A Tribute To Marcel Roles

by May 31, 2012

black satin ribbon

Marcel Roles





To all who knew Marcel,

It is with sadness, shock and a feeling of unbelievable loss that I am sending this message out to officially tell the extended Arctic Family of Marcel Roles passing. My heart reaches out to his family, friends and co-workers who I am sure he influenced in the same manner in which he influenced me. He was many things to different people, a Son, Dad, Husband, Grandpa, Brother, Mentor, Boss, Co-worker and for me a Friend.

I know many of you have great stories to share about good times that you had with Marcel such as golf trips to Saskatchewan, holidays at Mable Lake, company Christmas parties, Kids Christmas parties at his place, training sessions at the ranch, on the bus in Ireland during seminar, gatherings at Sandinyourtoes, BBQ’s in Spokane at his house or how you may have met Marcel. I encourage you to take the time to “reply all” with your stories or tributes and if you wish to pass this on to someone not in on this email that knew Marcel please feel free to do so.

I would like to share my story of how I met Marcel and how we became friends. I was a 23 year old newlywed who was trying to figure out what to do with my life when I met Marcel and we became friends and co-workers. During the next couple of years our friendship grew although we weren’t working together. Then I received a call from him to come work for him at Koko Beach, I declined at first but through his ability to persuasively communicate it was only months before I found myself working for Marcel for the next 3 years.

During this time he taught me how to sell, manage people, set goals, work hard and then some, be a man of your word, understand the desire to succeed, and have fun doing it to name a few. For various reasons I left the hot tub industry for a while and found myself back in it again a few years later. As fate would have it I bought a truck from Marcel in 1998 and after the deal was completed we talked about how he could come back to work with us at Blue Falls. He joined us and did everything in his power to help us grow this business into the success it has become. He counselled me when I made bad personal choices and comforted me when my 2 oldest children were born 7 weeks premature. During this time he mentored many people who are still here but also many who left our employ to go on to bigger and better things of which I know he played a part in their successes. He always put his heart and soul into everything he did, even to the detriment of his own well being. Marcel always thought of everyone around him first, he took immense pride in making people better at whatever they needed improving on and he always had time for you. Some who worked for Marcel felt at first look that he was very hard on people, but this was because he knew you could do better and with the appropriate push you too could succeed and be the best you could be.

What I am going to miss most is walking into his office everyday sitting down over a coffee and talking about my kids, hockey, golfing, his grand-children, how crazy me and my partners could make him some times, him laughing at my stupid jokes and what we could do better to improve ourselves through a positive mental attitude. If I had not met Marcel on that fateful day in the fall of 1990 I would be a lessor man. Thank you for choosing me to mentor and be your friend, I am going to miss the hell out of you my friend. My only hope is you are rested and walking on a beach with sand in your toes!

Love Always your friend,

Dennis Kellner

In my first week at Bluefalls in August 2000 I worked on the night shift.  I had noticed in the parking lot a Fiero and made a comment on who the hell the would purposely drive a Fiero.  In my second week, I was working in the trim booth. Hahaha

Once I had found my niche in the company I couldn’t follow to work with him despite requests to me personally as I hung back.  We worked well together, most times well, but he always had my best at heart.

Marcel, Once again I must hang back from following you.  But, my path for the future has been greatly influenced by your life.

Peace and Love,

Shane Penner


My first shift was June 2000 and my job was on the “Dance Floor” scraping door jigs clean. At about 2 pm a tall man was walking around the plant, I asked a co-worker who that was and I was told that he is Marcel Roles better known as the “Little General” he runs the night crew!
I came to know Marcel as a man who expected the best from himself as well as others around him. “I” was one of those “others” he expected the best from and I find it very cool how suddenly I was giving my best everyday and feeling good about it. It crossed my mind frequently how he inspired me to achieve and feel good about it.

Marcel…I salute you for what you stood for in inspiring me to be a better person, employee and friend. You influenced a great many people in your travels whether they recognize it or not and your “presence” will be sadly missed.

Peace my friend,
You’ve earned it!
Brad Andersen


As some of you know Marcel and I had become quite close over the past 10years.

I met Marcel when I started at Arctic Spas in 2002. I worked with Kris and became friends with her almost immediately which in turn I got to know of Marcel.

Around that same time he became production manager…not going to lie he intimidated the crap out of me! Haha. But he worked with me, encouraged me to be the best I could be at anything I took on at work and in life. (believe it or not I was a very shy person before Marcel came into my life) I messed up a few times here and there over the years but he was always right there helping me get back on track.

