Thomas Leo Hagerty passed away at Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital Extendicare in Castor, Alberta on Monday, March 12, 2012 at the age of 89 years. Leo was born on September 30, 1922 in Castor, Alberta. He was the only child of Jim and Anna Hagerty of Bulwark, Alberta. Leo attended school at Glencoe where he met his future bride Vera Kinakin. Leo and Vera were married on August 3, 1944.
Leo joined the Air Force and took his basic training in Fort McLeod where he earned his wings. Leo and Vera moved to the air base at Kingston, Ontario to await deployment overseas. It was in Kingston where their first son Ron was born. While in Kingston, Leo was selected to train navigators and moved to the Air Force base in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. Because of Leo’s skill as a pilot he was called up to fly senior officers to various destinations. On two of these occasions bad weather forced Leo to make successful emergency landings. Leo returned to Bulwark where he helped on the farm and operated grain elevators for National and Pioneer. Later on Leo and Vera purchased the Bulwark General Store and Post Office. During this time two more sons, Gary and Jim, were born.
In 1957 Leo and family moved to Castor. He worked at odd jobs and drove school bus before attending a recreation leadership course in Camrose. He returned to take a position as recreation director for the town of Castor. During this time he coached several minor ball and hockey teams and was involved with the boxing team. After several years Leo began his last career with Alberta Hail and Crop Insurance and was soon promoted to crew chief and on to district supervisor until retiring at the age of 67.
Leo enjoyed all sports, he was an avid golfer and curler and especially enjoyed baseball. As a young man he played baseball for Bulwark, Fleet and Castor. Later he played slow pitch for the Castor Legion Senior Team travelling to tournaments in Alberta and British Columbia for a number of years. Leo and Vera enjoyed wintering in Apache Junction, Arizona where he continued playing slow pitch with the Castor Legion Team. Leo was a strong community supporter and held life memberships with the Royal Canadian Legion and the B.P.O.E. Elks.
In 2003 when Vera’s health started failing they moved to the Paintearth Lodge where Leo continued to reside before moving to Our Lady of the Rosary Extendicare until his passing.
Leo was predeceased by his parents Jim and Anna Hagerty; Vera Hagerty, his wife of 59 years (November 2003), uncles Joe Hagerty, Tom Hagerty and Don Hagerty; brothers and sisters-in-law Fred and Mabel Kinakin, Pete and Mary Huff, John (Slim) and Florence Mario, Pete Kinakin and nephews Freddy Kinakin and Gary Williams.
Leo is survived by sons Ron, Gary (Marion), and Jim; grandchildren: Kelly Carlile, Kim Hagerty, Rochelle Freeborn and Quinn (Taneil) Hagerty; great grandchildren Krysta, Chantelle, Kiara, Jesse, and Joshua as well as numerous other family and a host of friends.
Funeral services were held Saturday, March 17, 2012 at Knox United Church, Castor, Alberta with Rev. Barbara Zimmerman officiating. Sam Morie gave a tribute of Leo. Cathy Schaffner presented her gift of music as she played for the Knox United Church Choir and the hymns. The Castor Legion performed the Last Rites to their fallen member. Honourary pallbearers were the Castor Legion Slo Pitch Team, Don and Shirley Emmett and Sam and Helen Morie; pallbearers were Dale Huff, Russell Kinakin, Shane Williams, Quinn Hagerty, Brian Mario and Mike Mario as he was laid to rest at Castor Legion Cemetery beside his wife Vera. Family and friends gathered in the upper hall of Knox United Church for a time of fellowship and lunch by Knox U.C.W.
Memorial donations may be sent to Paintearth Lodge or OLRH Extendicare. Condolences may viewed or sent to the family at www.parkviewfuneralchapels.com