William Matthew Leschasin
September 19, 1942 – October 2, 2021
With great sadness, we announce the peaceful passing of William (Bill) Matthew Leschasin, in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 2, 2021 surrounded by close family.
He is lovingly remembered by his wife of 56 years, Eileen; children, Michelle (Jason) and Cheryl (Ross); grandchildren, Dawson, Hailey & Kianna; brothers, Dan Leschasin, Rob Johnson and Al Thibodeau; sisters, Sharon Miller and Rose Fritz; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and other members of the Leschasin, Jackenchenski, Krauskopf and Thibodeau families, as well as brothers and sisters in law, nieces and nephews of the Downing family. Bill was pre-deceased by his beloved parents, Matt and Anne Leschasin, birth mother Laura Krauskopf, birth father Julien Thibodeau, sister Sherri Hollo and brothers Len Thibodeau and Bryan Thibodeau.
Bill was born in Nanaimo, BC and his family moved to farm along the shores of Manitou Lake, SK soon after. From the earliest years, Bill showed interest and aptitude in many areas, always looking for an opportunity to learn. Mechanics and wood construction came naturally to him and he enjoyed working with his father on home and community projects. Music was a big part of Bill’s early life, he would often play both accordion and guitar for family and friends. Radio, photography and film interested him after the family moved to Provost, AB in 1956. After graduating from Provost High School, Bill attended McTavish Business College in Edmonton and then DeVry Tech in Toronto, ON, studying electronics. A visit home during the summer of 1964 led Bill to find his greatest love, his wife Eileen Leschasin (Downing). Bill and Eileen married on August 21, 1965, moving back to Toronto, ON for Bill to complete his diploma in Electronics Engineering. He soon found employment as an electronics broadcasting technician at CKRD radio in Red Deer, AB. Later, Bill and Eileen moved to Fort McMurray where Bill worked on heavy equipment electronic systems. While there, Bill and Eileen welcomed their two daughters, Michelle Nadine in 1971 and Cheryl Ann in 1973. Always eager to learn something new, Bill’s eyes turned skyward and he began his training for his professional pilot license. Once he found his place in the sky, there was no turning back. Bill enjoyed an incredible career, flying 18,865 hours in 77 different types of aircraft to points across the globe including the High Arctic, Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and throughout north and central America. He was a mentor to others, as a flight instructor, a check pilot and as a professional, always willing to assist others in their career development. His flying career led the family to Yellowknife, NT, Reno, NV and finally back to M.D. Rockyview, spending the last few years of his career flying his favorite airplane, the Cessna Citation X before retiring in 2009.
In his younger years, Bill belonged to several bands as lead guitarist. The Velvetones in 1962, The Ched Excels in 1963, The Del Rios in 1964, The Mavericks throughout the seventies. Eileen often joined in on keyboards, vocals and tambourine. In retirement, Bill was ready to return to this favorite hobby, playing with other music lovers at community events and the Bowness Legion.
Bill always loved to putter on projects and somehow an old 1954 GMC truck made its way into the garage where he spent over three years restoring it from the ground up, became an active member of the Airdrie Time Travellers Car Club during the latter part of the restoration. In May 2016, the project was complete and he took his sweetheart, Eileen, for its first cruise to the A&W. He began attending car shows in Airdrie, Calgary and surrounding areas as well as volunteering his time to host events with the club.
With the truck restoration complete, Bill needed another project, so he combined two of his favourite hobbies, woodwork and music . With craftsmanship and precision, he lovingly created guitars made of black mamba, both spalted and quilted maple, mahogany and ash, hand shaping and sanding each guitar to perfection. Numerous hours were spent building jigs for proper placement of bridges, tremolos, and pickups. The quality of these instruments are second to none. He also enjoyed handcrafting gifts out of wood and would always quickly complete a project when asked to build something special for his daughters.
Due to current Covid restrictions, a celebration of Life will not take place at this time.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of William Matthew Leschasin October 2nd 2021..
Death notice for the town of: Airdrie, Province: Alberta