Michael  Lavoy
Michael  Lavoy

Celebration of Michael's Life

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Sunday, August 25, 2024
Arnprior Legion
49 Daniel Street North
Arnprior, Ontario, Canada

Celebration of Michael's Life

The celebration is currently being planned and will be announced here once finalized.

Obituary of Michael Lavoy

February 15, 1948 - May 23, 2024


Michael Joseph Lavoy passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, surrounded by his loving family. He was 75 years old.

Michael was the beloved husband of Anne Lavoy (nee Iskra) and the proud father of Heather Schram of Vancouver (Lindsay Schram) and Sean Lavoy (Andrea Parrish) of Vancouver Island. He was a cherished grandfather to Pascal, Sydney, and Elizabeth (aka Lizzy). Michael was the dear brother of Patrick Lavoy (Linda) of Florida, Richard Lavoy (late Lynn) of Renfrew, and Evelyn Paulson (Larry) of North Carolina. He was also a dear son-in-law to Barbara Iskra and a brother-in-law to Edward Iskra (Susan). Michael will be greatly missed by his many nieces and nephews, and his feral cat that he coaxed and befriended and took in. He was predeceased by his sister, Nancy Castagner (Andre), and his parents, Hugo and Eglantine (Dubeau) Lavoy.

Michael (Mike) may have been a helicopter pilot and a vice president of helicopter businesses, but the man was known by family, friends, and colleagues as one heck of a good cook. Mike was the maestro of Asian soups. He didn’t rely on recipes so much as tasting his pho as he went along adding more cilantro, ginger, or fish sauce. He told stories about how he’d found this or that hard-to-come-by fresh ingredient. This would remind him of how in his travels he’d seen how to shop for the best melons like the French did in Paris (it might take someone half a day to find the one perfect melon he’d exclaim), and then he’d go on about how to make the best coffee (first you must use cold water he’d say, never hot). Even in the tiny town of Arnprior where he and his wife Anne of 55 years decided to retire, he found the best pho restaurant, knew all the best dishes to order and loved to take family and friends there to eat. Michael loved to eat. 

He'd taken his family to eat at that pho restaurant even though he had been very ill for months. It was there that he collapsed from heart complications and one week later, died. 

Michael’s life began the day after Valentine’s, February 15, 1949 in a rented “living room” in Montreal, Quebec. After the war there were too few apartments so newlywed soldiers and their brides’ rented rooms in people’s apartments. He was born in that living room to proud parents Eglantine (Edith) and Hugo Lavoy. He was named for both of his grandfathers, Michael Joseph Lavoy. His mom bragged that she’d only gained ten pounds while pregnant. Maybe that was why Michael was born hungry.  

Over the next eight years Edith and Hugo grew their family, adding four more children. As the first born, Michael was the serious one who took on a lot of responsibility, the one who carried both grandfathers’ names. At three years old he insisted his sister hold his hand whenever they were out of the house. At twelve he was buying all his siblings Christmas gifts. At fourteen he was cooking. Fudge was a specialty. And at sixteen, Mike was the chauffeur to his brothers and sisters. As soon as he was mobile, he began working in earnest, first as a box boy in the local grocery store, then in a shoe store, followed by pizza delivery guy (he loved that job: driving fast and eating pizza!). In the summer he served as a cadet driving fellow cadets at base. When he reached adulthood, he became his parents and family’s advisor. Mike was a problem solver. If you needed advice, he was the one you went to first.

Mike was a complicated man. He had opinions. He knew things. He didn’t suffer fools. Mike could chastise and complain but he also was compassionate and would champion your efforts (most often behind the scenes). Mike was generous and caring. Anne said he liked his good deeds to be anonymous and would not brag about how he helped others. He took in his three youngest siblings for example, teenagers at the time, and his mom for six months following her divorce when he and Anne first married and had Heather. He helped her find, finance, and fix her first home. (And he was only 23 at the time). He brought his young brother, Richard, to his home for the summer when he needed guidance and help. He stood in for his father to support his youngest sister, Evelyn. And when years later when her daughter needed support, he gave her a job for the summer and housed her. Mike was sympathetic. And he did all these things and more and never spoke of it. 

The happiest day for Mike came when he met and fell in love with Anne while in a high school French class in St. Catherines, Ontario. It was a whirlwind love affair and they married after Anne completed her teaching degree and Mike was hired by Ontario Hydro. Heather, then Sean were born in the years following as they moved from town to town following Mike’s career. It was a busy and happy time. 

While working in Labrador, Michael met the many helicopter pilots who flew there, and he started planning a career change. After some discussion and planning, the Mike-and-Anne team, always ready to support each other, moved back to St. Catherines where Anne and the kids moved in with her parents while Mike worked on gaining his helicopter pilot’s license. This pivotal sequence of events changed the direction of their lives. For years Mike flew all over Canada, the United States and even Africa. After a full career as a helicopter pilot, he became Vice President of the helicopter company Aerospatiale/Eurocopter. More years went by and he and Anne retired to Florida and for the first time Mike failed at something: retirement. They returned to Carp, Ontario where they built their house and Mike became the VP of market and sales for HTS Helicopter Transport Services.  

Mike was loved and respected by his children. He modeled a strong work ethic with integrity at the center of his being. Sean and Heather inherited these traits from their father. They remember trips with their father to Chibougamau and epic travels to Versailles and Paris. To his children and others, Mike was a larger-than-life persona, sometimes immoveable yet always forthright. Everyone wishes Mike had not failed at retirement and had taken better care of himself. 

Michael and his mom and sister are likely carrying on culinary top chef wars in heaven. What’s the best way to smoke fish, how to extract the best flavor from brisket, and how to make the best guacamole are surely the topics. We love you. Until we meet again… 

Michael’s arrangements have been entrusted to the Boyce Funeral Home Ltd., 138 Daniel Street N., Arnprior. 

Please join us in celebrating Michael's life on Sunday, August 25, 2024, at the Arnprior Legion, 49 Daniel Street N., Arnprior. The celebration will be held from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. and will include a light buffet and refreshments. Let us gather to share stories and remember the joy Michael brought to our lives.

In memory of Michael, donations may be made to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

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