I met Ron Roe the first week I moved to Carleton Place in 1981. In fact, he made a point to come and talk to me when he saw me outside in my yard. Anytime I saw him from that moment on he was very personable and always had a great story to tell.
We saw each other in passing many times throughout the years, and I considered Ron a great example of being a Carleton Place citizen. Whether it was being a town councillor, or preaching and singing at Zion-Memorial Church, or on the Board of the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital–Ron was an important brick in the foundation of Carleton Place.
Everyone will have their own personal thoughts about Ron, but I think his proudest achievement was The Hall of Valour that was once located at the Victoria Public School on Edmond Street. I wrote about the Hall of Valour in 2012, and when I visited; I was surprised to see Ron Roe as the curator. I had initially come to do research on local town hero Roy Brown who shot down the Red Baron Manfred Richthofen. But, in a short matter of time Ron had me quickly immersed in the history of the Hall of Valour and why it was so important.
So who was going to remember all these valiant soldiers who fought for our freedom Ron asked? There are the Legions and the War Memorials but– was there anywhere that provided memorabilia that honour former Veterans who gave their lives in defence of their Country? Carleton Place was chosen specifically because it had a great record of involvement in both of the major wars of the past century and Ron was proud of that fact.
Photo of Ron Roe from Mindy Merkley and Mary Cook
The concept of the Hall of Valour was “framed” by the Hon. Judge Matheson, of Kingston – the same man who created the design concept of Canada’s current flag. Mr. Bob Campbell, was the Chairman of the Board, and Commander Jacques Levesque became the Vice-Chairman, and of course Ron Roe became the curator.
When I talked to Ron in 2012 he was not the same man I had met years before. His memory had begun to fade, and that infectious smile he once had was greatly waned. In the space of a year I noticed that Ron didn’t open the war museum as frequently, and word was he had moved into a seniors home.
The last time I saw Ron was at the senior’s home on Arthur Street when I visited Bill Bagg. Ron was waiting for the dining room to open sitting in a wheel chair chatting with Betty Robinson. I walked up to him and said,
“Ron, I don’t know if you remember me, but my name is Linda Seccaspina and I just want to thank you for all the work and love you have shown Carleton Place.”
Ron slowly got up from his chair with that same Ron Roe smile I remembered from years passed. He clasped my hand firmly with both his hands and said softly.
“I have to apologize that I don’t remember you, but I want to thank you for remembering me.”
With that I gave him a giant hug and I was hoping to see him again, but our last goodbye was never said. Today I remember Ron Roe, as it’s hard to forget someone who gave us and the town of Carleton Place so much to remember. My love to Betty and family,
ROE, Ron At the Perley-Rideau Veterans Health Centre in Ottawa on Saturday, November 25, 2017, Ron Roe of Carleton Place, age 87. Beloved husband of Betty Roe (nee Ratcliffe) of Morrisburg. Loving father of Mark Roe (Monica) of Montreal, David Roe (Jane) of Tucson, Arizona and Mary Casselman (Robert) of Morrisburg.
Ron will be fondly remembered by grandchildren B.J., Nora, Lorie, step-grandchildren Dale, Matthew and Geoffrey and numerous great-grandchildren. Predeceased by his parents Asa and Alice Roe (nee Armstrong) and his brother John Roe. Also survived by nieces and nephews. There will be no visitation or funeral service. Donations to the Perley-Rideau Veterans Health Centre would be gratefully acknowledged by the family. Online condolences may be made at www.marsdenmclaughlin.com.
This photo of their building was taken May 29, 1930 when it was the Carleton Place Canadian newspaper office. That’s F.A.J. Davis, Asa Roe, Wilf. Hendry, George Healey, Ed McPherson, Agnes Dunfield, and Betty Currie posing out front.
Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 09 Nov 1965, Tue, Page 40
Identified on back of photograph as Doug Guerard, may in fact be Ken Cook (as suggested by childhood friend, Ron Roe)– donated by Rev. Worden to the museum.-A Tale From Gordon Henry Worden
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)