Maitland MacIsaac, O.P.E.I.
Maitland Alexander MacIsaac died Thursday, January 26, at the age of 80 at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Son of the late Alexander Andrew MacIsaac and Lillian (Griffiths), Mait grew up in Charlottetown along with his older sister Jeana, younger sister Lynn and younger brothers Scott, Bruce and Neil. Mait met Anne Steele at a dance at the Rollaway Club and the two married in 1964. As children Shane, Cathy and Jeana were born, Mait and his family moved around Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, where along the way he earned degrees from Saint Dunstan’s (now University of Prince Edward Island) and the University of New Brunswick. This set the stage for a successful career as an educator that took him from the classroom to the principal’s office. Mait had a naturally adventurous spirit, taking a mid-career sabbatical and moving his family to Vancouver where he earned a Master’s degree from University of British Columbia. Mait also had a lifelong love of singing, which saw him belt out tunes in his younger years as lead vocalist for bands Mait and the Crew and Chimo and more recently as a member of the choir at Saint Dunstan’s Basilica.
When he retired as principal of Glen Stewart Elementary School, Mait began a second career in promoting lifelong learning to children, families, communities, and older workers. He was proud of the many people and communities he worked with through his former business, Learning and Reading Partners; experience which he later applied in creating the PEI Passport to Employment program for the Government of Prince Edward Island.
Mait enjoyed having the chance over the years to travel with Anne to visit family and friends across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and Europe. No matter where he went, Prince Edward Island was always his home base. For more than 20 years, the family cottage in Long River was a place where Mait could reflect, write, be handy and gather with family, neighbours and friends.
Helping others was a constant in Mait’s life, whether it was someone he knew for decades or someone he just met. Mait was genuinely curious, could connect with anybody of any background and possessed a knack of asking just the right question or spending whatever time it took to listen. Among the organizations that benefitted from Mait’s caring ways over 50 years of volunteering were Kinsmen, Rotary and the Liberal Party. He was also a founding board member of The Adventure Group and a longtime board member (including Chair) of the International Children’s Memorial Place. Mait’s deep appreciation of the importance of making a difference made him an ideal choice for Premier Robert Ghiz to appoint as Chair of the Order of Prince Edward Island Advisory Council. Mait drew great satisfaction overseeing a process that he described as driven from the grassroots, friends and neighbours of recipients and not elites.
Fittingly, Mait himself became a member of the Order of Prince Edward Island in 2021, building on such previous awards as the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Senate 150th Anniversary of Confederation Medal, Paul Harris Fellow Award and the Provincial Health for Life Award.
Mait was predeceased by his beloved son Shane, parents Alex and Lillian, sister Jeana (brother-in-law Gene) and brother-in-law Winston Smith.
Mait is survived by his wife of 58 years, Anne, daughters Cathy (Rob Batherson) and Jeana (Mark Fraser), grandsons Maitland Samuel Batherson and Dan Joly (Nicole Payette).
He is also survived by his sister Lynn Smith, brothers Bruce (Irene), Scott (Kelly Allen) and Neil (Donna) and many much-loved nieces, nephews, their spouses and partners and grand-nieces and grand-nephews. He also considered Anne’s siblings, spouses and their families an extension of the family he cherished so much.
The family of Maitland MacIsaac are extremely grateful for the dedicated health care professionals who helped him lead his best life through many health challenges over the last decade. Mait’s care team, including palliative care, at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital during his final days allowed him to die peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones.
Visitation will be held at Belvedere Funeral Home, Sunday, January 29, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be held at Saint Dunstan’s Basilica, Monday, January 30, at 11:00 a.m. For those of you that were unable to attend the service you may do so at the following link https://youtu.be/1kX3N6PA2Y4
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Maitland MacIsaac to the International Children’s Memorial Place or the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation.
International Children's Memorial Place
2115 Scales Pond Road, Freetown PE C0B 1L0
Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation
60 Riverside Drive, Charlottetown PE C1A 8T5