Some of my best memories are from Sunnybrooke, long rides to Colemann and sandinyatoes bon fires.

When Kris and Marcel moved to Spokane I made pretty regular trips down to see the them, hanging out in his garage drinking beer/rum and telling stories. With him sitting there pretending to give a shit about how many pairs of shoes and all clothes I bought that day haha.

Anyways, Marcel I thank you for teaching me how to do many many things and making me into the person I am today. I’m honored to have had such a great friend, leader and mentor by my side all these years.

Take care Mr. Roles love you <3


I remember my first day working at Blue Falls like it was yesterday. January 29th, 2004.  I was an hour late for my shift.  He was pretty forgiving of it and I made an impression. (not a good impression, just an impression)

I have so many memories of Marcel that I can’t just pick one to list.
I always thought he was hard on me when I first started here, but I’m sure that everyone did.  What I came to realize later on, is that he was trying to push me to be who he somehow knew I could be.  I don’t know how, but he saw potential in me that I never even knew was there.

Over the past 8 years I have seen many people react to his methods, some good, some bad, some just didn’t care.  I’ve seen how he has affected so many peoples lives, mine included, and how he has changed their lives, once again mine included.

One thing that sticks in my head is when we were at Jerry’s for his going away party.  I got the chance to thank him for everything he has taught me.  He asked me to list one thing that I learned from him, and really the first thing that popped into my head and fell out of my mouth, was that he taught me how to control my temper.  I have no idea what I was thinking, or why I said it.(as true as it is)  I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wanted to tell him that he taught me how to succeed at whatever I try, and to push myself farther than I have tried before, and to think outside the box, and how hard it is to “build a better mouse trap”.  Most of all Marcel, you taught me how to be a better person!

With nothing but love and the greatest amount of respect, I thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life…

Mike Sigvaldason

I just knew Marcel for the last 3 yrs. in that time whether it was at work, seminar, his home or even at the bar he treated me like a VIP but spoke his mind as well.
Like other memories from some of you, I agree that he was a mentor. He gave me some good advise for managing production and the staff by being strict, but have a listening ear.
As a business relationship when he was here managing the Apollo retail, we had a “I scratch your back you scratch mine” relationship because we were looking after this entire organization as a whole. In the Relationship as a Friend, we shared many drinks and stories, he had good advise and opinions.
In my relationship with Marcel, I will remember the man that worked hard and played hard.
Peace my Friend.

Steve McDonald


The first time I truly had a chance to work for Marcel was the day my career at Blue falls almost ended, and when it truly began. I was having probably the wort day I have ever had on the production floor and nothing was going the way I wanted it to. The foam gun was down most of the day and not much product was moving down the production line. I was working in pre-test at the time and I believe I had 2 tubs installed all day. This was also the day that Darcy Amendt was walking the floor, and sees me and my small temper. After my 8hr shift, the foam gun is up and running and the night shift took the floor and Marcel asked if I could stay for a few hrs to help catch up. I said OK why not, the day couldn’t get any worse. I stayed for another 8hrs and Marcel said that I was to report to work on the night shift the next day as I was part of “HIS” team now. He had also let me know That Darcy was thinking of firing me that day. That was 13 years ago, he must have seen some sort of potential that I didn’t know I had.
It was an honor to have known someone Who was willing to take the time and teach you (from all of his life experience) to be a better person at life, finance, or work. Sometimes even without knowing that he was teaching you.
Three things I will always remember Marcel telling me.
1) “If you make me look good, I’ll make you look good!”
2) “People who feel good about themselves produce good results!”

I have many fond memories with Marcel, from getting in fights at the bar in sherwood park, hanging out in the crows nest pass, boxing day shinanigins, and even almost peeing my pants when he told me the story of how a bug flew into his ear!

Thank you Marcel for being a mentor, boss, and most importantly a friend. You will be missed.
Graham Jarrett


My first memories of Marcel were in the mid to late 90’s during my time at Paradise Bay working for Brent. I was intimidated by him then.

It wasn’t until he returned to Blue Falls shortly after I started here in 1999 that I got to know him. And although I didn’t know him as closely as many of you did, I still count him as a friend, mentor and leader. I can say that he definitley had a direct positive impact on my life. That seems to be consistent with anyone who knew him. He seemed to see the good in everyone and push them to realize their potential. I believe that he had an imeasurable positive influence on the people fortunate enough to know him, and surely that has made each of our worlds a brighter place to be.

I will miss his presence, his manor and most of all, the way he could make me laugh. He is truely one of the funniest people I have ever known.

