Francis, beloved husband of Marjorie (nee Ditto) of Calgary, passed from this world joyously surrounded by his devoted family on Sunday, April 22, 2007 at the age of 84 years. His generosity to community and his profound faith, lived simply and humbly, will remain forever in our hearts.
Francis was born July 20, 1922 in Edmonton and raised in Calgary during the Great Depression. Following graduation from Western Canada High School in 1940 Fran worked for the Royal Bank until 1942. He then joined the Royal Canadian Navy where he served as a coder aboard the minesweeper HMCS Courtney. Commissioned from the lower deck, he ultimately obtained his wings as a navigator with the Fleet Air Arm, serving aboard the aircraft carrier HMCS Warrior in WWII. He retired from active service in 1947 as a Lieutenant Commander, and continued his service in the Navy Reserve for several decades thereafter. After the war he started an impressive career with Shell Canada Limited, as a crude analyst and LPG trader, that spanned twenty-six years. During this period Fran formed Rocky Mountain Importers, a thriving family enterprise fondly referred to as the “purse business”. It was at the Calgary Stampede where he grew and showcased this business. His business interests were diverse and captivating, ranging from the breeding of Full French Charolais cattle to financing university research projects in biotechnology. Following early retirement from Shell in 1977, his entrepreneurial energies were channeled into – Lefaivre Resources – which enabled Marj and himself to generously create two new charities and support numerous social justice initiatives. He traveled to more than sixty-five countries financing or representing various aid organizations that brought water, food, shelter and medicine to areas devastated by poverty, famine and drought, and restored sight to thousands. Fran served as a director on many boards, including junior oil and gas companies, Carewest, the Leger Foundation, and many international charities such as Operation Eyesight Universal. He was very active in the Catholic community. Nominated by The Mustard Seed (Calgary) Street Ministry and United Way of Calgary, he and Marj received the Outstanding Lifetime Philanthropists Generosity of Spirit Award in 2003 for their pioneer role in advancing charitable giving. Later that same year they were honoured by the Rotary Club for their outstanding contribution to the community. Fran was a generous and gracious man who was an inspiration to many, a passionate supporter and advocate of the less fortunate, and a remarkable contributor to the community. More than anything he put his faith into action. Family was most important in his life. He was a devoted son, a loyal and steadfast brother, a loving husband and best friend, a compassionate and wise father and a nurturing grandfather.
Fran will be sadly missed by his wife Marj, and his five children: Wendy Bodsworth (Steve) and their children Nancy, Ginny and Mike; Peter (Connie) and children Christopher, Kelly and Sean; Susan Cosgrove (John) and their daughters Carolyn and Andrea; Christine Lefaivre; and Tim (Susan) and their children Michael and Elizabeth. Fran is survived by siblings, Paul, Marguerite and Catherine, numerous brothers and sisters-in-law, nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by his grandchildren, Julie Cosgrove and Gentry Aubrey, and by his brother Joe Lefaivre.
Those wishing to pay their respects may do so at McInnis and Holloway’s Park Memorial Chapel, (5008 Elbow Drive S.W.) on Thursday, April 26, 2007 commencing at 6:00 p.m. Prayers and Tributes to follow at 7:30 p.m. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. James Catholic Church, (5504 – 20 St. S.W.) on Friday, April 27, 2007 at 11:30 a.m. with the Rev. Michael Storey Presider. Following the reception a Graveside Service will be held at St. Mary’s Cemetery. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Alberta, 200, 119 – 14th St. N.W., Calgary, AB T2N 1Z6 Telephone: (403) 264-5549, www.heartandstroke.ca. or to Fran’s favourite charity, the Mustard Seed Street Ministry, 102 – 11 Avenue S.E., Calgary, AB T2G 0X5 Telephone: (403) 269-1319, www.theseed.ca. The family wishes to extend special thanks to the health care team at the ICU unit at Rockyview Hospital for their professional, gracious and attentive care, in particular Dr. George Alvarez, and nurses Tanya and Candice.
In living memory of Francis Lefaivre, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403) 243-8200.Print This Obituary & Condolences