Andrew J. MacLeod peacefully passed away on Sunday, March 3, 2013 in his home at Emerald Pointe in Cedar City, Utah just 20 days before his 93 birthday. Jack, as he was known to all, was born to Sarah Dillard Sutton McLeod and her husband William Alexander McLeod on March 23, 1920 in the small East Texas town of Alto. Born prematurely, he was placed in a small box close to the fire for warmth, and tended to by his much older sister until his mother was well enough to care for him herself.
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The youngest boy in a large family, Jack was mostly relegated to helping his mother with the cooking while his older brothers helped in the fields. Here he developed a passion for food and cooking that would stay with him the rest of his life. Jack attended school in Liberty Hill, TX and went to High School at Glover High School. His first job was helping one of his older brothers deliver bread in Huntsville, TX.
When WWII came along, Jack followed his brothers into the service, and enlisted in the US Army in September of 1939. He served first in Troop B, of the 12th Mounted Cavalry, which was later converted to an infantry unit. While in training in Fort Bliss, TX, Jack came down with the measles. While in the base hospital he fell in love with a pretty army nurse, Gladys Titcomb, and married her after just a month of courtship, on April 10th, 1942. Jack and Gladys remained married until Gladys's death in January of 2008.
Shortly after marriage, Jack was sent overseas to be Part of the D-Day invasion of Normandy under Gen .Patton. He saw action in both the European and Asian theaters. After the war was over, he came home, joined National Guard, worked in father-in-law's business and went to Culinary Institute of America on the GI bill. After graduation Jack became a chef at the Winthrup Arms Resort on the beach in Massachusetts in what was then a posh resort community. At the start of the Korean War, Jack was called back into active duty and put into the new Air Force. He served in the this branch of the service until mid-1952 with the primary task of setting up new and reactivated base kitchens all over the U.S. and Europe. Stationed on Long Island, NY, Jack and Gladys could find no place to live; the housing market had been flooded by newly returned military men after the end of WWII. So, Jack borrowed money, bought a few acres of woods, and parked a trailer on it for his family to live in. Soon other service families joined them and they quickly had a trailer park. From that small business grew a real estate business that owned commercial properties in several states. In 1959 Gladys and Jack semi-retired to the San Diego area of California, where they still dealt in real estate but at a much slower pace. Always a Texan, Jack missed his home state, and in 1961 he and Gladys bought a small ranch just a few miles from where he was born. The couple split their time between California and East Texas until the traveling became too much for them. They chose to live in Texas until 2001 when with their children's help, they moved to Cedar City, Utah to be near their daughter.
Both Jack and Gladys loved to travel. They took many driving trips to Mexico with their children, as well as journeys all around this country. They also traveled in Europe and the Orient.
Jack was a long time member of the Rotary Club and attended meetings all over the world during his travels. He was also active for many years in the MHDNA and was their regional governor for a 9 state region. He was a devout Christian, a deacon in his church; and was a lifetime member of the Liberty Hill Methodist Church in Liberty Hill, Texas. He attended church services where ever he lived; and even started services for the troops while stationed overseas, conducting them himself when no chaplain was available. He and Gladys donated the land for the Calvary Baptist Church, in Riverhead NY, and helped many other fledgling churches. They also supported several missionary groups.
Jack's biggest passions in life were his family, friends and food. He never met a stranger and Gladys often complained he'd stop and talk to the lamp post if no one else was around! He often brought home lonely service men home from church or even the bus stop! He loved to entertain with BBQs and domino parties; to go fishing or camping with his children and grandchildren; and to garden. He loved to grow the perfect tomato and present it to you at the table exclaiming over its size and perfection; or to put together an experimental marinade for an exquisitely broiled steak. When his children were young, he baked and decorated one of a kind cakes for their parties. He read cookbooks like other people read murder mysteries, and had a big collection of them. His food was never just put on a plate; it was "presented" complete with garnish. He was a hard act to follow. Yet, his favorite foods were those he grew up with; pan fried corn bread, greens, peas, okra, and lots of peppers and hot sauce washed down with plenty of iced tea!
He had a great wit and loved a good joke. Up until the day he left us Jack kidded with his nurses, and plied friends with his stories. He loved to talk and could spin a good tale in the old southern tradition. His grand children grew up knowing the renowned lobsters of Maine were from ancient pods herded up from the Texas Gulf by Pecos Bill. Bill and that wily coyote by name of Limber Lou were responsible for a lot of the shenanigans that happened in East Texas.
Jack was preceded in death by the love of his life, Gladys, to whom he was married for 66 years, until her death. He was the last remaining member of his immediate family. He is survived by his son, Myron MacLeod, ( wife Kathy) of Rancho Santa Fe, CA; daughter Sara Wolff (husband Lonnie) of Cedar City, UT; and 5 grandsons ; Eric Ecuyer of Homestead, FL; Robert Ecuyer of South Lake Tahoe, NV; Andrew MacLeod of San Francisco, CA; Justin Couch ( wife Erin ) of Portland, OR; and Jamie Couch of Park City UT. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews and their families.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 9, 2013 @ 11:00 am at Liberty Hills Methodist Church in Crockett, Texas. A viewing will take place one hour prior to the services. Interment will be in the Augusta Cemetery. If sending flowers, please send them to Callaway Allee, 700 E Houston Ave, Crockett, TX 75835 (phone 936-544-8844). Online condolences can be sent to www.sumortuary.com.
Published in The Spectrum & Daily News on Mar. 7, 2013