Lolita Lazenby spent her last hours with her husband as she had spent much of the past 20 years.
“We laughed a lot,” she recalled. “We always enjoyed conversation with each other. He had a great sense of humour . . . he was the soul of the party.”
Her husband Rod Lazenby, a former RCMP member who was working as a Municipal District of Foothills peace officer, was allegedly beaten by the operator of a Priddis dog ranch while attending an animal-related complaint call Friday.
RCMP said Lazenby, 62, was then driven to a district office in Calgary by his alleged assailant. From there he was rushed to hospital but died.
Trevor Kloschinksy, 46, has been charged with first-degree murder. He is scheduled to make a court appearance Monday morning.
The night before he died, Rod had been busy discussing plans for the future with Lolita, whom he married 20 years prior. The couple had recently moved to Alberta to be closer to family — together, they had five children with some from previous marriages.
Some of the kids and other members of what Lolita describes as a “big family” have now gathered to grieve at her home in High River.
Daughter Lolina Lazenby said although Rod wasn’t her biological father, he treated her like one of his own.
“He had an ability to make others feel at ease with him,” she said, attributing that ability to her stepfather’s time as undercover officer during part of his 35-year career with the RCMP.
Rod retired with full pension in 2006, long after meeting his wife Lolita, who herself had a long career as a correctional officer.
Lolita recalled fond memories of traveling to Mexico and Spain all the while teach the love of her life her native language, Spanish.
“He was pretty good at it,” she recalled, emotion evident in her voice.
Now, instead of plotting their next adventure, Lolita faces the prospects of planning a funeral. Although emotional, she refrained from speaking about her husband’s accused killer.
“Something will happen, I just leave it up to God,” she said. “I am nobody to judge anyone in the world.
An autopsy is scheduled for Monday and then Rod Lazenby’s body will be released to allow for proper burial arrangements. Lolita said the past three days have felt like an eternity.
“I want to see my husband so badly,” she said. “He was my life.”