Uncle Matt. Candy dispenser to the lifties.  Head of the Polish Mafia.  Over-the-Hill Downhill ringer. Fearless fighter pilot.  Tennis champion.  Practical jokester. Devoted husband to Alina; proud father of Andrew (Marisia), Paul (Christiane), Martin (Mary), and Kasia (Patrick) Chamberlain; grandfather to Mike, Chris, John, Teresa, Malina, Theo, and Ben; great-grandfather to Olivia. 

Maciej Konrad Zaleski was born in Rozki, Poland, on April 12, 1920. He fought as a Cadet Officer when the war broke out, but later found himself an unwilling guest of Stalin in an Arctic labour camp. He survived to join the 315th Polish squadron of the Royal Air Force, out-dueling the Luftwaffe’s aces, chasing down buzz-bombs, and escorting heavy bombers. The freedom and thrill he experienced in flight became his life’s passion, driving his work as an economist and flight-test supervisor for Canadair and General Dynamics in Montreal and California, and his obsession with skiing the snowy Laurentians, Sierras, and Monashees. 

Matt was a man of carefree joy, endless youth, irreverent wit, boundless generosity, natural athleticism, and profound intellect. He was sophisticated yet simple, experienced yet humble, wise yet innocent. His life ended peacefully on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at home, with his beloved wife by his side. He was precisely where he wanted to be.  He will be dearly missed. 

Vigil prayers will be held at 5:00 PM on Friday, November 6, and a memorial service at 11:00 AM on Saturday, November 7, both at Our Lady of the Valley Church in Coldstream.

Friends wishing to make memorial contributions in memory of Maciej may do so to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation or to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Please bring your contribution envelopes to Prayers or Mass.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Pleasant Valley Funeral Home, Phone: 250 542 4333. Condolences may be offered at

Your condolences will be approved within one business day. You will need a valid Facebook account. Please email us if you have any questions.