Passed away peacefully, with his wife and daughter by his side, at the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre, on 14 March 2023, following complications from Parkinson’s disease. Predeceased by his parents (William and Jean Mackay), his younger brother (Terrance Mackay), his mother and father in law (Wesley and Olive LeGrow), and sister in law (Maxine Howard).
Rod was born in Perth, UK, in 1948. He spent time in Scotland and Wales before emigrating to Canada as a teenager and settling in St John’s, Newfoundland. In 1968, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces as an Infantry Officer, beginning a very distinguished military career that spanned 40 years - 35 years with the regular force and 5 years with the reserve force. After retiring from the military, he continued to serve the Department of National Defence as a civilian for an additional 5 years.
While stationed in CFB Gagetown in 1970, he met Joyce (LeGrow), who became his wife a mere few months later. Their marriage would last for over half a century, through ups, downs, laughter, tears, and everything in between. Their only child, Brooke, was the apple of her father’s eye. In marrying Joyce, Rod joined the lively LeGrow family, gaining three sisters and a brother, all of whom thought the world of him.
Rod served all over the world in his military career, including in Cyprus, Somalia, the United States of America, the Caribbean, and various African countries. His passion for the military rubbed off on all those he came into contact with, particularly those with whom he worked as part of various training programs he commanded in Jamaica, Mali and elsewhere. He was awarded the United Nations Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP) medal twice, the Canadian Forces’ Decoration, the Somalia Medal and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. In 1991, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for services to FORSCOM HQ in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
There was never a more kind, loving, gracious gentleman than Rod. He was a shining example of integrity, honour, and selflessness. He will be forever missed by his wife, Joyce, and his daughter, Brooke, as well as his son in law, Thomas Carr, and his wider family: brothers and sisters in law, Lloyd and Margy Legrow, Beverly and Wolfgang Wolf, and Catherine and Darald Haley, as well as nieces and nephews, Kira, Scott and Steven Howard, Ezekiel and Zachary Legrow, and Alexander and Olivia Haley.
Rod also leaves behind to mourn his passing a large circle of friends and extended family across Canada, the UK and even farther afield.
Friends and family are invited to visit the Beechwood National Memorial Centre, 280 Beechwood Avenue, on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 12noon, followed by a Funeral Service at 1:00PM.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Parkinson’s Society of Canada.
Sally & Bill Carr
I had the honour of serving with Rod in Jamaica. He truly was a gentleman and earned my respect. My sincere condolences to Joyce and Brooke. He spoke lovingly of them at almost every meeting.
My sincere condolences to Joyce, Brooke and extended family. My heart breaks for you. May your love keep you strong. God bless xx.
Maurice and Ann Smith
Our most sincere condolences go out to you Joyce and of course to you Brooke on the loss of such a faithful and loving husband and father. His love for both of you and his extended family was always uppermost in his thoughts as was his concern for your welfare. He truly was an Officer and a Gentleman.
I am most saddened for losing a good friend and a man who epitomized what it is to be an officer and a gentleman. Rod was a brother Regimental officer and a man for whom I had the utmost respect as did all who were fortunate enough to serve with him. My thoughts and prayers are with Joyce and Brooke who have lost a most loving and dedicated husband and father. May Rod rest in peace until the final call.
I served alongside Rod in our early years as young officers, and then off and on in later years. Rod was always a valued friend, an exemplary officer, and ever the true gentlemen. Tricia and I extend our sincere condolences to Joyce and Brooke.
Mark and Lin Fisher
He and Maurice Smith were the last of the regular commissioned officers to arrive at the Black Watch. a good friend and a talented officer Lin and I both offer our condolences to Joyce and Brook .
A true gentleman. May he rest in peace. My sincere condolences to friends and family. Pro Patria.
Ottawa Branch The Royal Canadian Regiment Association
Members of The RCR Association, Ottawa & District extend sincere condolences to Rod's family and loved ones for their sad loss. Many of our members served with Rod in 2 RCR and various staff capacities and testify to his exemplary military-professional demeanour. May he rest now in peace. Pro Patria.
Sincere condolences to you Joyce and family. Rod and I were commissioned together and I'll always remember him. RIP.
We are so sorry that we cannot be with you in person at this sad time but be assured that our thoughts and condolences, love and prayers will surround you, across the miles from Scotland.