On Sunday, October 22, 2017, our hearts were broken with the passing of a wonderful father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, Eddie O’Leary. Dad passed away peacefully at the An Cala palliative care unit of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, Sydney, surrounded by his loving family. Minutes before, he had told us he was going to be with his wife, Marie.
Eddie was predeceased by his wife of 53 years, Marie (MacDonald) O’Leary in 2011. Eddie was the youngest of eight children born to the late John and Sarah Jane (Davis) O’Leary of Whitney Pier on June 18, 1938.
Eddie is survived by his daughter and best friend, Kathleen Sarah; son-inlaw, Roy Edwards, and his two grandchildren that he loved and was so proud of, Bruce Douglas Edwards (Stephanie LeDuc), Michigan and Dena Marie Edwards (Michael Wadden), Sydney River. Dad was thrilled in May of 2017 to become a great-grandfather to Thomas Marc Edwards. Dad also attended the wedding of his granddaughter, Dena Marie, October 7, 2017. It was a great day. Eddie is survived also by sisters, Mary (Rod) O’Reilly and Betty (late Will) Pearce; brother, Bill (late Rita) O’Leary; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Eddie was predeceased by sister, Jenny, (Harvey) Morris; brothers, Danny, John Jr. (Kaye) and Cyril. Eddie was also predeceased by Marie’s parents, Ranald and Catherine (MacGillivary) Mac Donald and Marie’s brother, Daniel Joseph.
Dad lived in East Bay until December 2013 when he moved to Parkland Retirement Living. Eddie enjoyed the past four years at Parkland and made many friends and shared many stories and laughs.
Dad was a welder by trade and was a member of the IBEW. In his earlier years, Dad worked at Dominion Tar & Chemical and later at construction jobs throughout Cape Breton including Heavy Water Plants in Glace Bay and Port Hawkesbury. In 1974, Eddie opened East Bay Snow and Water Sports with his wife and business partner, Marie. For 20 years, they sold and serviced boats and snowmobiles at their business located ‘at the corner’.
Eddie loved to skate and enjoyed countless hours of playing baseball and hockey. Dad had a genuine love for animals for there was always a family dog. His last three dogs were Samoyeds, all named Nanook. As Bruce and Dena were growing up Eddie enjoyed many hours sitting in gyms, hockey rinks and sport fields cheering them on. He was their biggest fan. Unfortunately, like their grandfather, neither turned out to be “good losers”.
Dad had a true love for the water. Dad was an accomplished scuba diver and enjoyed scuba diving all over Cape Breton. He was an excellent swimmer and water skier. Dad and Benny Delorenzo spent many weekends waterskiing in Sydney Harbour and at the East Bay Sandbar jumping ramps and performing water skiing tricks. Eddie and Marie enjoyed many hours boating and fishing on the Bras d’Or lakes. His favorite place was his property at North Side East Bay where he and his family spent many summers. The more company that arrived, the happier he was. No one ever left “The O’Learys” hungry or thirsty. Eddie taught many people how to water ski over the years and would never give up on them, no matter how many attempts it would take to get up on the skis. He also enjoyed his mini golf course, where he had yearly tournaments, winning several under questionable circumstances.
In the winter months, Dad loved snowmobiling with Marie and travelled to snowmobile races all over the Maritimes with his Mercury snowmobiles. Dad enjoyed fishing all over Cape Breton, although his favorite spot was behind his home in East Bay which he dubbed “O’Leary’s Hole”.
Dad had a wit about him and countless expressions he was willing and not afraid to share. Dad loved to laugh and make others smile. He had the ability to have people in tears from laughing. Some of his stories may have even been true. Eddie was a very proud Irish man and had many Irish traits.
Family gives a special thank you to good friends, Terry Casey and Peter Gillis for their friendship to Eddie over the years. We would also like to thank the dialysis nurses for their years of compassionate care. We would also like to thank the emergency nurses and palliative care staff for their care and support to Eddie and his family.
Unlike the modern Dads, Dad was never one to say ' I love you' but his kindness, generosity and ability to spoil us through the years told us how much we meant to him. We love and miss you Dad. You are a huge part of our lives. You left us with plenty of 'Eddie Stories' that will live on.
Visitation for the late Edward Aloysius O’Leary will be held at the Pier Community Funeral Home, Whitney Pier, 1092 Victoria Rd. (entrance on Church Street) on Thursday, October 26, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. There will also be visitation from 12:45 – 1:45 p.m. at St. Mary’s Church, East Bay prior to the Funeral Mass on October 27, 2017. Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, October 27, 2017 at 2 p.m. in St. Mary’s Church, East Bay with Fr. Frank Abbass officiating. A private family burial will take place at a later date.
Donations in memory of Edward may be made to Hospice Palliative Care Society of Cape Breton County or SPCA.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care and direction of Pier Community Funeral Home.
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Kathy, so sorry to hear of you Dad's passing, prayers going your way, Dave, Adam and myself will keep you all in our thoughts–Sookie
From: Anna LeBlanc
So sorry to hear that your father passed away. I had many a conversation and laugh with him.Thoughts and prayers to all the family
From: Shirley Morris
Expressing my deepest condolences to Roy and family.
Dear Cathy and Roy, Arlene and I wish to express our deepest condolences on the loss of your Dad. He had a fantastic life and we hope you hold dear all your fantastic memories.
From: Gary and Arlene Peach
Deepest sympathy to the family on the passing of Eddie. Thoughts and prayers are with you all during the difficult days ahead. Jim Sheppard (Victoria Mines).
From: Jim Sheppard
We are so very sorry to hear such sad news. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time. Love from the Pykes Kelly (Delaney) & Philip
From: Kelly a Pyke
Kathy, so sorry to hear of your father's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
From: Marty, Ruth, Brian and Kate Delaney
Dear Kathy, Roy, Bruce and Dena, My heartfelt condolences to you all on the loss of your father and grandfather. The obituary was such a beautiful reflection of his life and your love for him. God bless, Phyllis Rudderham
From: Phyllis Rudderham