Eleanor Woods (nee Leitch) born in Kamloops BC, April 18 1923, passed away peacefully in her home of 46 years October 11, 2010.
Eleanor is survived by her husband of 49 years Bob, daughters, Kerry and Bess; sons, Alex (Jane), Percy (Sharon); grandchildren Justin, Brock (Kira), Brandon (Danielle), Clancy (Jessica), Madeline, Kate, Hamish, Odin, Corbin; and great-grandchildren Monica, Kirsten, Logan, Tristen, Olivia, Eva, Kaydin and Kaleb.
Eleanor was the 9th of 11 children of Bess and John Leitch. By the time Eleanor was born that big wonderful family had settled in Powers Addition on the outskirts of Kamloops. Many great times were spent in the Leitch house with sing songs and talent shows. With a family of that size there were always performers and a supportive audience on hand. Eleanor was the yodelling specialist a talent she kept all of her life. At every family wedding for decades thereafter, Eleanor could be counted on to yodel “In the Beautiful Yoho Valley.”
When WW II broke out several of Eleanor’s siblings signed up so she did too, joining the RCAF as a stenographer. Eleanor was stationed in several stations across Canada and made lifelong friends in the process.
After the war the Leitch family moved to Vancouver. A highlight of this period of Eleanor’s life was an extended hitch hiking trip throughout BC, with her younger sister Trude. Many a memory would be recounted from this adventure including being treated to fresh Salmon caught from the Bulkley River and the untouched wilderness of Babine Lake circa 1950. Eleanor loved the music of this era and had an uncanny ability to trigger lyrics of a popular song from almost any phrase a person could say. If someone knocked on the door invariably you’d hear “Open the door Richard, open the door and let me in…” a tune from the early 1950’s, Eleanor had a million of them.
In 1957 Eleanor had a daughter Kerry and for the next 4 years she supported her child as a single mom. In 1961 she married Bob (R.C. Woods) and moved to the Shuswap. Over the next five years Eleanor and Bob’s family grew with daughter Bess and sons Alex and Percy. Eleanor loved to swim and their family home offered not only a great view of Shuswap Lake but also pretty close access. Eleanor was known for her swimming, particularly for how late into the fall she would keep swimming, even as late as November some years.
Throughout Eleanor’s life both her immediate and her large extended family were a central focus. Aunty Nog became a chief historian for the Leitch clan passing on photos and family history to any of her many nieces and nephews.
Eleanor and Bob shared the same little house outside of Canoe for 46+ years. Each morning for all of those years she would get up early start the fire in their wood cook stove and have a cup of coffee and breakfast ready for whoever was in the house. In later years she and Bob’s ability to stay in that home was made possible by their dear daughter Bess. Eleanor always made her gratitude very clear to Bess.
Eleanor’s great sense of humour and devotion to family are deeply missed.
A celebration of Eleanor’s life will take place Saturday October 23rd at 1:00 pm at Mara Community Church, Riverside Road, Mara, BC with a reception to follow in Mara Hall.
Online condolences can be sent through Eleanor’s obituary at www.bowersfuneralservice.com