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LAPSLEY, John Sr. MCIC

February 19, 1937 – Falkirk, Scotland
July 25, 2014 – Calgary, AB

John Lapsley Sr. passed away suddenly on Friday, July 25, 2014 at the age of 77 years.

John was quite truly a self made man. The child of an ironmonger in Falkirk Scotland, he put himself through Paisley Technical School, and with less than 22 dollars in his pocket, emigrated to Sarnia, ON in 1957 to find work in Canada’s burgeoning petrochemical industry. He was first employed at Imperial Oil as a lab technician, and was very active in theatre where he met the love of his life, Marcia, who passed in 2007, a loss he never fully recovered from.

He joined his next and last employer, Dow Chemical soon after, and ultimately rose through the ranks, first as a chemist after passing his CIC exams, and ultimately to a variety of senior executive positions, most recently as the Chief Administrative Officer of DowElanco, now DowAgroSciences. Along the way he managed to obtain patents for processes in the epoxy and resin business, transition to sales, lead a sales team, and mentor countless employees who called him a leader but also most importantly a friend. Many of his mentees went on to become CEO’s and enjoy successful careers, and all were gracious enough to thank him for his kindness and friendship repeatedly over the years.

John is survived by his eldest son John of Portland, OR and grand-daughter Marci-Rose, and son Andrew of Morristown NJ, and his children John, Andrew J and Madeleine. His grandchildren brought him great joy and he spent his final years surrounded by their pictures and at times their laughter and love. He is also survived by his daughters-in-law, Kimberly Lapsley of Jersey City, NJ and Cheryl Lapsley of Portland, OR, both of whom he loved very much and who both cared for him deeply and with kindness. He was predeceased by his parents John and Helen, his brother Andrew, and sister Jean.

John’s passing has left the world a little less warm, a little less kind, and a lot less joyful. He was loved by all and will be missed by all that knew him. As Robert Burns said in one of John’s favourite poems, “O wad some Power the giftie gie us; To see oursels as ithers see us!” John always saw himself as others did, with humility and generosity, but always showed his kindness and strength and courage.

Those wishing to pay their respects may do so at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY (Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive S.W. Calgary, AB) on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Funeral Services will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY (Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive S.W. Calgary, AB) on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. Graveside Service to follow at Edenbrook Memorial Gardens. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to Calgary Meals on Wheels, 5759 80 Avenue S.E., Calgary, AB T2C 4S6, Telephone: (403) 243-2834, www.mealsonwheels.com or The Royal Canadian Legion care of the Poppy Fund, #1, 4539 – 6th Street N.E., Calgary, AB T2E 3Z6, Telephone: (403) 265-6304.

In living memory of John Lapsley, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Park Memorial, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Wayne Nysetvold :

    Hi Andrew,
    I am sorry to hear of your loss. Sounds like your father was a great man. Take comfort in the fact that you will see him again!
    With our love,
    Wayne and Ione Nysetvold

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  2. Bob & Jill Child :

    We are very sorry to hear of John’s sudden passing and wish the best to John Jr. and Andrew. John introduced us to each other on a blind date over 50 years ago and John & I enjoyed a great working relationship as well as being good friends. I wish we lived closer and could be there on Wednesday and remember the many good times we had together.

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  3. David Barnard :

    Drew and Family. I’m sorry for your loss and remembering your dad because he will always be with you.
    I lost my dad a year ago and amazed on how many things make you remember and smile . It good to know he left his mark in you.
    All my best to you and your family.
    My prayers are with you

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  4. margaret lapsley neill :

    My thoughts are with all the family at this sad time. He will be sadly missed. God bless you uncle john x niece margaret lapsley scotland x

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  5. Eleanor Addison (Lapsley) :

    Fond memories of time spent with my Uncle John during the summer of 75 will always be treasured in my heart. My heart felt condolence goes to my cousins John and Drew, you had a fantastic and loving mum and dad xxx

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  6. The Beresford Family :

    Drew,

    Please accept our condolences for the loss of your father. Our prayers are with you and your family during this time.

    Sincerely,
    The Beresford Family (Tim, Sara, Ella & Grace)

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  7. margaret lapsley neill :

    Always remembered from Aunty Isa, Scotland.

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  8. Michael and Melanie Holt :

    This world has lost a good man who did much good while he was is it – but oh how blessed heaven is to receive home her son. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all as you learn to accept goodbye for now.

