David L. Fleiger, B.A., B.ED., M.A., Ph.D.
Athlete, Teacher, Psychologist
To follow knowledge, like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)
The death of David L. Fleiger of Edmonton, Alberta occurred on June 10, 2019. He is survived by his beloved wife of 59 years, Maureen; his three children, Michele Fleiger (Paul), Jacqueline Geremia and Shane Fleiger (Alma); four much loved grandchildren, Andrew and Liam Brown, and Kathleen and Morgan Geremia; and numerous nieces and nephews across Canada and the United States. He was predeceased by his son, Frank Fleiger; his parents, George and Claire Fleiger; sisters Elizabeth, Rose, Margaret and Mary; and brothers Frank, Roger and Clarence.
Dr. Fleiger was born in Bathurst, New Brunswick on May 31, 1934, but spent most of his early life in Saint John, New Brunswick. He was one of 8 children born to Claire Marie (McGrath) and George Francis Fleiger. He came from a noted musical family, yet also found his way to the athletic fields of softball and baseball, rugby, track and field, hockey and basketball. He was a gifted all-star senior softball/baseball player and a member of many city, provincial, and Maritime championship teams, both in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Dr. Fleiger was a member of the first graduating class of Simonds Regional High in East Saint John, New Brunswick in 1952. He graduated from St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia in 1956 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and then again in 1957 with a Bachelor of Education degree. He received his Master of Arts degree in Vocational Counselling from Columbia University in New York, New York in 1961 and was awarded his Ph.D. in Counselling Psychology from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta in 1971.
Dr. Fleiger began his professional career as a grade school teacher, high school teacher and guidance director in Antigonish, Nova Scotia starting in 1957. In 1961, he received a ministerial appointment as the first guidance counsellor in the Province of New Brunswick’s Department of Youth and Welfare in Fredericton. His next employment in 1965 was as a teacher-counsellor with the Federal Government’s Department of Indian Affairs. He was also a Commissioned Officer in the Canadian Army (Militia) from 1963-1966 and held the rank of Captain.
Dr. Fleiger was an Assistant Professor of Education in the Bachelor of Education and the Master of Arts in Guidance Program at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia from 1966 until 1973 and served as an educational consultant to the Atlantic Institute of Education in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As a program consultant to the Recovery House Society of Eastern Nova Scotia, Dr. Fleiger was instrumental in helping to develop an in-house 28-day treatment and rehabilitation program for alcoholics, authored journal articles, wrote book reviews on alcoholism addiction and made public presentations on related topics. From 1973 until 1976, he was employed as a Coordinator of Staff Training and then as Program Manager for the Alberta Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Commission in Edmonton, Alberta. He was a founding member of the New Brunswick Psychological Association and a former member of the Catholic Health and Spiritus Association of Alberta.
In 1976, Dr. Fleiger entered full time private practice as a counselling and consulting psychologist conducting workshops, courses, and seminars for government agencies, religious groups and other community-based groups. He administered numerous psychological vocational assessments with individuals planning careers and with prospective candidates for religious life and the priesthood. He offered courses and institutes on the principles and methods of Christotherapy, adult programs on personality and type development as well as instructing graduate students during Summer Sessions at the University of Regina in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Since his retirement in 1988, Dr. Fleiger volunteered for a number of years as a canvasser for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta; was a frequent volunteer on the Self-Help Cardiac Patient Visitation Program; carried out a 3 year weekly volunteer reading program with residents of a Seniors Lodge; participated in church and choir activities; was Board Director of the St. Francis Xavier University Alumni Association for 6 years and received the Outstanding Xaverian Service Award for his loyalty, commitment and leadership in the revitalization of the local St. F.X.U. Alumni Chapter in the greater Edmonton area.
In more recent years, Dr. Fleiger was an executive member of the Cardiac Athletic Association of Edmonton serving in a dual capacity as archivist and program director of the Self-Help membership and community outreach educational initiative of this organization.
While Dr. Fleiger achieved many notable accomplishments in life, his greatest achievements were as a loving husband, father, and grandfather to his adoring family. He was a brilliant man who was an inspiration and source of support to all who knew him.
We will miss you and your words of wisdom every day, Dad. We love you.
Prayers will be held at Connelly-McKinley Edmonton South, 4820 Meridian Street NW Edmonton, AB on Friday, June 14 at 6:30 pm.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Resurrection Church, 10555 – 50A Street, Edmonton, AB on Saturday, June 15 at 11:00 am, with inurnment to follow at Our Lady of Peace Cemetery, 4814 Meridian Street NW.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Lurana Shelter, c/o the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement, 11035 – 92 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T5H 1W5 or the Development Office, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia B2G 2W5.
“Crossing the Bar”
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar
When I put out to sea.
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless sleep
Turn again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne
Of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)