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In Memoriam: David Leclair

Editor's Note: As a member of AEBC's Ottawa-Gatineau Chapter, Ms. Leclair is a member of the Barr Haven Lions Club, United Way Speaker's Bureau, CNIB National Programs and Service Committee and the Ottawa Accessibility Advisory Committee.

On January 31, 2009, David Leclair passed away in Ottawa, Ontario, at the age of 58. He was a loyal husband, father, friend and colleague. He was first and foremost my best friend, and we were married for almost 40 years. It is an honour for me to write about his life.

Born with partial vision in High Prairie, Alberta, David attended local Catholic schools until grade five, when he entered Jericho Hill School for the Blind in Vancouver, British Columbia. David and I met when he was 13, and he decided I was the only one he would marry, something he accomplished six years later. We have one son, Mike, of whom he was very proud.

David was successful in his career. After selling stereos and then working for a film-processing plant, he went back to school and achieved a National Diploma in Computer Science & Business Systems from the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). His work in computer technology began in 1986 with Agriculture Canada, and continued into self-employment. In 1997, we moved to Ottawa so that he could pursue his career. He worked for OC Transpo as a director and then with JDS Uniphase Canadian Division as Director of Information Technology, Technical Services. David's last job was with Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC), as its Information Technology Director. He epitomized the principles of professionalism, dedication and respect, and CCC recognized and honoured him by establishing the "Annual David Leclair Award for Outstanding Corporate Achievement."

David was always researching new ways technology was being used, whether in his hobbies of photography, electronics and computer games, or in ways to assist me in maintaining some hearing. With David's support and initial prompting, in fact, I found my way into the world of cochlear implant users. He was so enthusiastic about how technology would continue to improve life for everyone. He was involved in the life of all his family and friends, genuinely interested in their affairs. He found more ways to give to others than most people I know. David’s presence will always be missed by those who knew him well. It's a good thing memories live on to remind us of the people and qualities we hold so dear.

Photo: From left to right: David, Penny, Penny’s guide dog, Kilo, and son Mike