Roy Roper played his last nine holes of golf at Sunset Ranch in Kelowna three weeks ago at the age of 89 years. Two days later he entered Kelowna General Hospital as a result of a heart attack. Complications made a medical air trip home to Calgary necessary. Despite the best efforts of all the doctors and nurses he succumbed to heart failure at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 2nd, 2006 in Calgary with his daughter and son at his side.
Roy was born on a farm near Colonsay, SK on a cold April day in 1917 as the second of nine children to his parents William Henry Roper and Margaret (nee Preston). This dynamic couple had immigrated from England and Scotland, met and were engaged in Montreal and married and lived in Yorkton, SK where Bill managed the Hudson Bay Company trading post. They decided to homestead east of Saskatoon and raised their family there.
Roy worked on his aunt and uncle Kemp’s farm for room and board and found joy in baseball, shinny, curling and friends in the meager and tough times of the Dust Bowl in the Dirty Thirties. Like many of his friends and family he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force with postings in Montreal and then England until early 1946. He received the Defence Medal and CVSM and clasp.
Roy had the good fortune to meet his spirited Norwegian wife, Clara Helena Wold in Saskatoon while he was working at Caswell’s men’s wear store. They married in 1947 and proceeded to have Donna Lynn and Darrell Preston in 1947 and 1953. Life there held the wonderful magic of children walking to school, homemade ice rinks in the back yard where the garden was in summer, and lazy afternoons swimming at the Lathy pool across 1st Street. Roy’s career eventually led them to Calgary in 1961. Again Roy and Clara made wonderful friends as they curled, golfed and partied while Donna and Darrell participated on sports teams. Like many of their time in “the station wagon era”, they car camped on holidays including the infamous classic hot summer trip to Disneyland. Roy and Clara’s allegiance to the Saskatchewan Roughriders shifted a little in 1967 as their future son-in-law, Art played for Calgary. Their love of the game took them to the Grey Cup games in Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, and Toronto where, with Clara’s energetic personality and Roy’s easy friendly manner, they made life-long friends with the people they met. Roy went to all the grandchildren’s sporting events including hockey, volleyball, basketball, football, soccer, and field hockey. He never missed a graduation or major event in their lives right up until the day he passed away. These were big moments in these children’s lives and he was a huge influence on them as Roy and Clara were an important part of everyone’s lives.
Roy and Clara kept curling, golfing and vacationing, seeing friends and like many Canadians touched by the Depression, Dirty Thirties, and W.W.II, they were fiercely independent and lived in the moment. Roy had an athletic bent, great sense of humor and a gentle kindness in his ways that endeared him to many. He is and will always be lovingly remembered and sorely missed by his family and friends.
Roy was predeceased by his fun loving wife Clara on June 22, 2003 and brother Jack Roper. He is survived by his daughter Donna Lynn Froese, her husband Art and their children, Kirsten Froese Loewen (Robin), Hannah La Plante (Mike); and great-grandchildren, Sierra and Zephyr La Plante and Erik Froese (Cassandra Hicks); son Darrell Roper, his son Joe Roper and his daughter Kristina Roper and Darrell’s wife Cindy Madsen and their son Keaton Roper; Roy’s brothers, Ken and Dale and sisters, Dot, Inez, Gerry, Margie, and Betty. His family misses him greatly and wishes to celebrate his life on earth with all those who know him and loved him.
Funeral Services will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Crowfoot Chapel (82 Crowfoot Circle N.W.) on Tuesday, November 7, 2006 at 1:00 p.m. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to S.T.A.R.S. (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society), Box 570, 1441 Aviation Park N.E., Calgary, AB T2E 8M7 Telephone: (403) 295-1811, www.stars.ca. The family is grateful for the care and kindness of Dr. Mah and Dr. Stone, the talented clinicians in the emergency area, and the wonderful and thoughtful nursing staff of Unit 56 at the Rocky View Hospital.
In living memory of Roy Roper, a tree will be planted at Fletcher Park Memorial Forest by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot Chapel, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE N.W., CALGARY. Telephone: (403) 241-0044.Print This Obituary & Condolences