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Obituary

GERARD LAGACE (published on November 24, 2010)



GERARD LAGACE 1912 - 2010 Surrounded by family, Gérard Lagacé passed away peacefully at the age of 98 at the Taché Centre. He leaves four children to cherish his memory: Armelle (Louis Molin), Bruno, Michel and Emilie (Robin Wiens). He also leaves six grandchildren: Jean-Michel Molin (Nicole Kleinschmit), Agnès Molin (David Hasselfield), Hélène Molin (Avelin Gautron), Daniel Lagacé (fiancée Julie Chartrand), Jean-Paul Lagacé-Wiens (Ria Manoosingh), Philippe Lagacé-Wiens (Claire Sevenhuysen), and 15 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Gemma Sello, in 2004. Gérard Lagacé was born on September 19, 1912 in St. Norbert. His mother, Gilbertine Champagne, passed away before he was two years old and he was raised by his maternal grandparents in St. Norbert. After returning to live with his father's second family in La Salle for a few years, he married Gemma Sello on October 12, 1935 and they established a farm on Pembina Highway in St. Norbert. Expropriated to allow for the construction of the perimeter highway in 1957, they moved to Red River Drive where they lived for 40 years until the flood of 1997. They then moved to St. Boniface. Dad was very devoted to his family, to his parish and to his community. He became a member of the Board of the Caisse populaire of St. Norbert. In collaboration with several friends and neighbours, he also participated in the administration of the St. Norbert food cooperative. When the store amalgamated with Red River Cooperative, he joined its Board of Directors for several years. Durant les années cinquante, il accepte de participer à une association de parents et maîtres à l'école de Saint-Norbert. Peu après, la Fédération provinciale de parents et maîtres est fondée, et il en devient le deuxième président. Il participe à la création des éditions du Blé en 1974 et fait partie de son Conseil d'administration. Pendant plusieurs années, il siège au Conseil de la Fondation Radio Saint-Boniface avant sa fusion à Francofonds. Toujours intéressé à l'histoire de sa paroisse et du Manitoba, il accepte de siéger au Conseil de la Société historique de Saint-Boniface dont il devient le président de 1973 à 1980, et encore en 1980 - 1981. En cette qualité, il préside au dévoilement du monument Aulneau - LaVérendrye devant la cathédrale de St-Boniface. A Saint-Norbert, il cherche à faire valoir le rôle de l'abbé Joseph-Noël Ritchot comme conseiller assidu de Louis Riel en fondant le Comité Riel-Ritchot. Le monument qui commémore la contribution de ces deux hommes à la création du Manitoba est dévoilé en 1986. Dix ans plus tard, il répond à de nombreuses demandes de la part d'amis et de membres de la famille en rédigeant ses mémoires. As a result of the 1997 flood, Gérard and Gemma Lagacé moved to St. Boniface. After Gemma passed away in 2004, Gérard continued to live in his own home until he was almost 97 years old. He has spent the past year at the Taché Centre. Dad was a hard worker who spared no effort to provide for his family. Largely through his own example, he instilled in his children a strong personal discipline and he worked tirelessly to support their education. Many years of private music lessons gave his children a life-long love of music, either as listeners or performers. Passionate about history and strongly committed to the well-being of his community, he was a remarkable story-teller whose memory from early childhood onwards yielded numerous stories about the life and times of his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. He demanded much of himself but was not demanding of others. He was particularly fond of his grandchildren and loved each one of them in a unique way. For many years, he made wood sculptures and colourful carpets by hand. Over the years, these works made their way to several countries on four continents. Dad easily made friends with many people and loved to spend time with family and friends. His warmth and friendliness, his wisdom and his positive outlook on life will long be remembered by all who were privileged to know him. Dad's family wishes to thank the staff of Taché Centre's 3ABC wing for their tireless care, affection and concern for the well-being of residents and their families. Their support and compassion have been a great comfort to the family. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, November 25 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Boniface Cathedral. Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow at the St. Norbert parish cemetery. In lieu of flowers, friends and family who wish to do so are invited to make a contribution to the Gérard et Gemma Lagacé family fund at Francofonds Inc., 202-605, rue Des Meurons, Winnipeg, MB R2H 2R1 (237-5852). DESJARDINS 233-4949 1-888-233-4949


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