AVIS, W. Robert “Bob”

Bob died today – August 4, 2017 after celebrating his 79th birthday on July 26th.

He died on his terms. Cancer ended his life but not his spirit. Left behind was his 4th wife, Debra Tomas Avis and his 2 cats, Summer and Sam. He was the son of Anne and Laurier “Larry” LaChapelle. His children, either by birth or by choice are Dawn Wright, Russell LaChapelle, Ron Davidson (Lynne “Jo” Miller), Rick Davidson (Robin Marshall), Roland LaChapelle (Diane Therrien), Leanne Briere and Charlene Burford (Ken Lewis). Bob had numerous nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was “Grandpa Bob” to 2 of his granddaughters, Chelsey Briere and Willow Burford. Bob married into the big Tomas clan – mother-in-law, Dorothy (Fern), Deanna Tomas (Bill Woodcock), Nancy Witty (Gary), Susan Morrow (Mike), Marlene (Jenny Bain), Steven Tomas (Mary) and Charles (Malissa). Bob is survived by his sisters, Yvette Wicksted (Dave) and Yvonne Maw (Arthur), brothers Duane LaChapelle (Louise) and Ken LaChapelle (Sue). Also missing Bob are his special friends like Sue LaChapelle who could always make him smile and Hunter Lobban who went to lunch with him at Bob’s favorite restaurant, the Embassy.

Bob was a printer by heart and by profession, owning the Algoma News Review/Wawa Print & Litho from February 1, 1977 to August 31, 2007. He was a member of the Rotary Club of Wawa and the latest President of the Wawa Goose Club. Wawa was Bob’s home since 1972 and although he thought he would be here for less than a year, he never left. Again, by choice.

His lottery dream was to purchase the old Hudson Bay store and convert it into an animal shelter. There would also be a coin & stamp store and a restaurant called “Uncle Bob’s Burgers” where he would flip burgers and serve Diet Pepsi. Limited hours and a limited menu and open whenever he wasn’t tending to the cats and dogs in the shelter.

Please join us on Thursday, August 10 at the Wawa Goose Club on Broadway Avenue to talk about Bob and share stories from 11 a.m. until the coffee pot runs dry.

If so desired, donations can be made in Bob’s memory to the Wawa Goose Club, the Rotary Club of Wawa, our great local Lady Dunn Health Centre, or to a charity of your choosing.

Arrangements entrusted to the P.M. Gilmartin Funeral Home, www.gilmartinfuneralhome.ca

“Opinions, or observations from an old newsman”


  1. It’s a sad day…Bob was my mentor and a good friend. I will miss him deeply.

  2. Most sincere condolences Debbie and family, he was a credit to the community for many years and will be missed.
    Pat & Rick Cox