BURNABY – CUPE BC President Mark Hancock is unable to attend the Celebration of Life for longtime CUPE activist Bev Lapointe, who recently passed. Gerry Schmon, president of CUPE's Kootenay District Council will read the letter at the ceremony. (Sister Lapointe’s official obituary follows.)
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
I am writing on behalf of the 85,000 members that CUPE BC represents to convey our condolences and thoughts to all who knew and loved Sister Bev Lapointe, especially her family and partner Loreli.
We were all extremely fortunate to have had Bev as colleague, activist, leader and friend in our union. Bev touched so many of our members with her passion for not only CUPE, but also our environment. Bev was a true champion for a healthier planet and is to be credited with revitalizing CUPE BC’s Environment Committee, which continues to flourish today, and was also a stalwart on CUPE National’s Environment committee representing BC.
Personally I have many fond memories of our sister – including her amazing leadership during the Nelson lockout of our members. Bev showed amazing leadership in what can only be described as one of the low points for the city of Nelson. Bev had an amazing ability to communicate, not only with our members in local 339, but also the public and the media. I still treasure the binder Bev gave me with all of the communications materials she sent out during the lockout – it is an amazing collection of bulletins to members, media releases and other assorted publications that the local distributed during the lockout. Because of her love of community and her home of Nelson, Bev didn’t want to hurt the residents that live there and she really struggled with applying pressure that could possibly have resolved the dispute faster. But that was Bev…
I also recall how she was first elected as a General Vice-President for CUPE BC – Bev entered the race really late, but her leadership, personality and amazing oratory skills made it an easy choice for delegates to elect her to our board. Bev was a pleasure to work with and I have no doubt she made a huge difference, not only for our movement, but also for all those who were fortunate to know and be touched by her.
While we mourn her passing, we also must celebrate her life and all of the good she brought into this world. We are much, much better off having had the pleasure and honour of having our good sister Bev in our lives. To Bev now I say, “Rest in peace sister - I know that heaven is a better, brighter place having you there now…”
Bev Lapointe, 1957-2014
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Bev LaPointe, peacefully at home with her loving partner Loreli and her faithful companion Tansy by her side.
Born in Vancouver BC July 29, 1957, Bev grew up in Nelson with her parents Verna and Horace “Bucko“ and 2 brothers Allan and Murray. She graduated in 1975 from L.V. Rogers Senior Secondary School. Bev was a natural athlete and learned to ski at 3 years old. She excelled in women’s fastball and rode her mountain bike for many years. In 1999 Bev joined Toast Masters where she honed her incredible skills in writing and telling stories. Bev's creativity knew no bounds.
Bev was employed for 32 years (1980-2012) with the City of Nelson working in parks and public works. Many will remember seeing her in the gardens of Gyro Park, which she maintained with pride for 18 years. Locals often saw her travelling down the street in her snow plow, bus and street sweeper, often joking “you bet I drive like a woman”.
Bev was community minded and had a tremendous social conscience, advocating for public services and environmental issues locally, provincially and nationally. She committed many years to the Canadian Union of Public Employees working as President of CUPE 339 Nelson Municipal workers, General Vice President on the CUPE BC executive board, chair of CUPE’s BC environment committee and member of CUPE’s National environment committee.
On September 14, 2013 Bev married long time partner Loreli Dawson. It was a lovely sunny day shared with family and beloved pets in their yard. They were surrounded by the many beautiful gardens that Bev had created.
Bev's big voice had a heart to match as she spoke words of encouragement and took pride in her good works and civic duties. Her generosity knew no limits, to both friends and strangers. Bev had an infectious laughter with an amazing sense of humour.
Everything that Bev touched turned to gold. Her beautiful smile always lit up the room and the hearts of her family and friends. Bev's natural leadership and loyalty to her friends inspired them to do better, to be kind and to bring out the best you had to offer. It was a joy to know her.
A lion of a woman, Bev's spirit will live with us forever. We love you Bev.
Bev is survived by her father Bucko, brother Murray, loving partner Loreli and her son Cody, aunts, uncles, cousins, many loving friends and her faithful companion Tansy. Predeceased by her mother Verna, brother Alan and her Aunt Lil.
Special thanks to doctors Malpass and Cochrane, the staff at Kootenay Lake Hospital and to Home Care Nursing.
In lieu of flowers a donation may be made to the Kootenay Lake Hospital Foundation, 3 View Street, Nelson, BC V1L 2V1.
Please join us for a celebration of Bev's life at the Best Western Hotel (153 Baker St. Nelson BC) on Saturday April 26, 2014 at 1:00PM.
Time is too slow…for those who wait
Too swift…for those who hurry
Too long…for those who grieve
Too short…for those who rejoice
For those who love…time is for eternity.