Aug. 26, 1984 – Nov. 3, 2021
On a hot Sunday morning in August, our joy and sunshine Joel Christopher Macleod arrived to this world, our family and to the future of so very many people whose lives he would touch. Joel came home from the Kincardine hospital to the southside, at Princes and Albert Streets.
At 17 months, he and his family moved to Inverhuron’s idyllic beach, sand dunes and woods, where Joel and his brothers Rob and Greg played and grew up. Here he rode his first Big Wheel bike – a noisy plastic three-wheeled “Dukes of Hazard” that could be heard long before it could be seen.
He found freedom riding his dirt bike, which he started saving for when he was just eight. An enterprising fundraiser with a mason jar in hand, he’d wait until his Dad’s friends started playing pool in the garage to ask if they’d like to contribute. He’d have fives, tens and twenties in his jar – and soon had enough to buy his Honda 80. Summer was his favourite season, followed by winter with his GT snow racer, playing hockey (on ice or on the road) and sledding on the Yamaha Enticer.
He loved sports: t-ball, baseball, basketball, hockey, ball hockey, skateboarding, golf, watersports and football. He held a track record at Bruce Central Public School in Underwood for the 800 metres, and ran at the annual county Saugeen Bluffs cross-country races. His Dad snuck him into Maple Leaf Gardens for a game one March Break, and later his Uncle Andy used his journalist press pass to get him in to watch the Leafs practice.
Weekly piano lessons at Nana’s and Papa’s gave him a foundation for music, before moving up to electric guitar, vocals and eventually drumming in bands like Stickfit and ICmfP – entertaining teen friends everywhere.
A busy pre-teen and teen, he shared a newspaper route, cut grass, worked at Cottage Grocery pumping gas, KFC, numerous jobs during harvest as the grain, soya beans and corn were removed, at the recycling plant and eventually in the construction trades. Nightlife at the beach for campfires and friends, and fall fairs were highlights. Camping trips and vacations with family faded into the odd party at home while the parents were away – sometimes touring in the Tony Montana or the Imapala-la. He had a few nicknames, starting with Joely Moely Man, Joel MacTout, Molson Joelson, and eventually being known as Cloudy.
As a young man, he became known as a hard worker and was appreciated in his brotherhood of Labourers Local 1059 and as a third generation nuclear worker. He bought his first house in Point Clark at the age of 22 and loved his Huron Township neighbourhood on Birch Crescent. He developed a love for Manitoulin Island for summer visits to family property at Milton Point and then his favourite Lake Mindemoya. Life before was grand.
Things changed dramatically at the age of 27, when Joel first learned he had developed a very rare and aggressive form of cancer. A misdiagnosis landed him in surgery before receiving an accurate and dire diagnosis requiring months of rigorous chemotherapy treatments that ravaged his body. He eventually returned to work and carried on living the next few years of his life from scan to scan, and eventually was declared cancer free in 2017.
Life after his recovery picked up quickly because he had found the love of his life – a beautiful spirit, Candice, who became his life partner and his rock. After thinking he’d never leave Point Clark, Joel and Candice moved into Kincardine and ended up in the southside neighbourhood where Joel had started out as an infant. Their lives became blessed and complete as a family when their beautiful baby boy, Ruxpin, joined them. Building their forever home on one of the few remaining large double lots, their life together as a family, with Candice’s loving family close by, was very good to them.
Then cancer announced its ugly return again in October 2020. Joel’s theme song became Tom Petty’s I Won’t Back Down. Friends, family, strangers and Bar Down so generously supported the #Cloudy Strong fundraisers set up by good friends, which raised an enormous amount of money to see them through the toughest and darkest of days financially. The outpouring of love and support has been nothing short of phenomenal and everyone says it just reflects back the love they have received from Joel.
Joel, our joy and sunshine, died peacefully in hospice. His twinkling eyes and magnetic grin can be seen and will be remembered in the countenance of his son; Rux has a build and mannerisms just like his Dad and also carries all the goodness of his Mom. Our hearts are heavy, yet filled with gratitude for all the love we have for Joel, have felt from him and saw him spread wherever he went. He was sent here to teach us all how to be better humans, to love each other like family and to never be afraid to have fun! Our lives are lived better because of his example. We could all benefit by living like Joel did.
Joel is survived by his beloved Candice and son Rux, his parents Susan and Robert Macleod, his brother Rob (Sita) and nephew Elden, brother Greg (Sarah) and by Candice’s parents Darlene and Ron Bailey, her sister Jessi (Eric) and nephew Maverick.
Also survived by his maternal Nana Sylvia Stepnow and by a large extended family (on both sides) of much-loved aunts, uncles, cousins and those he loved like family across Canada and around the world.
We know he will be warmly welcomed by all the family and friends who have gone before him and have appeared in his dreams. We will all strive to live like Joel. Consider your friendships sacred. Nurture them and cherish them. Acknowledge and recognize the blessing of each person in your life.
Visitation was held at the Davey-Linklater Funeral Home on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. A celebration of his life followed at Bar Down in Kincardine.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Huron Shores Hospice would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.