From the High Prairie South Peace News
Lawrence Marvel ‘Skipper’ Villeneuve was born in Smith, Alberta on Aug. 13, 1941. He passed away on Marinduque Island in the Philippines on Aug. 2, 2017 at the age of 75 years.
‘Skip’ was born the fourth of 18 children to Lawrence and Alethea Villeneuve and grew up in Smith. He followed in his father’s footsteps and was an entrepreneur all his life.
He left Smith and moved to Paddle Prairie with his wife Lorraine and became involved in farming, road construction, logging, oil exploration and pipelines, as well as local politics. He got his pilot’s license and bought a Cessna aircraft and flew his family and friends to various destinations. Safety was a very important aspect of his flying; however, he put many of his passengers in terror while ‘pretending’ to have serious trouble in the air!
Skip loved playing practical jokes, and was always telling stories and enjoying life. He loved having coffee and B.S. sessions with anyone.
In 1996, he moved to Joussard, where he loved spending time fishing along with other work ventures. During this time he and his wife, Doris, went to Russia for three months, where he had a contract with the Russian government to set up a logging company. The following year he went back but even farther north into Siberia.
Skip travelled to many countries in his life. However, it was in Jasper that he met ‘Skip to Malou’ and later they moved to the Philippines, where Malou was from.
All his life Skip loved dogs and always had a small dog tucked away in his shirt, who traveled with him wherever he went. Friends will remember ‘Bill’ and ‘Muffin,’ and ‘Lady Lou.’
Skip leaves behind his wife Malou, stepsons Jerson (Gae) and Joseph (Jing), his son Conrad Martineau, his daughter Marcela Villeneuve (Lindin), son Ivan Villeneuve (Delana), daughter Fran Villeneuve (Rene), along with 17 grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his mother and father, brother Murray and several nieces and nephews. He will be mourned by his immediate family, his five brothers and 11 sisters and extended family and friends.
He is being remembered as a ‘larger than life’ person, who was never afraid to dive into life with enthusiasm and confidence.
A nine-day prayer service was held in the Philippines and was attended by all who knew him. A memorial was held on Sept. 10, 2017 at the Legion Hall in Smith, with interment following in the Smith cemetery.