Born June 27, 1930 Saskatoon SK, died April 20, 2015, Trail BC
Papa spent a happy childhood on the prairies, exploring with his collie dog Pat, and younger sister Doreen. His parents Clara (Hemmerling) and John (Jack )LaRocque moved the family from Cavel, to Landis, Bents, and Arlee, SK. following Grandpa’s employment as a grain buyer, before moving to Trail, BC when Jack was a teen. At age 17, Jack met his future wife, Stella Brown. Mom often told us how this confident, dapper prairie boy, wearing a white scarf caught her attention. Jack and Stella were married July 21,1952. They lived in Trail, moving to Nelson Ave. in Fruitvale, then to their home beside Beaver Creek in Blue Bird Corner in 1959. This provided ample room for their growing family. Dad lovingly developed this property, with a bountiful garden, variety of fruiting and ornamental trees, expansive lawn with pathways carved through the bush. Dad met the challenges presented by flooding, excessive ground water, deer, beavers, and stately poplars. The family enjoyed roasting hot dogs over a fire, tubing, fishing and swimming in the creek, gathering with friends and family in the shade of the maple tree. Winter brought the task of shoveling our long driveway, followed by, tobogganing, skiing, and snowshoeing. When the upkeep of their well loved property became too much, our parents relocated to Trail a few years ago. Papa dearly missed the privacy and freedom of their former home.
Dad ’s interests were varied; he loved being outdoors, hiking, skiing, swimming, snorkeling. He was involved in the development of the Beaver Valley ski hill, the family spent their days on the T-bar or warming up in the lodge. Dad excelled at woodworking, crafting wooden skis, shelves , fine carvings and wooden vessels. Dad was a director of the Credit Union, member of Knights of Columbus, Beaver Valley Historical Society, committee organizing Fruitvale’s 50yr celebration, and school reunions. He obtained a Ham Radio Voice license, and enjoyed weekends spent contesting,
Dad was a lifelong Scouter, beginning in 1941, as a Lone Scout, completed Gillwell training, and served as Assistant District commissioner . He was honored with the Medal of Merit from the National Commissioner in 1998 and received his 45 yr service pin in 2000. Camp Tweedsmuir, just down the road, was our second home. Papa loved family gatherings with guitar sing-alongs, annual summer Holidays at Radium, or Kelowna with his sister’s family. Jack and Stella were recognized as Beaver Valley Citizens of the year in 2003.
Photography was one of Dad’s passions, both professionally and personally,. He was hired by Cominco following graduation, starting in the smelter, prior to becoming their official photographer for the remainder of his career until his retirement in 1985. Dad’s experiences while working for Cominco gave him great pride and satisfaction. He regaled us with tales of hanging from helicopters, an arctic excursion, photographing royalty, traveling to the Ozarks, retirements, and new mine operations. Jack enjoyed meeting people and the challenge of documenting and showcasing each site on underground assignments.
Jack was predeceased by his parents, numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.
He is survived by his wife, Stella C LaRocque (nee Brown), children Jack (Elaine), Anne (Wally) Saigeon, Teresa LaRocque-Walker, Judy (Jim) Urquhart, Rod (Janet), Gene.
Grandchildren; Emelia, Caroline, Kate, Aaron, Pat, Rob, Zachary, Rory, Breanna,Tristan, Luke, Daniel, Dave, Heather, Stephanie, 19 great-grandchildren, sister Doreen (Bill) DiPasquale, their children Bill, Carol, Dennis, Lisa, aunt Gladys, nieces, nephews and cousins.
An interment service was held April 23rd at the Rossland Cemetery. A Celebration of Jack’s life will be held in July, date TBA. In lieu of flowers, you are welcome to make a contribution to Scouts Canada or the Kootenay Boundary Hospital Foundation.
The family appreciate the supportive care Papa received from Dr. E. Dalla Lana, staff at the Beaver Valley Clinic, Home Care nursing and KBRH. Our thanks to friends and family for their kind words and support during this difficult time.
Papa, you remain in our hearts forever, your legacy is treasured by each of us.