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Donald Gardiner MacLeod

Donald Gardiner MacLeod

Passed in: Glace Bay
Passed on: June 22nd, 2015

With broken hearts, we announce the sudden passing of Donald Gardiner MacLeod, 76, a longtime resident of Forest Street, Glace Bay, on Monday, June 22, 2015, at the Halifax Infirmary following a brief illness.
Donnie’s birth parents were Marion (MacDonald) and Angus 'Gussie' MacLeod of Long Beach.
Tragically Marion passed away following the birth. Donnie was raised by his Ma and Da, Jean (Robertson) and John W. MacLeod of Donkin. A more loving home would have been impossible to find. A large family, with five boys and six girls, quickly accepted Donnie as their own; he was not only loved, but adored. He will always be known as ‘the baby’ by his doting sisters.
This exceptional family raised a boy who became a wonderful family man; a dear husband, father, brother and uncle. He was a good man, a true gentleman with a heart of gold. He was caring, supportive, generous and thoughtful. Donnie had an easy-going nature, who took life in stride and was always our noted optimist. Rarely without a smile, his dry sense of humour and quick wit brought a laugh to many. He was a born storyteller. Many great memories were made with family and friends over the years at the bungalow in Mira. He and Phyllis were a constant fixture summer after summer. Be it at their home or bungalow, everyone was warmly welcomed and made to feel part of the family.
Donnie’s career began at the Sydney and Louisbourg Railway as brakeman and conductor. He worked on the S&L for 12 years. He then worked as second class boiler 0perator at Seaboard Power Plant, Glace Bay for 12 years. Donnie paid service to his community early on. For 10 years he was a volunteer firefighter with the Donkin Fire Department and very active in union affairs and local politics. He also served on the Glace Bay School Board from 1978-80.
In the provincial by-election in 1980, Donnie was elected government member of the legislative assembly for Cape Breton East (Glace Bay). In the general election of 1981, he was re-elected with a larger majority. In the general election of 1984 he was once again re-elected with an even larger majority, despite the fact that both Devco and the nurses at the two local hospitals were on strike at the time.
Donnie was a diligent supporter of the town of Glace Bay and its people. He worked hard to better the area he served and he served us proudly. As a man and a politician, Donnie was well-liked and respected. It was always his nature to treat everyone equally well, regardless of their political, religious or social standing.
Among his many accomplishments, he especially took pride in his role bringing in Automatic Assumption for families of surviving coal miners, the construction of the Glace Bay General Hospital, the development of Renwick Brook and his role in the initial stages of a new High School for Glace Bay. Also included were the many infrastructure projects in Glace Bay and the countless individuals he helped along the way.
Donnie considered this time in the 1980s, when both he and Dave Dingwall, MP, sat on the government side of their respective houses, as being amongst one of the most beneficial times in Glace Bay’s history.
Although Donnie was a proud Cape Bretoner, he was an equally proud Nova Scotian and considered it a privilege to represent the province nationally and internationally on numerous occasions.
Although he enjoyed his time as a member of the legislative assembly, winning three elections in eight years, “Little Donnie” chose not to run in the 1988 election. Deciding to spend more time with his family, he returned to Nova Scotia Power working at the Point Aconi Power Generating Station. In 1993, he retired from Seaboard Power Plant, ending his 25-year career with N.S. Power. Over the years, he was a member of the local unions of the CBRT & GW, CAW and IBEW.
Donnie is survived by children, Brian and Donna; sisters, Helen MacLeod and Ruth Reid; sisters-in-law, Lois and Gladys MacLeod; sister-in-law Audrey (Jim) Blacklock; brothers-in-law, Tommy (Joan) and Allan (Grace) Attwood, and a large family of cousins, nieces and nephews.
Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his loving wife and best friend of 48 years, Phyllis 'Sister' Attwood in 2012, her parents, Christena 'Tena' (MacDonald) and Wilfred 'Dope', stepmother Hilda (Crompton) MacLeod, brothers, David, Johnny, Robbie, Neil and Alex, sisters, Annie Murrant, Elizabeth MacMillan, Isabel Clarke and Jean MacLeod, sister-in-law Ann Nicholson, nephews, Alex and Billy MacMillan and recently his beloved dog Sophie.
Visitation for Donnie will be held Monday, June 29, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at Patten Funeral Home, 71 Union St., Glace Bay. The funeral service will be held Tuesday, June 30 at 2 p.m. in Newsom United Church, Glace Bay, with Rev. Donald MacDonald officiating. Interment will take place in Greenwood Cemetery at a later date.
Donations in Donnie’s memory may be made to a charity of one’s choice.
There are no words to express how you will be missed, by so many.
Online condolences to www.pattenfuneral.com.



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