Horace (Bucko) Lapointe

October 16, 1920 – June 18, 2014

Long time Nelson resident Bucko Lapointe passed away peacefully at the Mountain Lakes Care Facility. His last few years were spent in comfort and we thank the staff for their genuine care and kindness that they provided for him.

He attended Hume and Trafalgar schools and Nelson Business College. In his youth, he enjoyed playing lacrosse, baseball and hockey with Nelson’s Fairview Athletic Club.

Like many young men, who grew up with the perils of WWII, Louis Philip Horace Lapointe volunteered to serve his country and lay down his life if necessary. Bucko, as his mates knew him, served with the 101 Squadron located at Ludford Magna. His squadron was unique since it was Bomber Command’s first electronic counter-measures squadron. 101 Squadron deliberately broke the standing operating procedures of radio silence in order to conduct their revolutionary jamming techniques. Subsequently, this made these aircraft highly vulnerable to being tracked and then attacked, which resulted in 101 Squadron suffering the highest casualty rate of any RAF squadron. Three times Bucko managed to safely navigate his Lancaster back to Britain after its electrical navigation aids failed. In four encounters with enemy fighters, they got away without a bullet crease, even shooting down one enemy fighter and damaging another. Flying Officer Lapointe was soon described as a navigator of outstanding ability who had set a very fine record of achievement to the whole squadron.

His devotion to his duties and splendid record soon set him apart from many of his comrades when he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. On the 8th of September 1945, the London Gazette reported how Flying Officer Lapointe, had at all times displayed a fine offensive spirit. By his skill and outstanding cheerfulness in the face of danger he had been an excellent example to his crew and greatly helped his captain to maintain a high standard of morale.

After the war, Bucko returned to the Kootenays, and as he settled down, he got married, built his own house and lovingly raised his family of two boys and a daughter. As a plumber and sheet metal tradesman he worked with Vic Graves Plumbing and Heating Co. and then with the Nelson School Board maintenance department. Bucko also served with the Nelson Legion as its President for two years. During his tenure, he lobbied to raise funds for Jubilee Manor [care facility] to be constructed.

He was predeceased by his eldest son Alan in 1989, his wife Verna in 2004 and just recently his daughter Beverly. He is survived by his middle son Murray, granddaughter Willow, her two children, and many other relatives.

Bucko had a nature that you could not help but admire, and a heart that was always purer than gold. And to all those who knew and loved him he will nurture not only a smile but also a silent tear. Our family chains have long been broken, and nothing will ever be the same. But some day, one by one, our chain will link again as we realize how his love for us was all so unquestioning as well as all so blind to the failings of others. Rest in peace dear father – rest in peace.

A Graveside Service will be held on Friday, June 27, 2014 at 11:00 AM from the Nelson Memorial Park Cemetery.

Online condolences may be expressed at

www.thompsonfs.ca

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of

Thompson Funeral Service Ltd.


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