Larry Roland was born on Monday, May 1, 1950 and second son to Morley and Florence (nee Lyell) Toomer in Hamilton, Ontario. Larry spent his early years in Aldershot and Burlington as a free-spirited youth exploring and experiencing everything the 1950’s and 60’s had to offer. He was always connected to the natural environment and enjoyed collecting rocks, bird eggs and other bits of what nature he encountered. As a teen he attended MM Robinson High School in Burlington.
In the 1970’s he and his brother Rick went “back to the land” and began farming on the 8th concession in Carlisle, Ontario. Their dream of owning “Larrick Farm” was short-lived and they both soon went on to find jobs in the city.
Larry worked for 8 years for the Burlington Parks Department, followed by a 29-year career with the Canadian Hydrographic Service. His work with CHS took him to almost every corner of Canada from Newfoundland to the Arctic, James Bay, each of the Great Lakes, and the St Lawrence Seaway. His stories and souvenirs were the best part of his job. He retired from the CHS in 2010, and settled in Wiarton, Ontario.
Beginning in the late 1970’s Larry met Denise Paulin and had 4 children: Marcelle, Erik, Joel and Evan. From then on, Larry’s family became the most important aspect of his life. Being a dad brought tremendous joy and fun to his life. He knew the importance of backyard skating rinks, a game of catch, a long drive to a tourist trap and a cool swim on a hot day. He was always there for his kids. In 2009 his twin grandsons Carter and Connor were born and he became “Pops”.
After retirement Larry could be found clearing snow on Gould Street in Wiarton, visiting local thrift shops, cooking from scratch, driving a tractor at Sleepy G Farm in Pass Lake, shopping with Joel, walking in the woods with Evan or meeting Connor and Carter at the bus stop after school.
Larry had many prized possessions and found great satisfaction in the hunt for collectables. He was fond of sports memorabilia and mid-century Canadiana. He had an extensive music collection and enjoyed rock and roll. Between his vast knowledge of Canadian culture and his extensive travel throughout Canada, Larry connected easily with virtually everyone he met.
Larry was a kind and gentle man who had a soft spot for animals and possessed tremendous generosity. If he knew you had an interest in something he would never hesitate to search the thrift stores to find an item that he knew you would enjoy. He will be missed by many friends, neighbours, co-workers, and of course his loving family.
Larry passed away surrounded by his children at South Bruce Grey Health Centre, Chesley on Wednesday, July 4, 2018 in his 69th year.
Larry will remain in the hearts of daughter Marcelle Paulin (Brendan Grant) of Pass Lake, Erik Paulin (Stacey Nieuwenhoff) of Chesley, Joel Paulin and Evan Paulin (Christa Burrell), all of Owen Sound, and grandsons Carter and Connor Paulin. Larry will be dearly missed by his mother Florence Toomer of Burlington, wife Denise Paulin of Thunder Bay and former daughter-in-law Ainsley Beckmann of Owen Sound. Larry is predeceased by his father Morley and brother Richard.
Please join Larry’s family and friends for a casual celebration of his life on Saturday, July 28, 2018 from 1 – 3 p.m. at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley.
Memorial donations to the Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.