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Rear Admiral Richard Hugh "Dick" LEIR


1921 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Rear Admiral Richard Hugh "Dick" LEIR Obituary
LEIR, Richard Hugh, Rear Admiral (Ret'd) November 19, 1921 - May 28, 2015 Richard 'Dick' Leir, passed away peacefully at Saanich Peninsula Hospital on May 28th. Dearly beloved husband of Valerie, he is also survived by his children: Michael, Andrew (Laura Lee) and Vivian (Monir) and his grandchildren: Sarah, Siobhan, Galen and Clarissa. Dick also leaves behind numerous siblings, nieces and nephews and many friends. Born in Penticton to Hugh and Joyce Leir, Dick grew up and was educated firstly in Penticton and later in Shawnigan Lake School. He joined the R.C.N. in 1939 and trained with the R.N. in the U.K., as was the practice in those days. From there he was posted to the Far East Theatre of War where he joined H.M.S. Prince of Wales. Sunk in her, he was rescued by H.M.S. Express and taken to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) where he joined H.M.S. Exeter, only to be sunk again. This time he was picked up by the Japanese and spent 3 1/2 years in the then named Dutch East Indies as a Prisoner of War. He was listed as "Missing, presumed dead". After his release, he resumed his career with the Royal Canadian Navy and spent two years attached to the Mediterranean Fleet, based in Malta. There, he met and married Valerie. Returning to Canada in 1948, he spent the next 28 years serving, either at sea with ships H.M.C.S. Athabascan (in which he went to the Korean War), Crusader, Sussexvale, Skeena and Bonaventure or on land at various postings. From 1970 to 1973, promoted to Rear Admiral, he was the Maritime Commander at Esquimalt. Upon retirement in Central Saanich, he worked as a Consultant before taking up building stone walls in his garden, fishing, cruising by sea in his boat or on land in his Trailer and travelling with Valerie to many parts of the world. He will be sadly missed by all who know him. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
Published in Okanagan Valley Newspaper Group on June 6, 2015
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