth.

Semi-retired, the family moved to Vancouver Island in 1981, settling in Nanaimo, at first, then spending ten years in Victoria. Claude and Louise would fully retire in 1994, moving to South Nanaimo, surrounded by family, various creatures and all sort of natural beauty.

He was a loyal friend to many, an ardent supporter of the French language and of the Roman Catholic Latin mass, and the traditions they stood for. He was a close friend of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, being instrumental in the establishment of the Society of St Pius X, particularly in Quebec, and its work around the world. Claude and Louise were strong, and early supporter of St Mary’s Academy in Kansas, sending five of the children there, shortly after its opening. He would continue to champion the Society of St Pius X and the traditional mass on Vancouver Island, volunteering his time in establishing a small church in Nanaimo, Our Lady of Good Counsel.

Claude loved history, technology, culture and the arts. He had a tremendous ability to document historical events, and their relations to each other. He always had a pile of various newspapers nearby, with scissors in hand, cutting news article out, to form a broader narrative that would rival the latest Google algorithm.

Claude Leduc, circa 2021

Predeceased by his parents, he leaves behind his spouse and partner of 59 years, six children, and 15 grandchildren. He was a selfless, loving, considerate father, passionate about and dedicated to his children; he encouraged strong ethics and self discipline, yet compassion and critical thought.

He was a great cheerleader for all his children’s endeavours, enthusiastically celebrating and supporting our successes and lending a comforting hear when things weren’t so smooth. His riches are not measurable in today’s terms, he died without enemies and no debts. He leaves a long legacy, even if most don’t know it. The sum of his life embodied the values he held to heart; kindness, strength, thought, loyalty, authenticity, work, duty, humility, sacrifice, equilibrium with nature, etc; he is a model father.

I love you Papa. I’m so proud of you. You do leave a tremendous hole in our hearts and a powerful example of what a principled family man is.

He took his last breath at 08:48 hrs, on Sunday, April 03, 2022, at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. With family by his side, he passed quietly and peacefully, after a yearlong, steady decline in health, brought on by stroke(s). We thank the hospital staff for their thoughtful and respectful care of our father.
He will be buried near his home, in Nanaimo, at the Cedar Valley Memorial Gardens on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at 1 pm.

Crossing the Bar
By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

Claude Leduc, circa 1980

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