February 27, 2009

Nicholas H. Laping '61

With his family by his side reminiscing about all he brought to our lives, Nick Laping passed away on February 26th, 2009, at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg.

For nearly 50 years he shared his life with his best friend and wife, Beverly (nee Pearson).  They were each other’s “anchor in life’s ocean” and never wavered from the vows they took in 1966 and renewed again on their 25th wedding anniversary. 

Nick was a pillar of the community and the embodiment of civic commitment.  Although his loyalty, integrity and principled approach to conducting his daily life truly touched many, his greatest sources of pride and joy were his children and their families.    

Nicole, Jeff, Leigh Ann, Mike, Lisa, Susie and John will always remember him as their biggest supporter, one of their best friends and an individual that they could count on to be there in any situation.

He was the “bestest” Papa to Nicholas, Hayden, Ashton and Chase, spending countless hours playing with “his boys”.  Memories of times spent with his family and friends are the greatest treasures that Nick had in his life.

Nick was born on December 1, 1942 in Bela Cirkva, Yugoslavia and lived his childhood in Zuettlingen, Germany, before coming to Canada in 1953 with his Mom, Dad and favorite Sister, Christal Holtmann of Rosser, MB.  He was forever grateful to his parents for bringing the family to Canada.  The desire to grow and focus on creating a better future for those around him was not only one of Nick’s strongest instilled values; it is also one of the greatest legacies that he leaves behind.

 He attended Holy Cross, St. Edward’s, St. Paul’s High School and Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute. After high school he was a fixture at the University of Manitoba, graduating with a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education while quarterbacking the Bison Football Team from 1962 through 1966.  The team’s 40 year reunion and celebration of their Western Canadian Conference Title were events that Nick cherished.    

A devoted educator, Nick subsequently earned his Masters of Education and taught and coached basketball and football at St. Paul’s High School and John Taylor Collegiate for 13 years before moving into the business world as the Executive Director of Junior Achievement.  For 22 years, he worked for the Chipman family teaching and living Steven Covey’s habits of successful people at the Birchwood Automotive Group under the leadership of a man that he considered a true mentor, R.M. Chipman.

He also completed a certificate in Human Resource Management and helped coach the St. James Rods, Oak Park Raiders, and the University of Manitoba Bison football teams. 

The last two years of his professional career came full circle when he returned to St. Paul’s High School as the Director Advancement and Alumni Relations working alongside his son Jeff.  He was not just doing a job, he was living his passion. 

Nick will be remembered by his family, friends and the many people whose lives he influenced.  He was truly a Man for Others . 

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating blood or platelets at Canadian Blood Services [http://www.blood.ca] , making a donation to the Patient Comfort Fund of the GD6 Unit at Health Sciences Centre [http://www.hscfoundation.mb.ca/  (GD6 Hope Project)] or a contribution to the Nick Laping ’61 Memorial Bursary at St. Paul’s High School [http://www.stpauls.mb.ca/].

Visitation will take place in the gym at St Paul’s High School, 2200 Grant Avenue, from 2:00 -9:00 pm on Tuesday, March 3 with prayers at 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm.  Rite of Christian Burial will begin at 1:30 pm, Wednesday, March 4,  at St. Ignatius Church, 255 Stafford Avenue, with burial to follow immediately.  All are invited to a reception at St Paul’s High School following the funeral.

The family extends its sincerest thanks to the GD6 ward at the Health Sciences Centre, Cancer Care Manitoba and the St. James Walk-In Clinic and asks that all concelebrating priests please contact Father Boutilier, S.J. at 831-2347.

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