Roland Joseph Charbonneau, born in Gatineau, QC, on April 8, 1940, died quietly on February 15, 2015, at Sprucedale Care Centre in Strathroy, Ontario. As a young man, Roland joined the Royal Canadian Navy and was stationed in Halifax, NS. His navy time and time “out fishing” with his former father-in-law in Nova Scotia helped to instill in him a great love for the ocean and sailing. After his military service, he began a long career with Canada Post in Campbellton, NB. On his retirement, Roland spent 11 years travelling and living in Mexico, where he learned to speak his third language, Spanish; he always had a Mexican tale at the ready (“Bueno!”). Throughout his life, Roland maintained a love of the water and boats and could be spotted, hard-keeled with red sails unfurled, on the waters near Ottawa before his time in Mexico. He once sailed alone down the St. Lawrence and then tacked into Lake Champlain, from there straight on into the Hudson River, eventually arriving in New York harbour. A craftsman and builder, he created much with his hands, including his daughter’s camp in New Ross, NS, which he constructed with nothing but hand tools; he could fix anything. He was an avid reader and seeker and could discuss his favourite topics for hours. He was constantly researching and learning. A great lover of music and nature and a good cup of coffee and greasy-spoon breakfasts, he lived a full life. Roland is predeceased by his parents, Ludger and Laurette (Charron), and his sister, Claire. He is survived by his daughter, Jane (Thane), and sons, Chuck (Magda) and Dave (Linda), and his former wife and their mother, Mary Kiley. He will be missed by his four grandchildren, Abby, Erin, Nathan, and Lucy, as well as by his brothers, Ronald (Jeannine), Adrien (Estelle), Roger, Bernard, Claude (Johanne), Jean-Pierre (Carole), and Denis (Louise), sisters Louise (Jean-Claude) and Hélène, nieces and nephews, and friends from his years in Mexico, including Katherine Masotti. Funeral arrangements will be private, following cremation. If you would like, donations in his name to the Canadian Cancer Society or other charity of your choice would be appreciated. The family wishes to thank all those who cared for Roland during his stay at Middlesex Terrace and at Sprucedale Care Centre, with a special note to everyone involved in Roland’s general and palliative care. The family is also grateful for the caring assistance of Denning’s of Strathroy.
Written by: DENNING'Son February 17, 2015.on February 19, 2015.