Roger Marple: 2022 AGE-WELL Honorary Fellow Award Recipient

Roger Marple was a cherished member of AGE-WELL and a powerful advocate for people living with dementia.

He served on AGE-WELL’s Older Adult and Caregiver Advisory Committee as member-at-large, Alberta, collaborated on many AGE-WELL research projects and supported future leaders in AgeTech.

Since his diagnosis with dementia in 2015, he made it his mission to dispel myths about the disease and the stigma associated with dementia. He was a firm believer that you can live well with this disease regardless of challenges and was passionate about sharing his message of hope.

Marple, who lived in Medicine Hat, Alberta, was on the board of directors of the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories. He also served on an Alzheimer Society of Canada advisory group to help raise awareness of the needs of people with dementia, and was active in supporting dementia research in Canada.

His brother, Bob Marple, accepted the AGE-WELL Honorary Fellow Award on behalf of Roger at the AGE-WELL 2022 Annual Conference in Regina, Saskatchewan. To our great sadness, Roger passed away in October 2022.

When asked to describe his brother, Bob Marple said: “Larger than life.” He added that, “Roger didn’t do anything in half-measures.”

When he learned that he would be receiving the award, Bob reported that you “could’ve blown him over with a feather. He was just so honoured. It was one of the best things that had happened to him in months.”

“It was his privilege and honour to help out,” Bob said of his brother’s involvement in and contributions to AGE-WELL. “It’s his legacy. Myself and my family, we’re really grateful he had something to sink his teeth into and make his mark on the world.”

Marple was the proud father and grandfather of three grown children and three grandchildren. An avid sports enthusiast, he also loved to travel and bake. He worked for Alberta Health Services and worked in supply management in the south zone for over 23 years.

“We are devastated to have lost Roger, who was an inspiration and a friend to so many,” said Dr. Alex Mihailidis, scientific director and CEO of AGE-WELL. “He so generously shared his insights and ideas, and advocated so determinedly to make the world a better place for people living with dementia. Roger was an incredible person. We will always remember him.”

Roger had young onset Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. He died on October 24, 2022.