McLEOD, Roderick James - On Monday, December 2, 2019 at Christie Gardens, at age 86.
Survived by his wife of 42 years, Susan, daughters Celeste and Cinders, son Christopher (Mikako), stepchildren Lauren (Jeff), Cindy, Tammie (Shawn), and Philip (Jenny), brother Norman (Joyce) and grandchildren Ceilidh, Diarmid, Anya and Olivia Komachi.
Predeceased by his sister Elsa M. Clarke and brother Ronald.
He was a lifelong resident of his beloved Toronto, an ardent humanist and Unitarian who supported many humanist organizations. And he was a proud McLeod.
He and Susan travelled regularly to Unitarian general assemblies and Clan MacLeod gatherings throughout North America.
Rod was also a talented graphic artist who loved cartooning, passing that talent on to his daughter Cinders. He followed the writings of Hitchens and Dawkins, devoured newspapers and enjoyed a good debate.
Miles Davis got it wrong when he said that the history of jazz could be summed up in four words. It was six: “Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Rod McLeod.”
Rod’s centre of life for seven decades was jazz, jazz, jazz. At 17, he ran away to New York to hear jazz at the clubs on 52nd Street, but being underage, could only listen at the door. He was fortunate enough to see most of the greats from Billie Holliday to Bird, and supported most of the locals as well, with Susan, his partner in jazz.
Rod once said, “It’s not what you do for a living that defines you, it’s your interests.” Roderick James McLeod, born from the purest of pioneer stock going back to Hugo Freer, who settled in New Paltz, New York in 1675 (doubtless in search of a jazz club), left this life aloft in jazz. In his heaven, angels play alto.
A special thanks to the caring staff at Christie Gardens, who attended to his every need to the very last: You are amazing.
A celebration of his life will take place on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at the First Unitarian Congregation, 175 St. Clair Avenue West at 2 PM.
Memorial donations may be made to Amnesty International Canada or Ken Page Memorial Trust.