Roy William Lawrence
Roy was born in Enfield, Middlesex, England on May 25, 1930; he was the fourth of six children in a working-class family. He remembered living in London during the Blitzkrieg of World War Two. His home was hit by an incendiary bomb at one point. He clearly remembered the sound of doodle bugs and the shrapnel collection after a night of bombing. By the age of 14, Roy was working in a drafting office as a “gopher”. One of the women office workers noticed his drawings on a box and encouraged her boyfriend, a draftsman, to train Roy as a draftsman. This began a lifelong occupation as a draftsman and drafting teacher in Canada.
After his mandatory military service as a medic, Roy married Joan Dorothy Wallis in 1953. It was obvious that there were few opportunities in war-torn England so Roy sought work elsewhere. Joan was not keen on a move to Tasmania for work, so the family (including daughter, Ruth, and Joan’s sister and mother) emigrated to Toronto, Ontario. Roy found work as a janitor and a draftsman, eventually working on the Avro Arrow.
The family bought their first home in 1959, the year they welcomed their son, Mark. By 1964, Roy trained as a teacher and spent the rest of his working years teaching drafting in Toronto high schools, a career he enjoyed. Roy retired at age 60; he and Joan moved to Newmarket and then Barrie, Ontario. They enjoyed frequent visits to the Yukon from 1979 when Ruth and her husband, George, moved to Haines Junction. They also toured the Maritimes and Vancouver Island on trips with Ruth, George and their children, Adrienne and Mark. Roy would often take pictures of the landscapes with the intention of painting Yukon scenes when he “had time”.
Joan passed away in 2013 and Roy moved to Whitehorse the same year. His final 7 years were spent in the Yukon connected to Ruth’s family and friends, including three great-grandchildren. Roy finally found time to paint and his many water colour renditions of the Yukon landscape were printed on cards. Roy later lived in Macaulay Lodge and Whistle Bend Place where he became a member of the Residents’ Council and made friends easily. He is remembered as a quiet, pleasant, generous and charming gentleman with a lovely smile.
Roy passed away from the consequences of a fall he took the day before his 90th birthday. He will be greatly missed by his Yukon family – Ruth, George, Adrienne, Mark and Angie and great- grandchildren Emma, Ben and Charlotte – as well as friends, staff and residents of Whistle Bend Place. He will also be sadly missed by son Mark, wife Christine, Matthew and Marissa in Ontario.