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Philip Leblanc

Philip Leblanc

LEBLANC, PHILIP — October 22 1926 – April 10 2014 - Born Lorenzo Phillipe LeBlanc, the 4th of 10 children in Moncton NB Phil grew up in an Acadian family, and answered to the name of Bunzo. He spoke only French until age 12 when the family moved to St John because of his father’s work with CN Rail. He was placed in an all -English school, and quickly became bilingual. Although the family later moved back to Moncton, Phil was to continue on in an Anglophone world. At heart though, Phil would always be a proud Acadian and Maritimer.
We heard many stories of his childhood. Some were of walking to school through the snow (uphill both ways), but others were of his mom making pie everyday for his Pop, or getting into trouble with his brothers. Despite having limited money, these were clearly happy years. Somewhat serendipitously, Phil applied for and was accepted into medical school in Ottawa. He tells of Pop pinning some money to his jacket as he saw him off at the train station. He was the first of his family to go to university, and this remained a source of pride within the family throughout his life. Major medical questions would be taken to Uncle Bunzo before a final decision was made. It also led to his believing that education was essential for all his children. While at school in Ottawa, he met and married Clare Mahoney who was in Nursing at the same university. When he graduated (U of O Meds53), they moved to Vancouver to start an internship and a family. To help fund his medical school Phil had joined the air force, and for the next 7 years he moved around the country with the air force. His frequent moves meant that his 7 children were born in 6 different cities. On leaving the air force, he moved to Detroit to complete his surgical training, and once this was finished he came to Guelph, ON to start his surgical practice. These first years were busy as he set up a practice and brought some medical and surgical advances to Guelph. He was very proud of helping in the establishment of the first ICU in Guelph (along with Dr Carere), and starting up a vascular surgery program. He loved teaching nurses and paramedics, and passing on his love of surgery and medicine. In the late 1960s his marriage ended, and he moved to Windsor where he took up a teaching position in Detroit. He returned to Guelph 4 years later with his new wife, Diana Britton and their son Philippe, to resume his surgical practice in Guelph. The death of his son Danny in 1979 was a blow that he struggled to make sense of. The next 15 or 20 years were spent working, but also doing lots of travelling which he greatly enjoyed. He and Diana went to China, Russia, Kenya, the Galapagos Islands, as well as trips to Europe. He also went on several volunteer medical missions to the Dominican Republic and Guatemala. As part of a medical group from Guelph he went to Romania to bring equipment and training, and that was a great experience for him. He retired from surgical practice in 1990, but continued to assist at surgery for several years. He felt he had more to teach his daughter Barbara, who was also working as a general surgeon in Guelph. Diana’s health failed limiting her mobility, and after his retirement, their travelling slowed. There was still a chance to go to Greece with daughters Sue and Cathy, and to Israel with Jocelyn, as well as spend summers in his beloved Maritimes. The cottage in Pointe du Chene was the focus of many lobster dinners with family and friends. The family expanded to include 8 grandchildren. Phil was proud of their accomplishments in school and sports. He was always happy to see them in person or in pictures. When granddaughter Nikki moved to Australia he was introduced to Skype and found it quite amazing. In his last few years he struggled with Alzheimer’s, especially after Diana’s death in May 2013. Even as he became increasingly confused, his interest in vascular surgery was strong and he became a very inventive story teller. He is survived by his children: Michael of Vancouver, Jocelyn, Barbara and Philippe of Guelph, Susan (Owen Brock) and Cathy (John Trocchi) of London and grandchildren Becky, Emily, Jake, Zack (Brock) and Matt, Nikki, Christina, Ryan (Trocchi). As well, he has family throughout most of Canada, but especially New Brunswick.
Family and friends will be received at the Gilbert MacIntyre and Son Funeral Home, Hart Chapel, 1099 Gordon Street, Guelph where visitation will take place on Monday, April 14, 2014 from 2 to 4 & 7 to 9 pm. A family vigil will be held in our chapel Monday at 2pm. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Holy Rosary Church, 175 Emma Street, Guelph on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 10:30 am. Interment at Marymount Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please have a great meal with family and friends to share some memories and make some new ones. Perhaps do a little singing and eat some chocolate in his memory.

 
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