In Memory of



Obituary for Roy Lake

With heavy hearts the family of Roy Lake must announce his passing in the early hours of January 30th, 2024.

It is impossible to distill in a few paragraphs the life of someone who lived so long and so beautifully, who met his challenges with so much grace and loved his people and this place so deeply.

Roy was born in Kaslo B.C. to Ethel (nee Rowe) and Stanley Lake and brought home to the family farm in Johnson’s Landing where he grew up along with his brother Alvin and his sisters, Doreen and Colleen. Many visitors came to the Lake home in Johnsons Landing and have passed on stories of the kindness, generosity, hard work, and resourcefulness of the Lake family.

Roy attended school in Johnson’s Landing and was able to complete grade 8 before duty called and he started working to help support his family. We were told that as a young man he seemed to have been born capable and found a solution for every problem as he worked on the family farm and in a few places around the Lardeau Valley. As a teenager he started work with the Highways Department building roads in the East and West Kootenays and in the Boundary region, always coming back to the Landing between assignments.

In 1958 Jane Wells, a pretty city girl from California, came to visit some of the Quaker families in Argenta. She caught his eye; his steady kindness, good humour and grounded, gentle nature convinced her that life would be better here and in 1960 they were married in Argenta. To their delight, babies Margaret, Catherine, and Duncan soon followed; Roy had a special way with babies, they always calmed in his arms. When family was imminent Roy and Jane purchased land at the head of Kootenay Lake and began farming. The Lake Ranch became a busy intersection for people from both sides of the Lardeau Valley. Many people came by to ask for help solving a problem, to find work, to borrow a tool. Roy was the local expert on how to help with anything from a sick or struggling animal, putting a waterline, building a barn or making just about anything grow. He was generous with his time and his advice. People who knew him well took delight in his mischievous streak and twinkling sense of humour.

When farming was no longer a viable option Roy pivoted to working his woodlot and logging for the remaining years of his working life. In retirement he was down to just one cow and enjoyed having extra time to indulge his love of gardening. Although there was always plenty of back and forth about how things should be done in the gardens Roy and Jane had a magic touch and could make anything grow. Together they grew beautiful flower and vegetable gardens in Meadow Creek and in Kaslo. Nothing made him happier than to share his produce or enjoy a meal with family that came entirely from his place.

Roy cared deeply about community and wanted to see his neighbours thrive. He believed in cooperation and was inquisitive and open to a changing world. He was a lifelong member of the NDP and diligently watched the news to stay abreast of events.

Roy was predeceased by his wife Jane and by his son Duncan, also by his brother Alvin and sister Doreen. He is survived by his sister Colleen Braconnier and his daughters Margaret Murphy (Kevin) and Catherine Lake and by his daughter-in-law Yvonne Boyd. He is also survived by his beloved grandchildren Connor, Erin and Kate Murphy, Anna, Jesse and Aidan Sparks, Andrea and Danan Lake and great grandchildren Claire, Mabel and Arturo Murphy-Massara and Meredith Warwick. He will be deeply missed by many others.

Many thanks to Dr Shier and to the staff of Victorian Hospital of Kaslo for their genuinely loving care during the last years. It has meant so much to know he was in good hands.

Roy and Jane both took particular delight in watching new growth emerge from the cold dark winter into the warmth of spring.

Please join us when a celebration of both their lives will be held in Argenta in the spring.