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  9. Rick and Linda Smith :

    Linda and I send our deepest condolences to John, Drew and their families. John Sr. was a great colleague as we faced the challenge of starting up this new entity, DowElanco. John brought wisdom, an unfailing smile and many great tips on how to survive in the Dow world. Those of us who worked closely with him recognized that, while a loyal and hardworking employee, John’s first loyalty was to Marci and the boys. He never tired of sharing his pride over his boys, their children and how much they meant to him in his life. The legendary smile will live on in our hearts and memories. He was one of the greats.

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  10. Susan & Brian Baird :

    We were very sorry to hear of John Sr.’s passing, we have many fond memories of his time with Dow and of course will always remember him as a very proud father and grandfather. He was a true gentleman! We will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers as you say goodbye in the coming days. Wish we were closer so we could pay our respects in person.

    With love,
    Susan, Brian, Lauren & Stephen Baird

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  11. Elsie Dulaney :

    John, Drew and families: Please know that I am thinking about you and hope you are all doing well. My thoughts and prayers go out to you at this difficult time. My love to you, Elsie

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  12. Love to you and your family Drew. May the peace the gospel message brings be with you at this time. Liana Kearl

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  13. John Lapsley :

    So sad to hear of the passing of my Uncle John. It was always great to be in his company when he was over this side of the Atlantic in Scotland. John,Drew,and your families are in my thoughts at this sad time.I am sure you will draw comfort that your dad had a full and most rewarding life. I will have a dram on Wednesday to the memory of my Uncle John. John L. Scotland.

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  14. Dear Andrew, Kimberley and family, We are so very sorry at the sudden passing of your father. It’s always a terrible shock. We hope he kept a journal/history of himself and his roots from Scotland. It will be a fascinating read to be sure. He accomplished much for a young man, according to the write up, arriving in Canada “with less than 22 dollars in his pocket”. With our Scottish heritage, we appreciated the quote from Robbie Burns. I include condolences from our sons as well. They greatly enjoyed their friendship with you Drew and it was always fun to have you in our home. Unfortunately, we will be unable to attend the Funeral as we are flying to Charlotte early tomorrow morning. May God bless and comfort you at this time.
    With love, The Steele’s

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  15. Brenda and Greg Jones and family :

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of you during this difficult time. Take comfort in the fact that John Senior is back in the loving embrace of his beloved wife and in the company of all of those he has loved that went before him. God bless all of you now and always. Love the Jones’

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  16. Mark McMeans :

    God’s Blessings on the Lapsley family at this time in remembrance of John. I can only imagine how proud he must be of his kids and grandkids, who have blessed my own family’s life in so many ways.

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  17. Dwaine & Rosemary Hibbs :

    John, Drew & Family:
    We are sorry to hear of the passing of John Sr. He was a very caring and loving Dad, Grandpa
    and friend to all of us. Now he has gone to be with Marcia. Our prayers and thoughts are with your family.
    Sorry, we could not make it to the memorial. A donation to the Calgary Meals on Wheels is being made in his memory.

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  18. Dwaine & Rosemary Hibbs :

    John, Drew and Family:
    We are sorry to hear of the passing of John Sr. He was a very caring and loving Dad, Grandpa
    and friend to all of us. Our prayers and thoughts are with your family. Sorry, we could not
    make it up to the memorial.
    A donation to the Calgary Meals on Wheels is being made in his memory.

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  19. Andrew & Lyndal Walker :

    John and Family,
    We were so sorry to hear of the passing of John Sr.
    We fondly remember the times we met Marcia and John in Sarnia.
    We are thinking of you and send our prayers.
    Andrew & Lyndal Walker

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  20. Don and Pat Poland :

    John, Andrew and families
    Our deepest condolences in your dad’s passing.
    As you guys know, our families (you guys and Brent and Mark) crossed paths many times over the years that your dad and I worked at Dow. We remember both your dad and mom with very warm feelings.
    With sympathy
    Don and Pat Poland

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  21. Shirley Kelly :

    John Jr. & Drew:
    Just learned about the passing of your father and our sincerest sympathy to you both
    and your families. We really do miss the good times we had with both your parents.

    Shirley, Nancy & Helen
    Sarnia

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  22. Stephen Lovell :

    As a child my family and John’s shared many good times together and celebrated the holiday season with joy and friendship. My thoughts of John and his family are fond and wish to express my condolences to his surviving children. He will be missed.

    Stephen Lovell
    Sarnia

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  23. Very sad to hear of the passing of my cousin John.

    Our thoughts are with the boys and their families at this sad time.

    Andrew and family
    Falkirk, Scotland and TX

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