Donald Lappan, former mayor of Tecumseh, remembered for his commitment to the community

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After his death, a renowned local politician, WWII veteran and beloved father of 10 children is remembered for his lifelong service to the Tecumseh community.

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Donald Lappan, former councilor and mayor of the town of Tecumseh for more than a decade, died Jan. 31 at the age of 94.

Born into a large French family but orphaned at a young age, Lappan grew up with his uncle and aunt, Raymond and Corrine Lappan. He served in World War II and after the war married “the love of his life” Denise in 1949. The couple had 10 children and were married for 72 years.

Annette Ducharme, one of Lappan’s daughters, remembers her father being a “real family man”, at the table every night with his children, no matter how busy he was.

Ducharme says his father always stressed the importance of integrity: telling the truth, working hard and giving thanks to God.

These are the values ​​Lappan took with him to office where he served on Tecumseh’s council for decades, including 14 years as mayor from 1971 to 1985.

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Ducharme said she remembers going out and putting pamphlets in mailboxes at election time over the years.

As for what fueled his father’s desire to serve and give back over the years? “He liked people. I think that’s the best way to put it: he loved people, loved being with people,” Ducharme said.

Lappan has donated his time to many causes over the years, including the Ste. Anne’s Parish Ushers Group, the Lions Club, the Knights of Columbus and the Tecumseh Baseball Club. Lappan was a life member of Branch 261 of the Royal Canadian Legion.

“Put on… has been very passionate about protecting the interests of the Town of Tecumseh over the years,” said Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara. “Tecumseh has lost a giant. He touched many, serving the community and as a businessman.

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Lappan was retired from Chrysler Canada and also owned the family business Excelsior Monuments.

Lappan’s service in World War II was extremely important to him, his friend Gloria McKibbin said. Lappan was a past president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 261 and was involved with the legion for 75 years, “almost until the day he died,” McKibbin said.

“He knew how important it was to keep the Legion going,” McKibbin said, noting that Lappan never missed a Remembrance Day ceremony. “He was a very dear friend.”

Lappan received the Flag of Remembrance from Veterans of Canada in 2018 and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.

And while Tecumseh has changed from a small town where his father knew everyone, he continued to love the community, Ducharme said, and his legacy is in the value of working together.

“To be part of a community is to participate,” said Ducharme. “It’s about looking out for each other. Community isn’t just a word: it’s about people.

Visitations, a funeral mass and a celebration of his life took place on February 4 and 5. Donations can be made to the Windsor Cancer Center Foundation and the War Amps.

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