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Lawrence Louis Raffin
January 9, 1939 ~ October 17, 2023 (age 84) 84 Years Old
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Lawrence Louis Raffin, our dear father, passed away peacefully on October 17, 2023, at the age of 84. Left to treasure his memory are; his children, Suzanne (Len) Roche, Christine (Mike) Foran, and Dan (Rhea) Raffin; his grandchildren, Chris, Mikaela, Matthew; and Claire; and Zander and Katie; as well as nieces, nephews, relatives, and dear friends. Lawrence was predeceased by Ethel, his loving wife of 56 years; parents, Angelina and Redento Raffin; brothers, Giovanni and Peter; and most recently, his sister, Kay.
Lawrence was born in Nordegg, AB - the youngest child of Italian immigrant parents. It was there that he attended school and where he learned to curl and skate, developing a passion for hockey. He was asked to try out for the Red Deer team, but a knee injury quashed any boy dreams he had of making it big. The coal mines closed when Dad was 16, and the family moved to Calgary. He started grade 10 at St Mary’s, but then the next year went to grade 12. Everyone thought he had skipped a year, but he had actually done his grade 11 year first in Nordegg, as there was only one teacher. Football was a highlight - he was the smallest on the team! He played against future CFL Stampeder, Larry Robinson, who told his players to “get that guy”, as Dad would chase him all over the field.
He did really well in school, but Calgary didn’t have a university, and student loans didn’t exist for him to have the opportunity to go away. As he had been helping his brother with his side electrical jobs from the day he had moved to Calgary, Pete suggested that he work for him. So he challenged the SAIT Electrical exam. He was put into third year. He worked and saved, and then went back and took Electronics, graduating second in his class with Honors! A professor told him that he had the mind to go to NASA. Spreading his wings, he went to work at the Whiteshell Nuclear Plant, but left after having concerns about radiation. He returned to Calgary. His brother’s company was taking off. He landed the jobs and Dad loved the challenge of being able to design, build, and install compressor control panels for major oil companies. In 1964, he again went back to SAIT for more technical expertise. Eventually, Dad started his own consulting firm. He really wished he could have gone to university, which is why it was so important that he ensured his children had the opportunity to go. It was the greatest gift he could give them.
Lawrence met Ethel at a dance hall. Neither of them had wanted to go out that night. It was a good thing they did! They were married in Lethbridge in November of 1966. A year later, Suzanne was born; then in 1973 came Christine, and three years later, Dan.
Family was everything to Lawrence. He truly was our rock. Though he worked long hours, he always had time for us, whether it was going for a walk together, helping with homework (even university math), or putting us to work as his little helpers on whichever of his many projects he was working on. Through his role modeling, he taught us good work ethic; to take pride in whatever we did; and to be of service to others.
Lawrence’s faith was deep-rooted - he said the rosary daily and was very involved in his parish. He was a humble man - but with a glint in his eye. Although he had a very serious look about him, he loved a good joke and was quite mischievous - especially at Christmas time - we had some very creatively wrapped gifts. Again, a role model for his kids and grandkids!
Although it was his wish to retire much earlier, Lawrence worked until he was 70. He had dreams of traveling the world. He tallied over 20 countries before he had to stop when Mom’s dementia became more apparent. He was devoted to his wife and his advocation for her care at all points of her illness was again inspirational to all of us.
Lawrence was incredibly proud of his children and his grandchildren. He enjoyed attending his grandkids’ sports and school events and was always available to take care of them when needed. Even when in Long Term Care, he appreciated their visits. Visits we will miss.
A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Michael’s Catholic Community (800 85 St SW, Calgary), on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, at 1:00 pm.