It is with overwhelming sadness that the family of John Robert Larocque announces his peaceful passing on Friday, November 18, 2022, at St. Vincent Hospital in Ottawa.
Beloved husband for 38 years of Barbara (nee Schleifer) and the late Eileen Cain (1981). Devoted father of Monica (Colin Keith) and cherished Grampa of Trevor and Sean Keith. Brother-in-law of Stephanie and Ian Fong and Raymond Cain. Predeceased by sisters and brothers-in-law Frances Delenardo (Joe), Lila Conway (Clarence), Loretta Massi (Reno) and Mary Ellen Hukezalie (Joseph) and brothers and sisters-in-law Timothy (Val) and Harold (Marie Rose). John was also predeceased by several brothers and sisters who died in infancy or shortly thereafter. John will be sadly missed by many nieces, nephews and their families and by his cousin Frances MacMillan and family. He will also be missed by friends, neighbours and his church community.
John was born and raised in Kirkland Lake, the youngest of 7 surviving children. His love and dedication for his extended family was shown throughout his life in so many ways. Many nieces and nephews were welcomed into his home whether they were working or attending school. Each one knew that they only had to ask, and Uncle John would be there to help in any way he could. He will be remembered for bringing the entire family together for a reunion in Kirkland Lake and from which many lifelong friendships resulted. For John family was everything.
He always spoke fondly of his working life which started early, first loading cases of soft drinks onto trucks for the handsome sum of $0.01 per case and then moving on to running a chip stand where he peeled, and hand cut potatoes. He later worked at Weston Bakery in Kirkland Lake, loading hundreds of pallets of bread daily into large transports and then working with his brothers as a baker. For the remainder of his life, he was unable to touch raw flour. He eventually moved to Sudbury where he was employed by Household Finance and where he sharpened his collection skills before moving to Ottawa to work for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
John had a long and distinguished career with the CRA and retired after 35 years of service. His values and style were legendary. He was known to everyone as one who would never sidestep an issue, address everyone with promptness, fairness, integrity and had the utmost regard for the public purse. He had the ability to come straight to the point on every matter regardless of its complexity or sensitivity. His good judgement, honesty and accomplishments were recognized and rewarded across the Public Service. He also mentored many of his employees and colleagues and took great pride in their accomplishments. John was also the recipient of the Canada 125 Commemorative Medal which he received in recognition of his significant contribution to compatriots, community and to Canada. He was always giving of his time, resources and sage advice.
John coached girls' soccer in Ottawa for several years and took them to win the Ontario Girls' Soccer Tournament. He was an avid moose hunter and returned to Kirkland Lake every year to participate in the moose hunt with his brother and nephews. He also enjoyed cross country skiing, curling and golf. He could often be found at a poker, euchre or cribbage table. While he did like to travel, his favourite place was his home. He was a voracious reader and loved history, politics and biographies and was never too busy to sit down for a long chat about any of these subjects. John also had a passion for genealogy and spent innumerable hours working on his family tree. John sat on the Board of Directors of his church's social outreach committee and could often be seen driving around to deliver blankets, clothes or food to a family found living under a bridge. His compassion and tender heart knew no bounds as was evidenced one Easter Sunday morning when he found a dead rabbit on the road in front of his house. Without hesitation he grabbed a shovel and promptly removed it so the children would not think the Easter Bunny had been run over. John's profound love of children and concern for their welfare came about when one nephew, Albert, with whom he had a remarkable relationship died at a young age. Albert's untimely death left a hole in John's heart that never mended. John was a good man, and we will miss him.
John would end every conversation with "May God Bless" and so we say to you "May God Bless." Rest in peace, dear John.
The family would like to express their sincere appreciation for the compassionate and exceptional care he received from the staff at both the Queensway Carleton and St. Vincent Hospitals and from family doctor, Dr. Alexis Twiddy.
Memorial visitation will be held at the Garden Chapel of Tubman Funeral Homes, 3440 Richmond Road (between Bayshore and Baseline Road) on Sunday, November 27th from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Service will be held on Monday, November 28th at 10 a.m. at St John the Apostle Church, 2340 Baseline Road, Ottawa. For those unable to attend the service in person a live stream option will be available by scrolling below.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Save the Children Canada, St. John the Apostle Church or a charity of your choice would be appreciated.
Interment will take place in Kirkland Lake in the Spring at which time a celebration of John's life will be held.