Marie Frechette

Lorette Frechette

Thursday, May 6th, 1926 - Tuesday, November 24th, 2020
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Our mom, Lorette Frechette, was born on May 6, 1926 at home to her parents, Adelard and Catherine Dube. She lived in St. Boniface and went to school at St. Joseph’s Academy.

At the age of eighteen, her first full-time job was working the midnight shift at St. Boniface Hospital where she had multiple responsibilities including answering the switchboard, admitting patients, operating the elevators, registering deaths and supporting the Grey Nuns who operated the hospital. During this time, she picked up valuable training and skills related to the medical field.

Mom always enjoyed music. In her late teens, she took opera lessons from an accomplished Paris-born voice teacher. Her dream was to become an opera singer as she had a beautiful coloratura soprano voice. That dream did not happen due to lack of finances and the need to be gainfully employed. Later in life, she continued with voice lessons when she lived on Vancouver Island. She also took piano and organ lessons.

In 1951, Mom married our dad, Emile Levesque at the St. Boniface Cathedral. In 1952, Philippe was born followed by Michelle in 1954, Danielle in 1958 and James in 1959. Mom and Dad moved to their first home in St. Vital in 1959. They lived a happy life together until 1962 when Dad died of kidney disease at the age of 40. With little time to grieve, mom used her on the job training at the St. Boniface Hospital to secure medical assistant and receptionist jobs with doctors in Winnipeg for eighteen years.

In 1980, Mom met Joe Frechette, a foreman with the Canadian Pacific Railway, and they were married. It was love at first sight. Mom “retired” and they first moved to Edmonton and then onto Ladysmith, B.C. and then Cobble Hill, B.C. Mom and Joe enjoyed many activities together such as travelling, cooking, golfing, dancing, and more. They were so happy together. Sadly, in September of 1987, Joe passed away from cancer. Mom took care of him the entire time that he was ill at home and in the hospital.

After Joe’s death, Mom continued to live in Cobble Hill where she remained active and accumulated many friends. She enjoyed entertaining and hosted many dinner parties that were filled with lots of laughter, music, singing and great food. Boy, did Mom ever enjoy trying new recipes and creating her own! She was an accomplished chef who was never afraid of trying new recipes and dazzling her friends. She enjoyed entering her pies, pickles, buns, and clothing that she had sewn in the fall fairs on the Island. It was nothing for her to win up to eighteen first prize ribbons. She used to chuckle that when people used to find out what categories that she was entering that they shied away from entering the fair. Mom also attended St. Edward’s Church in Maple Bay as her Catholic faith was very important to her. She sang in the church choir and sang solos at mass. She also belonged to community choirs.

In 2007, Mom moved back to Winnipeg for health reasons and resided with her daughter, Michelle, and son-in-law, Norman, and their household of furry critters. Together, they enjoyed going to the cottage, and travelling to Apache Junction, Arizona, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, and Chicago. They also went back to Vancouver Island to visit friends who were very important in her life. Mom enjoyed the many dinners and parties at her new home.

In 2017, Mom’s health necessitated a move to Fred Douglas Lodge where she resided for over three and a half years. This didn’t stop her going to the occasional outing such as lunch and the casino where she gambled at the slot machines with Michelle. At Fred Douglas Lodge, she enjoyed activities especially bingo that she often won. She also enjoyed special events like Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and Mother’s Day lunches. She participated in the Adult Day Program for as long as her health was good.

In 2020, Mom’s health declined rapidly. She passed away peacefully with her daughter, Michelle, by her side. Many employees came by to say their farewells to her. This was a testament to how special she was.

Mom is survived by her son Philippe and his family, her daughter Michelle and husband Norman and family, her daughter, Danielle, and son Jim and wife, Cheryl and their family, and her step-children in Alberta and Manitoba. Also surviving are her sister, Yvonne, and brother Roger. She was predeceased by her parents, Adelard and Catherine, brothers Louis and Henri, and sisters, Irene, Simone, and Yvette. She leaves behind many special friends in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island.

Mom will be buried sometime later next year in Duncan, B.C. beside her beloved Joe.

Special thanks to all nursing staff and health care aides on Evergreen Unit and in particular the CEO, senior nursing staff, recreation, social work, and spiritual care who oversaw and supervised all aspects of our mom’s care.

In mom’s memory, donations can be made to Fred Douglas Lodge Adult Day Program, D’Arcy’s A.R.C. or a charity of your choice.

Rest in God’s Hands. Your time on Earth is now over. May you always know how much you were loved.

To care for those who once took care of us, is one of the highest honours. – Tia Walker
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Private Condolence

Judy Rempel

Posted at 04:00pm
So sorry to hear of your mom's passing. From what was so nicely written, it is apparent that she had an amazing life.
My sympathies to you and Norm, Michelle. My your sadness be replaced with wonderful memories of her.
Judy Rempel

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