I once heard someone say that the greatest tragedy is that which dies inside of a man while he is still alive. That saying makes me think of how he challanged himself and others to be the best that they could be. To not give up when it seemed like the easiest thing to do. To view others and their strengths as valuable. And to fight for the things worth fighting for.

Thank you Marcel, my friend, for never letting it die! You will be missed.

Jason Tetz


My first memories of Marcel came a few months after I started at Blue
Falls in 2001, I hadn’t really seen much of him until we moved the plant
from Sherwood Park to Thorsby but, when I did meet him I found he was an
intimidating and to the point. I did not get to work for him directly
until I moved into Purchasing in 2003 when he asked me to join his team, I
had zero experience in this field and he helped get me started. As I got
to know Marcel I found that when he wanted something done he wanted it
done now but, I also found out that he had a great sense of humour, loved
to have fun, genuinely cared about the people around him and saw the
“diamond in the rough” in all of us. I found that he was incredibly easy
to talk to and even if he was busy he would take the time to help guide me
to a solution for what ever problem I may have had personal or work
I have lots of memories with Marcel from being at Christmas Parties,
Sandinyatoes for his Boxing Day bonfires, Friday after work at the bar for
a drink or too many, stopping by randomly for drinks at his house, walking
into his office to let him know that my wife Donna was pregnant and seeing
his face, along with other things that I can’t think of right now, they
all will be treasured.

Thank you for being a hard but good boss, Friend and mentor, It has been a
absolute pleasure knowing and learning from you.

May the Legend of Marcel Roles live on forever, rest in Paradise and peace
my friend.

Shane Sager

I met Marcel when I started at Arctic Spas in 2005, and he was the production manager. I was put on the production floor in foam 3, back when we had old style coyote walls and I had to hang the coyote doors on the wall, and spray them like that, as well as the regular doors that we sprayed into a door jig. Needless to say, it was a demanding position On my first day, I sprayed enough door sets for 44 tubs, and everyone was pretty happy about that, except Marcel. He was more concerned with the sad state the foam machine in my booth was in. Having just started, I really knew little about the equipment, but I found the time to get the unit cleaned up, and at the same time I learned about the machine. I made a point to keep it clean, and it wasnt long before Marcel brought the other foamers to my booth to show them the proper way to keep their machines. I felt he was very intimidating, but it made me work harder at being the best I could be. I ended up buying my boat from Marcel, and because I didnt have a hitch on the little car I was driving at the time, he graciously offered to deliver the boat right to my house. As I moved up in the Arctic family, Marcel was always available for advice, and because of his vast knowledge and experience, was able to help me out of many tight pinches. It was an honor to have met, worked with and learn from him, and he will be sadly missed.

Brad Lloyd


Since starting with Blue Falls in 2004, I unfortunately didn’t get the opportunity to work directly with Marcel, even though I had always wanted to work on the floor to learn more about our product and he always said that he would have a spot for me.  3 years into working with the company and I was ready to throw in the towel, but it was Marcel who took the time to talk to me and convinced me to stay.  He was quite intimidating, but he could also show that he was kind and caring as well.  He will be greatly missed. My prayers go to Marcel’s family at this time of sadness.

Carol Judd


I have been struggling to put this into words, naively thinking that if I could just keep it out of my mind and avoid the thoughts that somehow it might not be true.  Like you all, I am stunned by the realization that I will never again share time on this planet with Marcel and for that I feel sorry for myself, but also for all those in his life for whom he meant so much.

In reading the stories from others it is clear that Marcel made an undeniable and positive impression on the lives of so many people and that I was just another of a long list who owe him a debt for the time and effort he spent on me, helping to shape me into the person I am today.

My experience share begins when Marcel and Darcy decided that they were going to try and mould me into a salesperson, I often thought that that the two of were crazy, and when the two of them cooked up the next thing I ought to say to a customer, I was convinced that they were having me on.  I am not sure if it was Marcel’s smile and mischievous eyes, or the matter of fact way he asked me to do things, but he had a knack for making me believe I could do the unlikely if I had a positive attitude and worked hard.  Marcel preached to me the virtues contained in the book, Think and Grow Rich, and he was there for me when my faith would wain thin from time to time.  This changed my life.

He was a source of strength to me, as he supported my role and development within the spa industry, as well as into a man in more general terms.

I will miss the many hours talking with him about business, and personal development, but nearly as much, I will miss the hours bull-shitting about whatever the topic of the day was.

