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.
Condolences to Joyce and family. Good memories of serving with Rod and his calm, reasonable demeanor. May he rest in peace...
I had the privilege to serve in some African countries with Rod. He was a true gentlemen and a genuine infantry Officer. Accept my most sincere condolences.
Gary Spencer Rowe
I google searched for Rods name just by chance TODAY ...wow ...He was a true diplomat and he helped to mould many Jamaican military officers like myself, into statesmen. Condolences to Ms Joyce and family. Rest now Sir Rod you fought a good fight and your legacy lives on across the world.
Rod was my Company Commander in J Coy, 2RCR in 1985 - 86. He was a great mentor and a kind, caring individual who took great pride in looking after his men. Sincere condolences to all his family and friends.
Sincere condolences to the Mackay family. Rod and I started our careers together at the School of Infantry at Camp Borden in 1969. I remember him a warm and compassionate man who was true to his being. RIP Rod.
Rest In Peace brother