About Our Council
The History of Roy Champeau Council 8077
Roy Champeau was born March 30, 1899 in a small community near Green Bay, Wisconsin. He was the third of six children. Roy worked on the family farm and repaired farm equipment. In 1945 he began to winter in Tucson. Later, when he decided to make Tucson his home along with several of his friends from Wisconsin, they bought a small piece of property. It was located just north and west of where Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church is now located. Roy lived in a small camp trailer and farmed the land called “The Lazy Eight.” It was just about this time that Roy joined the Knights of Columbus.
Roy was a very religious person. He credits his mother for his strong faith. Whenever someone in the family was ill, she would take all the children to a Catholic Shrine near their home. They would pray on their knees for hours for the person who was sick. Roy said, “They always recovered.” It was this belief in God that led him to dedicate his life to the Church.
Roy volunteered his time to helping around the parishes being developed on Tucson’s north side. At Sacred Heart, he was active in the C.C.D. program as well as the Holy Name Society and the Knights of Columbus. When Saint Odilia’s parish was being formed, he helped with the fund raising that got the parish started.
In 1980 when Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish formed, Roy Champeau was again one of the first to offer his help. He became the pastor’s, Father Thomas Millane, “right hand” and did whatever he could to help. In the early days when Sunday Mass was held in a public school, Roy was always there as sacristan, altar server and usher.
A brother Knight of Columbus once told Roy “When you’re ready to leave this world let me hold on to your coat tails for surely it will get me into heaven with no questions asked.”
Roy died December 4, 1980 and is buried in the “K of C” section of Holy Hope Cemetery.
His funeral Mass was held at Saint Odilia’s Church. Friends carried his metal toolbox and the like to the altar at offertory time as symbols of his life.
Roy Champeau was an outstanding example of what a Catholic gentleman and Knight of Columbus should be. There are not too many of us left who were privileged to know Roy as a friend and “Brother Knight.” We all agree on one thing — we are proud that our K of C Council No. 8077 at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish is named in his honor.
We wish to thank members of the Champeau family and “Brother Knights” who contributed to the above.
– Lee Sherlock