Marcel was a master of the spoken word and could persuade, cajole, encourage, lead, and inspire through his oratory.  I shall never forget his contributions to my life both professionally and personally.  To me he was a father, I never had and a friend I could always count on, and I feel the loss of his untimely passing and regret that I had not spent my time with him better, especially in recent years.

Whatever is our fate when our time comes, it is my wish that you you have found lasting happiness and eternal peace, Marcel.  Thank you for the impact you had on my life, and those many others whom you have helped, this is your legacy, and through it you live on.


John Keirstead

The first time I met Marcel was when I was helping build this factory, with a contractor. Marcel came out one day to set up how the production floor was going to be laid out. Not long after that I found myself working for him instead of the contractor. I only worked with Marcel for a couple weeks or so and came up to me one day and said I have 10 people coming out from our Sherwood Park factory to help us next, but I’m not going to be around so you have to manage and direct everyone. I was so nervous, I never managed anyone before, I was still in high school. He said you’ll be fine I’ve been watching you work and can see you’ll be able to manage these people no problem. I thought is this guy crazy I’m only 18, as if people twice my age were going to listen to some young kid. But he was right I was able to manage these people for the whole week without any major problems. When Marcel got back the following week he was very happy with the results of all the work we have accomplished. He made sure I knew he was proud of me for what got done. When he did that I found myself working harder and enjoying work more. After that I came pretty close to Marcel. We were putting in some long hours, trying to get everything done so we could move the factory from Sherwood Park to Thorsby. Even with all the work we had to do yet, Marcel always made sure we weren’t getting to exhausted. One day he said I have a special job for you, he got me to build his first horseshoe pits for him. He made sure we had some fun while working by having BBQ’s, taking us out for lunch, buying us some beers, or just siting for hours on lifts of 2 x 4″s just talking.

We were just about done building the factory, there was just a few things left that we were waiting for. He asked me to go to the Sherwood Park factory to work for awhile, to get trained all up. I was there for a couple months and had a little accident with a table saw, cutting the tip of my finger off. A couple days after I was out of the hospital I came to the Thorsby plant to see everyone. I was all bandaged up, it was lunch time and our small crew of 6 was eating lunch at the vac form. I walked in and the first thing said was from Marcel and it was hey everyone look there’s “Stumpy” and he busted out laughing so hard, I couldn’t help but laugh. When he was done laughing he pulled me a side and told me just let me know if you need anything I’ll help you out in a heart beat. He told me go home I’m not letting you work for me and I’ll tell you to come back when I think your ready, not when you think your ready. As tough as Marcel was he always had a soft side for me. Stumpy has stuck as a nickname for 11 years now, it’s even my email address. Every time I get called by my nickname I think of the man that gave me that name.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without Marcel. He taught me so many things about work and about life. He taught me there is no obstacle to big to over come, as long as you put your mind to it, it will happen. He always seen potential and drive in me which I never knew I had, always pushing me to succeed. Which I have with the company.There is so many good times we stared together, they will never be forgotten. Thank you for being a great boss, mentor and most of all a friend to me.  You will be greatly missed

Darcy Ostapchuk aka STUMPY

I’m not even sure where to begin to tell you about a man who was a friend and a boss to me. I knew who Marcel was when I started at Arctic Spas in 2002 but didn’t really get to know him until the evening a bunch of us headed to JJ’s Pub in Mulhurst. Marcel was just moving to his home that we all know as Sandinyourtoes. From that day forward we became better friends. My family would spent time out at Kris and Marcel’s whether it was just a get together of friends or we were celebrating an occasion. And when it came to work, Marcel seen more potential in myself than I thought I had. I always thought that Marcel was out to see me fail but he wasn’t, he was showing me that no matter what was sent my way I could overcome the obstacle. This made me a better person and for this I’m am thankful. I leave you to read a poem that sums up Marcel and how everyone that Marcel has touched whether as a friend, boss, mentor, husband, grandfather or a dad  feels towards a man that has inspired each one of us, into becoming who we are.

As We Look Back

As we look back over time

We find ourselves wondering….

Did we remember to thank you enough

For all you have done for us?

For all the times you were by our sides

To help  and support us….

To celebrate our successes

To understand our problems

And accept our defeats?

Or for teaching us by example,

The value of hard work, good judgement,

Courage and integrity?

We wonder if we ever thanked you

For the sacrifices you made.

To let us have the very best?

And for the simple things

Like laughter, smiles and times we shared?

If we have forgotten to show our

Gratitude enough for all the things you did,

We’re thanking you now.

And we are hoping you knew all along,

How much you meant to us.

Theresa Walaska


Marcel’s Obituary in the Edmonton Journal