After a long, full life, Roger Lemieux took his last breath on February 11, 2018. Son of Joseph, a private who earned the Military Medal in WWI for his role in capturing Bellevue Spur near Passchendaele, and Alice Charlebois, matriarch of the family farm, Roger came from strong stu?. He descended from a Lemieux brother, Pierre or Gabriel, “men of the musket and axe,” who arrived in New France in the early 1600’s. Alice descended from Jean Charlebois, a soldier and pioneer from the same era.
Roger left the farm by way of his electrical engineering degree at Michigan Tech and worked for Northern Telecom for 36 years. He met his wife, Rita (nee Evans) in Edmonton and settled with her in Montreal. They were inseparable. Rita supported Roger in every way while pursuing her own interests and work in nursing. Roger was able to stay at home longer than most in his frailty because of her formidable nursing skills, deep love and commitment.
Roger taught his daughters Laurie (of Calgary) and Carmen (of Sarnia) to respect history, quality craftsmanship and take good care of their cars. His parenting mottos were, “rely on yourself” and ”don’t jump o? one train until the second one is going at the same speed beside it.” His sons in law, Scott McKelvie (Sarnia) and Wayne Rosen (Calgary), learned the ?ner points of home maintenance and how to tell when Roger was pulling their legs.
Roger was a dedicated grandfather. He taught Mark and Sophie to read the alphabet and sight words before they could walk because “you can’t start too early for a good future.” He shared his love of all things mechanical with Benjamin and delighted in Samuel’s drawings.
Roger loved fresh tomatoes, rum and coke and his own homemade red wine. One of his favourite memories was hiking the Chilkoot trail when he was 69. He was an exacting carpenter, builder, and gardener. In his retirement, he took long walks in Huron Woods with his and Carmen’s dogs. He scooped up bicycles left for free at the ends of driveways to rebuild and add to his ?eet so that the family could ride to the beach. Some of those bikes will be available at the end of the driveway for free this spring.
Of his siblings, his sister Mona and brother Tom left this world before him. His sister Anita remains.
Roger spent his last months at Twin Lakes Terrace in Sarnia. Thank you to every single sta? member on Oakwood for caring for him with expertise, kindness, and compassion.
Private celebrations of Roger’s life will be held in Ontario and Alberta this spring.
“Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath, as close to us as we are to ourselves.” John O’Donahue.