After a lifetime of amazing adventures, Dr. Gordon Lapp, 95, passed away on the afternoon of November 23rd, 2013 at Bastion Place Residential Care Home in Salmon Arm, BC, surrounded by his family. A Celebration of Life service is planned for December 15th, 2013 at 1:00 pm at Bower’s Funeral Home in Salmon Arm.
Gordon was born and raised on the family ranch in Redcliff, Alberta, the youngest of five children. A precocious student, he skipped several grades in school and graduated from Medicine Hat High School with high marks and plans to work in the banking industry. The outbreak of the Second World War changed those plans and Gordon enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1940. After completing his pilot’s training he flew Spitfire fighter aircraft with the 411 RCAF and 185 RAF squadrons. Among many other actions, Gordon fought in the Mediterranean during the siege of Malta, and on the continent during the D-Day invasion. He was promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader in 1944, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for his “unfailing courage and determination” before completing his second operational tour. The history books recognize Gordon as an Ace for the quantity of his victories in the air.
After the war, Gordon sought a challenging career and enrolled in medical school at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Upon completion, he did several short internships in Dawson Creek and Campbell River, B.C, Gimli, Manitoba, and Nordegg, Alberta, before moving with his family to Golden, B.C. to settle in to a 33 year medical practice. As one of the founding medical practitioners of the Golden Medical Clinic, Gordon enjoyed many years of distinguished community service with his wonderful colleagues and staff. They were a great team! Gordon’s calm, confident presence, strong leadership, and encouragement inspired his patients, staff and family alike.
Upon retirement from medicine at age 68, Gordon and his wife, Dee, moved from Golden to Sunnybrae, B.C., where they were able to share wonderful times with family and friends at their home on the lake. In 1991, after a few restless years and an apparent inability to get Gordon’s Alberta ranching heritage out of his blood, they purchased some land, built a house, and started a bison ranch on the outskirts of Salmon Arm. In 2001, he and Dee moved into town, building the last of their many homes together when Gordon was 85.
Gordon will be deeply missed and warmly remembered by his wife Dee, of 46 years, his children, Keith (Jane) Lapp, Kent (Leslie) Lapp, Karen (Bob) Henderson, and Darren (Christine) Lapp, and stepchildren Jeff (Lisa) Abbott and Dee Anne Le Cerf (Doug), and their families, including 19 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, as well as many good friends, former patients, and extended family members.
Gordon was predeceased by his first wife Barbara, his daughter, Janet Barbara Allen and his grandson Tyson Henderson.
The family wishes to give a special thank you to the wonderful staff at Bastion Place for all of their compassion, care and support.
Donations in memory of Gordon can be made to The East Kootenay Foundation for Health
Online condolences can be sent through Gordon’s obituary at www.bowersfuneralservice.com
Funeral arrangements are in the care of Bowers Funeral Service, Salmon Arm, BC.