Wanda Ella MacLeod
Our wonderful mother, grandmother and great-grandmother passed away peacefully on June 14, 2022, after a remarkable life filled with love and family.
Wanda Ella MacLeod (nee Ditschun) was born March 27, 1929, in Widgeren, Lithuania to parents Lydia and Eduard Ditschun. She was the eldest of four children: brothers Edward and Albert, and sister Lydia (Lily) Lant.
Her family fled to Germany in 1942 during the Second World War as Russian forces invaded. She stayed there until 1949 when she immigrated to Canada. Wanda landed in Halifax Harbour and travelled by train to Edmonton. Many thanks to the Minchau family, the Schindler family and Mullback family for helping to sponsor her and settle her in Canada. Her family were able to join her in Edmonton in the years that followed.
Wanda met her husband of 37 years, Malcom Dyer MacLeod (Micky, as she called him), in her early years in Canada. Micky was a young man of 22 years of age exploring and working his way across Canada from Ontario. He worked as a temporary farmhand during harvest time for the Mullback family. It was love at first sight, but Micky soon had to return to Ontario. They carried on a long distance love affair by writing letters. Micky would tactfully write his, sending it off knowing some else might be helping her to read it. Her cousin, Doris Minchau, would translate these letters to Wanda and then Doris would write back to Micky for her.
This intervention went on for some time until Wanda became proficient in her English, and until Micky could permanently move to Alberta, settling down in Edmonton as a journeyman carpenter. They were married in 1952 and quickly built a home near Mill Creek Ravine where Wanda continued to live until her passing. Micky worked for many years with the Ford Construction Company and then went on to start his own construction company, MacLeod and Associates. Wanda found work at GWG as a seamstress. She also worked at Reynolds’s Garments, Hallmark, and in later years, La Flèche Tailors. Wanda also worked at Bonnie Doon Composite High School during the 1960s, where she became lifelong friends with teachers Fred Gainer and Howard Marcellus.
Wanda’s sense of adventure never left her. She was an avid traveller, exploring Canada and the world throughout her decades, and keeping up with family and friends in Germany and overseas. She loved her garden and a good game of cards, and barely a day could go by without her hosting family and friends for a meal. She enjoyed music, theatre and the news of the day, and there wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for the friends and neighbours she often cared for.
Wanda is survived by her treasured family who loved her deeply: her children Michael MacLeod and Helen Church; grandchildren Amanda Kurelski (Michal), Wesly MacLeod, Leslie Church (Sheamus Murphy), Scott Church (Noelle Sperling), Hailey MacLeod and Leanne Church (Ryan Gilfillan); great-grandchildren Devon and Gillian Kurelski, Xochi MacLeod, Adaira, Ethan and Meghan Murphy, and Arya Mitchell; brother Albert Ditschun; and her many nephews and nieces.
A special thank you to her family physician, Dr. Gary Samycia, and Dr. Stollery at the Royal Alex Thoracic Clinic for all their help, care and expertise over her final few years.
In keeping with her wishes, there will be no formal funeral service. We hold her in our hearts and remember with fondness her 90th birthday celebration a few short years ago.