As mayor of the City of Welland, I, along with the community, mourn the loss of Doug Rapelje, who passed away last week (Wednesday, May 5). Doug was a highly respected member of the community and will be deeply missed.
As an advocate, Doug served as Director of the Senior Citizens Department of the Niagara Region for 44 years until his retirement in 1995. Beyond his working years, Doug continued to advocate for seniors in Niagara.
In Welland, one of the Region’s long-term care homes is named the Rapelje Lodge, a fitting recognition for a man who worked tirelessly to upgrade care for seniors through programs such as respite care, home care, and meals on wheels.
Beyond the care, Doug was instrumental in our city receiving the Ontario Age-Friendly Community Recognition Award and funding for 10 new hospice beds here 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.
Our condolences are with the Rapelje family during this time of loss.
In honour of Doug, flags were lowered on May 12.
City of Welland