Roy Gladwin Lightbody
August 17, 1925 - April 2, 2011
(Roy was the father of Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazineís art director, assistant editor, and co-owner Stephanie Ann Johanson)
Roy, as a child and as a young man was known by his second name, Gladwin or Glady for short. Roy was born in Vancouver, BC, but lived a portion of his childhood in Nova Scotia, and often reminisced about his time there. His father, James Roy Lightbody, and his mother, Winnifred (Hanna), were both born in Nova Scotia. Roy had an older sister Beulah Ellen Renshaw, and two younger brothers Sidney Hugh Lightbody, and Milford Lightbody. Roy and his siblings may have had their disagreements, but from the stories Roy told, they also must have had a lot of fun together.
Roy did many jobs throughout his life. He often talked about the old bicycle repair shop that his family owned and ran, back when he was young. Roy also worked as service station gas jockey and mechanic in his teens. He did odd jobs while travelling by rail. Roy owned a Texaco service station in Vancouver in the 60ís. He became a realtor for a while after that, and that is when he started going by his legal name Roy Gladwin Lightbody. Roy was always good with his hands, and enjoyed fixing cars, so when he quit working as a realtor, he went back to working on cars, both fixing engines and doing auto body work. He worked for himself, buying cars, trucks and even boats, fixing them up and selling them. Though he was no longer a realtor, he still looked into buying real estate. (Roy had polio as a child, his legs never completely recovered from it, but he had a lot of upper body strength, and he never let the weakness in his legs stop him from doing something he wanted to do.)
I remember being quite surprised that my father had been a mechanic for the Kitimat project in the 1950ís. I had learned about the Kitimat tunnel project when in school. It had never occurred to me that my father might have been part of the workforce for that project. I think it was when I was in my early thirties, I was visiting dad, and he pulled out an old photo album I hadnít seen before. He started telling me about the people in the photos. He talked about his co-workers, and told me that because the place was so remote, sometimes you couldnít get out of the valley on your days off. The pilots just couldnít fly if they couldnít see through the fog, or bad weather.
When I was a child dad used to divide a sheet of paper into six squares and draw three pictures in the three squares on the left, then he would hand me the sheet and I would draw, either copying his drawings or drawing my own versions of what he had drawn. For example, he would draw a speed boat, big dog, apple tree, and then I would draw a sail boat, small dog, and fir tree beside his. Dad enjoyed sketching, painting, and papier-m‚chť. I often think he would have been happier working as an artist. Dad also loved to play chess. He taught me how to play when I was five. I was so proud when I would win a game, but soon realized that when I won it was because he was letting me win. It was when I was nineteen, during one of my visits, that dad wanted to play a game of chess, and I didnít. So I played a very aggressive game willing to lose a piece as long as I could take one of his. He was left with his king, and two bishops, and I had my king, two rooks, and two pawns. I manage to get a queen for one of my pawns and boxed his king in. It may be the only time I legitimately won. - Stephanie Ann Johanson (Royís oldest daughter)
Roy married Ann Biddle in 1958. Their first child, Stephanie Ann, was born April 19, 1961 in St. Grace hospital, Vancouver, BC. Their second child, Karen Elizabeth, was born May 7, 1963, and their third child, Wendy Patricia, was born October 11, 1966.
In 1972 Ann and Roy separated. Ann took the three girls to live in Victoria, BC with their grandmother, Ethel, and aunt, Joan. Roy kept the house in West Vancouver, though soon sold it and eventually moved into a house in North Vancouver.
Roy enjoyed figuring out what made people tick. One of his favourite opening lines, when meeting new people, or even talking with old friends, was, ďWhat is your problem?Ē When he asked people that, they would sometimes say, ďItís you,Ē and Roy would reply that if he was their only problem, then they were doing really well. That would sometimes make them laugh, and often get them to open up and talk freely. Roy liked to test people, and make them think. Sometimes that meant pushing people to try new things, and sometimes that meant testing their beliefs. He didnít mind standing out in a crowd, and he was quite happy to speak his mind on any topic, but he could also be a good listener.
Roy could be a lot of fun when he wanted to be. He had a great sense of humour. He loved helping people with their cars, trucks, and boats. He loved music and parties. He had a knack for meeting people and making new friends, though he didnít always make the effort to keep his new friends. Roy often said he would like to own a sailboat and sail around the world, but when he did own boats they were usually speed boats, and often high powered. The first time Roy met Ann (Royís ex); it was at Yellow Point, on Vancouver Island. Joan, Annís sister, was trying to water-ski behind their fatherís boat, but it just didnít have the power needed to keep Joan up on her skis. Roy offered his services, and had them water-ski from his boat.†
††††††††† My sisters and I would like to express our thanks to the people of Royalty Home Health Care Services Inc in North Vancouver, their excellent support allowed Roy to stay in his home, as he had wanted. I donít know what we would have done without them, especially Dan Goggin, Client Care Coordinator, who was always ready to deal with any problem. Thank you so very much for all youíve done. - Stephanie Ann Johanson (Royís eldest daughter)
This memorial page for Roy Gladwin Lightbody is still under construction. There will be more soon.
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