A lifetime resident of the area, Roy Lapier passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family following a courageous battle with cancer on Monday, January 8, 2018. He was 71.
Roy was born in Matilda Township on September 2, 1946 to his parents Arthur and Shirley Lapier (nee Sypes). He was raised along with his two sisters Linda and Sheila on the second concession north of Iroquois beside his great-grandparents farm and as a young lad he helped on the farm pretty much every day.
It was during those years that Roy developed a wonderful relationship with his grandmother Florence who treated him just like a son.
As a youngster Dad had a great time with his friends but he did not like school very much and when he got to high school he spent more time playing pool at Chuck Burn’s pool hall in the Iroquois shopping centre than he did going to school.
In Grade 10 Dad quit school and entered the work force. Initially he worked at Caldwell Linen Mills and then for different local farmers including Garnet Johnston and George Conlin.
It was during the time that he was working for George Conlin that he met a young lady by the name of June Drennan and through that union four children David, Shawn, Kelly and Rhonda were born.
Needless to say they had a very busy household with four kids in five years and Roy and June were excellent parents. Even though they didn’t have a lot of money, they provided their children with a very loving home and lots of laughs with their constant playful bantering.
Their house was a gathering place for several local children and even though their home was not fancy house Roy and June always made other kids feel welcome and comfortable in their home.
In 1970 Roy got a job at Canada Starch working with his father Art, but he was forced to leave there and take a job at Dupont Canada in Maitland in 1971 because there was a major strike at Canada Starch and with four kids to feed Roy couldn’t afford to be on strike.
He trained as a welder and fabricator at Dupont and he eventually became a very skilled tradesman. He loved his work and the men he worked with at Dupont and he used to come home and excitedly recount the water fights and really good practical jokes that took place on a daily basis.
The welding and fabricating skills Roy acquired during his time at Dupont enabled him to make just about anything out of metal. He built many things including: baby sleighs, snowmobile hoods, snowmobile trailers, golf cart trailers and embalming tables.
He never did anything half fast and if he did any job he always did it to the very best of his ability.
In addition to being a skilled welder and fabricator Roy was a virtual Mr. Fix it as he enjoyed the challenge of repairing any type of motorized vehicle and in the last few years he even restored two old tractors to their original condition.
Roy was a good athlete and he enjoyed playing hockey, baseball and golf. He was a really good catcher in baseball and he could throw a guy out on third base or first base from the crouching position which is difficult to do. He was also a pretty good hockey player and a very good golfer.
The only problem he had with golf was that his temper would get the best of him on occasion and when it did golf clubs would get broken. In fact Roy broke so many golf clubs that he started buying the components and building his own clubs because it was getting too expensive to replace all the clubs he broke.
As his boys grew Roy coached them in both ball and hockey and he was a very good coach. His expectation was that his boys gave 100 per cent effort at all times consequently even though they may not have been the best players on our teams, they always tried their hardest.
In addition to baseball, hockey and golf Roy enjoyed hunting and he had a deadly aim. He also enjoyed dancing and his dancing skills when he was younger earned him the nickname “Crazy Legs Lapier”.
Roy served as president of the Iroquois Minor Hockey Association, as a member of the Matilda Recreation Committee and as a volunteer assistant to the greenskeeper at the Iroquois Golf Club for several years.
He was well known for his quick wit, his unique sense of humour and his entertaining anecdotes. He certainly wasn’t politically correct at all times, but his “say it like it is” attitude endeared him to many people.
He was a man of contrasts because he was extremely pleasant most of the time but if something or someone upset him he had a violent temper. His temper tantrums were legendary, but he didn’t stay mad for long and he didn’t hold a grudge.
His philosophy in life was “be nice until it’s time to not be nice!!”
Roy was very generous and kind. He never had a lot of money but what he had he would give to anyone in need. There have been countless times over the years when he has repaired something for someone or helped someone in need without any expectation of remuneration. In fact, he used to get upset at people if they tried to pay him for something he had done for them.
Roy was an avid reader, he loved living in the Iroquois area and he had no interest in travelling, he hated gossip, he loved to watch western movies featuring John Wayne and action movies starring Chuck Norris and Charles Bronson and he was a lover of all animals, especially dogs.
Roy possessed a nurturing side to his personality that was amazing, he loved all kids and kids loved him.
His grandchildren were his crowning achievement and he loved each and every one of them dearly. He attended all of their sporting and school events and he was their biggest supporter.
Roy was a loving husband, father and grandfather and he will be sadly missed by his family.
While Roy may have died the life lessons that he taught his children and grandchildren will never be forgotten. He lived a good life with lots of fun and laughter in it. He was a wonderful role model for his family and he died with the respect, love and admiration of all his family and friends.
Roy is survived by his wife June, his children David (Dianne) of Williamsburg, Shawn (Lila) of Iroquois, Kelly Lewis (Bill) of Iroquois and Rhonda Van Beilen (Derek) of Morrisburg, his sisters Linda Devaul (Bill) of Williamsburg and Sheila Merkley (Roy) of Iroquois and his uncle Cephus Sypes of Iroquois.
Poppy will be fondly remembered by Jesse, Dillon, Billie-Jo, Rebecca, Adam, Shayna, Brooke, Dean and Ben. He was predeceased by his parents Art and Shirley Lapier (nee Sypes) and his grandson Colby. He is also survived by nieces & nephews.
Friends called at the Marsden McLaughlin Funeral Home, Williamsburg, on Wednesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. A Celebration of Roy’s life was held at the Royal Canadian Legion in Iroquois on Thursday, January 11th from 12-4 p.m. Interment service was held at Spruce Haven Cemetery in Brinston with Rev. Janet Evans officiating.
Pallbearers were grandchildren Jesse Lapier, Dillon Lapier, Billie-Jo Lewis, Rebecca VanBeilen, Adam Lapier, Shayna VanBeilen, Brooke Lapier, Dean Lapier and Ben Lapier. Donations to Dundas County Hospice would be gratefully acknowledged by the family. Online condolences may be made at marsdenmclaughlin.com.