Gerard Ambrose Pierre LaChapelle
Pierre LaChapelle died suddenly at the age of 77, on the first day of spring, March 20th, 2021, clearing brush and cutting logs on his rural property in Lanark County. He was wearing his work gloves and muck boots and had a smile on his face. We are shocked and saddened by his passing, but take some comfort that his family was by his side, and that he did not linger or suffer. Instead, he went out the way he wanted to, cherished, vital, active, sharp, and participating fully.
Pierre leaves behind his wife Laurette, of 46 years and his daughter Adrienne (John) Morin. He was the older brother of Dianne, Mike and Suzanne and uncle to Matthew and Laura. Pierre was the favourite adventurer buddy of his grandson Wilfred, and his granddaughter Eleanor's cherished reading companion.
Pierre was born Gerard Ambrose Pierre LaChapelle to Robert LaChapelle Jr. and Alma Dulac in Toronto, Ontario, in 1943. The eldest of four children he became the family breadwinner at age 12 when his father died. Pierre credited the Canadian Air Cadet movement with keeping him grounded during his teenage years. He worked full time during the summers to help support his mother and family. Pierre’s interest in the military was piqued and he saw the possibility of a career. He enlisted first in the reserves and then in the Canadian Forces. He served with both the Royal 22nd Regiment (1964-1975) and the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry (1975-1998), in the arctic, on peacekeeping missions in Cyprus and Guatemala, at DND Headquarters in Ottawa and as NATO liaison officer in Italy. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Canadian Forces in 1998 and started his own defence consulting firm. He continued to work on a variety of challenging projects up until his death.
A celebration of life will be held for Pierre when the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted to allow a large gathering. A special thanks to the excellent paramedics of Lanark County Paramedic Service and the emergency room staff at the Perth Memorial Hospital, including nurse Britney and Doctor Drummond. Donations to the Shepherds of Good Hope in Ottawa and the Lanark County Interval House and Community Support are gratefully accepted.