Irene Isobel MacLeod
1960 - 2020
Irene Isobel MacLeod
Visitation Information
Monday, December 14, 2020
Visitation Time
6 - 8pm
Visitation Location
C.L. Curry Funeral Home, 135 College Street, Antigonish, NS
Service Information
Service Location
A link to the service will be made available on Irene's obituary Tuesday evening
Requested Charity
St. James Hot Lunch Program or St. James Benevolent Fund. Visit to donate or mail to: Box 1178, Antigonish, NS B2G 2L6
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You can view Irene's service by following the link below:


It is with great sadness we announce the death of Irene (MacKay) MacLeod of Antigonish, NS. Irene passed away on Thursday, December 10, 2020 in St. Martha’s Regional Hospital, Antigonish, at 60 years of age.

Born in Schefferville, Quebec, she was the beloved daughter of Susan (Morrison) and the late William MacKay of Sydney.

Devoted wife to Brian and loving mother to William, Brian Douglas (Catherine), Sheumais (Taylor), and Jermal (Myrie).  Cherished sister of Roderick, Melanie (Ron) Legace, Douglas (Michele), Gregory (Sherry), Laura Ley (Joe) MacInnis, Kelvin (Barb), and Alana (Ed) MacLean. Sister-in-law to Rev. Bill (Joyce) MacLeod and Sandy MacLeod (Marilyn).

Irene was a force of unconditional love, energy, and kindness. She was a strong, accomplished woman with a life-long passion for helping and guiding others. Nobody ever had to wonder what Irene thought – she told you. With disarming honesty came a relentless push to make all around her better. She was a tireless community volunteer, a generous donor, a business partner, and leader of many community causes. More important to Irene, was her good fortune to be able to discreetly help people she barely knew when she saw a need. Irene travelled extensively and read voraciously always with a mind towards learning. She could tell a story or describe a situation with a level of detail that brought the listener in. Often, the stories would end with huge laughter, but they were rarely jokes just stories told by an insightful observer of people.

It was those insights and intuition that made Irene a formidable political strategist and organizer. In 1986, she was elected National President of PC Youth when many told her she didn’t have a chance. This foray into politics led to many political roles as campaign manager for provincial and federal candidates. Like all who knew her, the winning politicians heard Irene’s views whether they wanted to or not. Her commitment to serving her community was unmatched. She volunteered for the Family and Child Welfare Board, Antigonish Highland Society, Antigonish Area Partnership, Autism Nova Scotia, L’Arche Antigonish, Festival Antigonish, Antigonish Women’s Resource Center, Naomi Society and the Heat Poverty Action Coalition the Strait Area Early Childhood Intervention Society and St. James United Church.

Irene’s efforts were recognized provincially and nationally when she was awarded the Progress Club’s Women of Excellence Award, Sobey’s Green Jacket for Advocacy for Autism, and achieved the highest rank for a female officer in cadets. Later she served on the Board of Directors of the Royal Military College.

Along with her many contributions to her community, Irene was a gracious host and accomplished cook who shared her love of food with guests and in response to community needs. Quietly, Irene and Brian built the MacLeod Group into one of the rural Maritimes largest nursing home operations with over 600 residents in care and 1000 employees. 

We ask that you celebrate your love for Irene in your own special way.

Visitation will be held Monday, December 14, in C.L. Curry Funeral Home, 135 College Street, Antigonish from 6:00-8:00pm.  Social distancing protocols must be followed, and masks are mandatory. A private family funeral will be held at St. James United Church, Antigonish, with Reverend Peter Smith presiding.  The service will be recorded and available on the funeral home’s website Tuesday evening.

In Memoriam, donations to the St. James Hot Meal Program or St. James Benevolent Fund appreciated.  Online condolences:



All visitors are advised to bring a mask when attending a visitation at our funeral home.  There are markings on the floor which indicate six-foot distances as well as markings that indicate 6 feet from the family.  It is important that you respect those markings, and physical contact with the family is to be avoided at all times.  The province's social distancing guidelines can be found here.

At the direction of the Province of Nova Scotia, we will not be handling Mass or donation money, though cards can be made available for you.  You will be asked to provide your name and phone number for the purposes of tracing should a case of COVID-19 be reported.

Anyone who is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or who could be considered high-risk of contracting the coronavirus should avoid attending the visitation and funeral.  The list of COVID-19 symptoms can be found here.

We thank you for your understanding in these difficult times.

Irene Isobel MacLeod