89-yr-old Doug Rapelje, know as a champion for seniors, was laid to rest in Welland today

doug rapelje

A highly-respected public servant in Welland, known for his passion for seniors, was laid to rest today.

Doug Rapelje passed away last week at the age of 89, and a private family service was held earlier today.

A celebration of life will be planned at a later date.

He served as Director of the Senior Citizens Department of the Niagara Region for 44 years until his retirement in 1995.

Beyond his working years, he continued to advocate for seniors in Niagara.

In Welland, one of the Region’s long-term care homes is named the Rapelje Lodge, in recognition for 'a man who worked tirelessly to upgrade care for seniors through programs such as respite care, home care, and meals on wheels.'

Welland Mayor Frank Campion issued a statement today saying Rapelje was instrumental in the city receiving the Ontario Age-Friendly Community Recognition Award and funding for 10 new hospice beds in Welland.

"The accolades that we could pile on Doug are as notable as they are many, and for many reasons, he will be missed in our community and beyond. As someone who cared so deeply for his community, the impact of this loss has reverberated through Niagara."

"Doug’s legacy will live on, and those whose lives he touched will not forget his work."

Flags were lowered in the city today.

More details on Repelje's life and passing can be found here.