It is with a broken heart we announce the passing of my beloved soulmate and best friend, John LaPierre on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at the age of 71 in the arms of his loving wife.

He lived his life fully and passionately, right to his last day.

John leaves behind his wife, Valerie Smith, who was the love of his life, soul mate and his best friend; son Derek of Hamilton, daughters Lisa MacIntyre (Dwayne) of Matheson and Denise St. Pierre of Orillia and grandchildren Patrick, Brandon, Cassandra, Mathew (Drew) and Ashley, all of whom John greatly loved and treasured.

John is predeceased by parents Archie and Eva LaPierre (Paquette) who provided a loving home for him and his three older sisters, late Evelyne (Lang) and the late Aline (Mousseau) and Jane (Dickson).

He is survived by sister Jane Dickson (James) who was more than a caring, loving sister, she was a wonderful friend. Brother-in-law of Marcelle Mousseau (late Aline), Janet Turner (Alan) of Manitouwadge, Ian Smith (Karen) of St. Catharines, Judy Chabot (Maurice) of Manitouwadge and Gwen Sanderson (Perry) of Sault Ste. Marie.

John is also survived by a close-knit family of cousins, nieces and nephews and their partners who all meant so much to him. Dear friend of Brian Chaput and to Al McKean.

John packed love, joy and happiness into each and every day throughout his life and during his battle with lung cancer and COPD.

It was rare to see John without a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. John was a kind, non-judgemental, soft spoken man who graciously shared his time, knowledge and his belongings with others.

After a stint in the Royal Canadian Air Force, John worked various jobs and settled on being a crane and heavy equipment operator. John parlayed his knowledge of cranes and heavy equipment into his love of working with people and became a heavy equipment and crane trainer. He eventually rose to become Canadian Training manger for one of the largest construction companies in North America.

He travelled for work, or for pleasure, to every province and territory across Canada. He spent three years as Training Manager in Africa. He worked in Tanzania and Mali, and lived with his wife in Guinea, Africa.

John and his wife travelled extensively delivering heavy equipment training to Aboriginal communities through out British Columbia. He delivered training and recruitment throughout all of Canada, extensively in Alberta and then along the East Coast/Newfoundland.

He was a dedicated and methodical instructor who always had time to listen and to offer a word of encouragement.

John was a truly unique individual with the uncanny ability to engage with people, tell side splitting stories and build enduring friendships. He loved to laugh and friends always told him to write a book about his life. He touched so many people through his life and made true friendships.

He loved to go to different places and delve into other cultures and the way people lived. He had a special way of always bringing out the best in people. Over the years, John and his wife vacationed on a large number of Caribbean Islands and since retirement spent the last six winters enjoying their Florida friends and the warm sun.

John made deep and lasting friendships wherever he vacationed, lived and worked. He will be fondly remembered by the children of Africa for the school supplies, the clothes, the glasses and the kindness provided to their school and their parents for the knowledge, friendship and material goods.

He will be remembered as a loyal, dedicated, trustworthy friend. John loved his work but his family and friends were always first in his heart and this slow to anger, quick to forgive, kind loving man will be greatly missed by his wife Valerie, his children, his grandchildren, his sister, his family and his many friends.

John always appreciated, and was thankful for the love and devotion of his many good friends and his loving family.

On John’s behalf I would like to thank our family, friends and neighbours for their many acts of kindness during John’s illness. To Dr. Sean Gravelle and Dr. Nicki Apostle, to the nurses at the Follow-up Clinic for the very kind, compassionate care they provided to John and his family.

Also thank you to Dr. Rassouli and the fantastic staff of the SAH Acute Care, the paramedics and the police officers who attended.

A special thank you to Holly of ParaMed for helping John remain in his home for as long as possible. Words cannot express our gratitude for the kind, compassionate care provided to our loved one in his final months.

As per John’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a Celebration of his well lived life will be held at on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 11 am at Northwood Funeral Home Cremation and Reception Centre (942 Great Northern Rd 705-945-7758).

Mrs. Helen Smith officiating.

Memorial contributions to the charity of your choice would be appreciated.