April 17, 1951 – July 14, 2019
Charles Leitrants April 17 1951 ~ July 14 2019
It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of Charles Leitrants on Sunday July 14. He passed away quickly while working in the garden with his adored wife Margaret. Loved and respected by all who knew him this lovely gentle man brought innovation, humour and often unique perspective to every part of his life. He attended Lakehead University majoring in history and later became a master carpenter and there are many examples of his craft gracing Thunder Bay homes to this day. As a young man he joined Kam Lab Theatre an experimental theatre troupe as an actor, performing at local theatre houses and touring throughout Ontario. He happened to arrive in Vancouver in time to join the then nascent film business and continued to work in it his entire life. Charles took great pride and loved his work whether coordinating the scenic carpenter and paint crews or working as an art director. His professionalism, competence and intelligence ensured outstanding success in this his chosen field. Charles was a man of intellect and curiosity always ready with a book recommendation and an erudite analysis of it. Of his death “It is as if an entire library burned down.” Travel, art, fine food and exploring life to the maximum, always engaged, caring and interested. Charles felt fortunate in love, in friendship, in family and work. All who had the privilege of having this man in their lives profoundly feels his absence. Charles is survived by the love of his life Margaret and a loving devoted host of cherished cousins on both sides of the country as well as his half sister Lilita Rugina of Riga Latvia. In Thunder Bay he leaves Ieva Vilcins Maija Vilcins Erika North, Lisa and Ansis Rozenbergs, Colin Leitrants (Stephanie Niemi) Cameron Leitrants (Claire Farrow) And in Vancouver Anton North (Heather McAlpine), Anna North (Jeff Cuffe) His beloved mother Olga Leitrants predeceased Charles. The family would like to thank the Bowen Island paramedics for their rapid response and thoughtful care Take someone you love to a sunny meadow or the beach and have a picnic and make a toast to one of the best. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
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With love from Fred Berenbaum and Patricia Chartier, Toronto
October 1, 2019
An honest man here lies at rest,
As e’er God with his image blest;
The friend of man, the friend of truth,
The friend of age and guide of youth:
Few hearts like his — with virtue warm’d,
Few heads with knowledge so informed
If there’s another world, he lives in bliss;
If there is none, he made the best of this.
“Epitaph On My Own Friend” by Robert Frost
Dawn Lo Celso
August 14, 2019
Margaret, though we shared just a few personal visits over the years, our continued Christmas letters were such a joy to send and receive, always a personal note from both you and Charles. My friendship with you has always been so appreciated. On hearing that Charles has left this life saddened me deeply. My heart aches for your loss, and I can only send you my love. Good friends can offer support in many ways, and finding any comfort or solace will help you heal in this new journey. I think of you often and know that whatever choices you make during this terribly difficult time will take you where you want and need to be.
With much Love, Dawn
Della Mae Johnston
August 1, 2019
It was such a privilege to have worked with Charles and to have known him and Margaret. Two people who made the world a brighter and better place. Thanks to you both.
Ken (KJ) Johnson
July 28, 2019
It is a very sad,sad day Charles, and far too soon for someone as kind and talented as yourself to leave this life that we shared off and on for 40 years. Believe me when I say that the pleasure was all mine, You will be missed by us all and our memories will be of your smiling face- Many happy returns buddy.
Richard (Dick) Fahlman
July 28, 2019
I was shocked and saddened to hear of our loss. Knowing Charles from the mid 70s and having worked with and for him many times, I actually had fondness, even when, as not infrequently happened, we disagreed, usually in our appraisals of books or films. I greatly appreciated his whimsy, generosity, and kindness. I had not seen him since my retirement 8 years ago and remembered him as healthy and vibrant, so the suddenness came as a terrible surprise.
July 26, 2019
I met Charles during the "lean" years of film production in British Columbia, when productions were fewer and farther between.
Between-pictures one year, Charles transformed the recreation room in our North Vancouver home into a cedar-lined, well crafted oasis. During that period of time, me and my wife, Janet (of Finnish decent), got to know him as a kind, considerate, and highly talented carpenter and friend.
Sincere condolences to Margaret and family
George and Janet Chapman
July 26, 2019
I met Margaret when we were 17 and a few years later, in Thunder Bay, she introduced me to Charles. It was a time of light and freedom, when time, love, and adventure were unfettered. I have a beautifully clear snapshot that I carry in my thoughts of Charles and I talking on the street...sun glistening in his blond, breeze-swept hair, eyes dancing with excitement for an untapped life stretching before him. I am thankful to have known him. I am heartbroken that he has left us. I am graced with the sure knowledge that he has been a tender and wonderful partner to my beautiful friend Mz M.
Into the light of another day.
July 26th, 2019
July 25, 2019
I met Charles inadvertently, at a social gathering held by a mutual friend on Bowen Island. We sat beside each other that evening, and didn't just chat, but actually talked about issues of importance to all of us at the table.
His wry, understated wit, combined with a genuine intellectual curiosity, set him apart. I was so pleased to have met him, thinking how infrequently it happens at our age that we meet someone who could become a good friend.
So it was such a shock to find out (from the mutual friend), that he had suddenly died the day following. He had been vibrant and engaged the night before. I could not help wondering if he had been overwrought, but that certainly did not seem the case.
It may be trite to reflect on the transience of our short uncertain lives, but it was something he alluded to that evening last weekend. He had encouraged me to read Uninhabitable Planet (Wallace-Wells), which I am now doing, and Sapiens (Harari), which I have on hold. Both are quite dark views of humanity and its prospects. He had commented that to him, even if the future might be grim, the present had always been full of light- his work, small pleasures, his friends, his very cerebral and delightful wife Margaret.
I had asked whether they had children and he said no; I did not probe any farther, but he then said perhaps it was a blessing- to be responsible for one's selves, but not those following.
It has been said that responsibility extends to everything that one encounters, yet I think there is another branch to that thought. We never know what impact we may have on those around us, but knowing him, even for such a short time, has caused me to really think about some of the things we talked about- how to live a life that is rewarding, contributes to 'society' (in his case through film), yet is not discordant with core personal values.
It is a juggling act, for sure, but he definitely worked hard, and successfully, to keep those balls in the air.
July 24, 2019
We knew Charles for 45 years. Throughout his life he honoured the lessons from his youth. "Be prepared and do the hard work. Build worthwhile things well. Make them beautiful." Charles had an exquisite intellect, great imagination and determined resourcefullness. His views on life were informed, often humourous and indelibly accurate. Margaret and Charles spent their life journey together in an inspired exploration. They were nourished from the same well. Like so many others we are deeply grateful for the many gifts they shared. Charles, your hard work is done, the tools are laid to rest, the things you built and left us are here, intact, secure and timeless. Thank you.
Jeff and Grace Arnold