PERREAULT, Emma (née Rodrigue)
November 29, 1931 — March 12, 2020
It is with great sorrow that we announce the peaceful passing of our mother, grandmother and great-grandmother on Thursday afternoon, March 12th, in Kelowna, BC. She will be deeply missed by her five children: Elaine O’Brien (Roger), Yvette Muller (Ben Koops), Louise Moreau (Paul), Ray (Michelle), and John (Kathy); her 15 grandchildren; and 23 great-grandchildren. Emma is also survived by sisters-in-law Rose Gagnon and Yvonne Grenier and brother-in-law, Larry Perreault. Mom also leaves behind countless nieces and nephews on both sides of the family who thought highly of their ma tante.
Emma was the youngest child and last surviving member of the Rodrigue children. Mom was born and raised in St. Boniface and attended St. Joseph’s Collegiate. She enjoyed a happy childhood and often spoke lovingly of her mother Georgette (née Pearson) and father Zotique. Mom had a close relationship with her brothers, sisters, in-laws and all of their families. Sadly for Mom, both of her parents passed away within months of each other in 1952. As a young mother of a one year old, