Mrs. Catherine Laroche
29 July , 1931 – 17 May , 2018
LaROCHE, Dr. Catherine July 29, 1931 - May 17, 2018 It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of our wonderful friend, sister, aunt, doctor and colleague, Dr. Catherine LaRoche. Affectionately known to many as Bunny, Catherine grew up in the Dundarave neighbourhood of West Vancouver in the 1930s and 1940s with her sister, brother, and a large group of childhood friends. Bunny attended both Pauline Johnson and West Vancouver Secondary Schools. Bunny graduated from UBC Medicine in 1957, before moving to San Francisco where she interned and specialized in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UCSF. She spent much of her medical career in Montreal, and, as head of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry unit at McGill University, accomplished much in terms of research into the bi-polar conditions of adolescents. Bunny remained active in her field until the age of 81, when she retired as a practicing psychiatrist on the North Shore of Vancouver. During her time in the Bay Area of California, Bunny met the love of her life, Dr. Gilles LaRoche, a fellow Canadian. Bunny and Gilles met on a blind date in the spring of 1961, and they married within 3 months of that first meeting. They were a glamorous couple who enjoyed travelling the world together while keeping residence in the Bay Area, Rhode Island and then Montreal and West Vancouver. Their marriage was long lasting and full of love, adventure, travel, respect, laughter and food, wine and music! When Gilles passed away in 2004, a part of Bunny left then as well. Bunny impacted so many people in her life, and especially all the children with whom she worked. She was a beautiful and elegant woman, known to all as a highly intelligent, very witty, and compassionate person. Her graciousness continued to touch us all even up to her final days at Lions Gate Hospital. Bunny will be very sadly missed by all her friends and family, including best friend and support, Gwyn McKlintock. From the time they were young girls in West Vancouver until Bunny’s final days, Gwyn was beside Bunny through thick and thin. Also very connected to Bunny were good friends and colleagues like Dr. Gaby Weiss, fellow UBC Medicine graduate Dr. Betty Cosgrove (“Ag”), Connie Levitan (in Montreal), Mary Thwaites (“Short”), and so many more. She had a wealth of friends who all came out to support her with visits, letters and calls through her final days. Bunny will also be very sadly missed by her beloved sister Daphne Cue and nieces Diana Gostling and Mary Lapointe, and very much so from youngest niece Jennifer Cue, who shared a very special bond with her. Also missing Bunny very much will be family members Victor Cue, Jim Gostling, Antonio Tartaglione, Chris Lapointe, Jessica Gostling, Lisa Gostling, Eleonora Tartaglione and Matthew Lapointe. Our hearts are filled with comfort in knowing that Bunny is now reunited with Gilles, and that together they are again enjoying martinis followed by their favourite meal and a great Bordeaux. A celebration of Bunny’s life is being planned in West Vancouver for this summer. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres.
Mrs. Catherine Laroche
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2 January 2019
I just learned of Bunny's passing. Bunny was a dear friend of my mother, Patty Heinzelman, and one of the West Van gang. They all treasured one another and tried to meet each year at Sandy Cove for a yearly pic-nic "do". Bunny's mother, Mrs. McCrea, was a second mother to my mom. I remember visiting her in her little house in West Van. I send my deepest sympathies to Daphne, her three girls, Gwynn, and all of Bunny's friends and family. She was a beautiful soul, and will be remembered well.