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Date of Passing: Jul 16, 2013

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INEZ ISABEL LEITCH (nee FINES) 1916 - 2013 Inez died peacefully and with the grace and dignity that characterized her long life on July 16, 2013 in Grace Hospital at the age of 96. She was predeceased in 2009 by Bill, her husband of 69 years and the love of her life. She is survived by daughter Janet (Norman), beloved sister Bernice, and very special niece Vicki (Doug) Peterson. Inez was born on September 4, 1916 in Gunton, Manitoba to parents Marie and Archie Fines. As part of a large and loving family, she spent her early years in Gunton as an active participant in community musical, sporting and theatrical events. Inez met her future husband Bill while he was working on his grandmother's Gunton area farm to earn money for his university studies. Romance blossomed and a long courtship through the difficult Depression years began. In 1938, Inez realized her dream and enrolled in nurses' training at Misericordia Hospital. She won a proficiency award in her first year and had just started her second year when the Second World War broke out. Facing the prospect that Bill might be posted overseas at any time, they decided to marry without delay. Given the customs of the times, Inez was forced to abandon her nursing career. It was a decision she never questioned. Inez and Bill were married November 27, 1939. Their devotion to each other grew stronger with each passing year and they remained romantic lovers and best friends for all their married life. Fortunately, Inez was able to spend most of the war years with Bill in the Maritimes where he was posted with the Eastern Air Command. After the war, she and Bill lived for a year in Toronto while Bill pursued postgraduate studies in wildlife management at the University of Toronto. After completion of Bill's studies, they returned to Winnipeg where they lived for the rest of their lives. Inez was the perfect helpmate for Bill in his career role as Chief Biologist for Ducks Unlimited. She endured long separations while he engaged in field work during the summer months with good nature and supportive understanding. Her skill in cooking wild game was unsurpassed. She was the consummate hostess and delighted in entertaining Bill's business associates and hunting friends. Above all, Inez's enthusiasm for Bill's profession and her support of his passion for hunting (which she did not share) never waned. Her pride in his many professional accomplishments knew no bounds and her encouragement was instrumental in all of his achievements. They were the perfect partners. Inez also shared a very close relationship with her daughter and only child, Janet. She was supportive and proud of her daughter's accomplishments and a wonderful role model. A particular delight was being able to accompany Janet on trips to Europe and China. Family and friends were very important to Inez and she brought her own special warmth and caring to all her interactions with them. She retained a unique ability to develop close relationships with individuals of all ages. Many of them lovingly thought of her as a second mother. Inez was admired for the elegance of her manners and appearance as well as her flawless complexion even in her 90s. She lived her life with grace and, in her final years, a firm determination to maintain her independence as long as possible. She was truly a great lady. Inez's family would like to thank the emergency staff at Grace Hospital for their thoughtfulness and compassion, the staff of the Wellington for their consideration and concern, and especially "Larry", Martina, and Jesusan for their tender care over the last months of her life. There will be no service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Osborne House Inc. Crisis Shelter, P.O. Box 397, Winnipeg, MB, R3C 2H6.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jul 20, 2013

Condolences & Memories (1 entries)

  • I always remember Mrs. Leitch as being a real "lady". I would love to reconnect with Janet to talk about old times. - Posted by: Joyce (Wilgosh) Gainor (next door neighbour when I was a child) on: Aug 26, 2013

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