The family of John Albert “Layton” MacLeod is extremely heartbroken to announce his passing on June 17, 2021. Following a rare form of liver disease, receiving a liver transplant, and bravely fighting multiple other health emergencies during the past year, it was Layton’s final wish to return home where he passed peacefully with his entire family by his side.
Layton grew up in Glace Bay, Cape Breton; it was here where he developed his love for leadership, community involvement, cubs, baseball, and hockey. From coaching mosquito baseball, to being on the executive of PC Youth, he created many precious memories that he shared for years to follow. Some of his fondest childhood memories were from working with his grandfather at his gas station, where he began his lifelong love for Diet Pepsi. (If you know, you know!) Layton’s heart forever stayed in Cape Breton, always telling his children “the Island is my home.” Following many years of baseball, hockey, and adventures in Cape Breton, Layton graduated from Morrison Glace Bay High School; it was from here that he went on to attend Acadia University and Universite Sainte-Anne. He was always very passionate about furthering his education, creating many memories and lifelong friendships along the way. During the summers, Layton spent countless hours as the camp director at Camp Aitebreagh, in the highlands of Cape Breton. Telling ghost stories, taking new campers to “haunted” locations, nighttime drives to Marble Mountain, standing on the steps of Aitebreagh yelling “Uggie Uggie Uggie, Oy Oy Oy”, leading conga lines and joking with the campers, were just many of the few memories that he often spoke of. It was also here where he adopted Breagh, the little terrier, which ended up being a “gift” to his parents. Gift meaning, ended up leaving with his parents as he went off on his next adventure!
After many years returning every summer to Cape Breton, Layton eventually made a permanent move to Wolfville. It was here where he met the love of his life, Kim MacLeod, at a local baseball field. She was his greatest pride and joy, providing him with his children Sara, Billy, and Angus. He could never show her enough how much he loved her and the life that they had made together, bringing her home a red rose every second Friday, picking up countless overtime shifts to ensure that not only she had everything she could ever need, but also to be able to provide for his children the best quality of life he possibly could.
Layton was the most generous, selfless person, continuing even to his final hours.
He never stopped doing the little things and would never let his family forget how loved they were.
Layton served proudly as a paramedic with EHS for almost 30 years. He had an extreme passion for caring for his patients to the best of his ability, as well as advocating and caring for his co-workers. He was the provincial union president of the NSGEU Local 911, where he represented Nova Scotia paramedics and actively negotiated the collective agreement between the province’s ambulance operator and the union. He was extremely proud of this accomplishment, often speaking of this to his daughter Sara during countless hours of union/paramedicine stories. He wanted to be known forever as a voice of what is right for equality in all aspects of the workplace, continuing to study union contracts and taking notes even when his own health was at stake and he was fighting for his own life in hospital. He listened tirelessly to union meetings, displaying extreme passion for gaining health and wellness benefits for his fellow co-workers, even though he himself would never receive these. Layton was incredibly proud to call himself a paramedic, completing his mandatory work education prior to and following a liver transplant with his daughter Sara. He was determined to prove to all that even though he was ill, he was still passionate about his chosen career and wanted so badly to go back to work.
Layton is survived by his wife, Kim (Snow) MacLeod and their children, the light of his life, Sara, Billy and Angus. His cat, “Fatso”, as well as his grandpuppies/kitties, Ted, Chloe, Bo and Mo. He is also survived by his siblings, “the 4L’s”, Laurel-Beth, Lisa, Lowell, and Lincoln, as well as his brothers- and sisters-in-law, and many nieces and nephews. Lastly, Layton leaves his mother Ruby to mourn, noting that if it was not for her and his late father “Sonny” MacLeod, he would not have been who he was.
A special thank you to the entire team on 6B, 3 IMCU, 3A ICU, Med A as well as the Valley Regional ER, particular thank you’s to Alicia RN, Sue NP, Dr. “David”, Emma RN, as well as James RN. You all made the largest difference in our lives, contributing in every little way to his quality of life and eventual peaceful rest. Also, an extremely special thank you to EHS, particularly the comm team and 4 medics (you know who you are) who took him for his last ambulance transfer home. We have no words for how special this was to not only him but our entire family. Lastly, thank you to the anonymous family that chose to donate a liver. It is with this he had a second chance at life, even if it was only months. It is because of this he had a pain free, self-choosing end of life at home. If it hadn’t been for the incredible gift of life, he never would have left the hospital. This is a gift that forever will impact our family in the most heart-warming way.
A Service will be held in Acadia Manning Memorial Chapel, July 6, 2021 at 2:00 pm, COVID-19 restrictions will be implemented. A cremation has taken place as per family wishes. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Canadian Liver Foundation or Diabetes Canada.
As per Layton’s request, he would like to end his obituary on this note:
“Be kind, tell the truth, love others.. Also, “I’m still pretty!"
Arrangements have been entrusted to Serenity Funeral Home, 34 Coldbrook Village Park Dr., Coldbrook, NS, B4R 1B9 (902-679-2822).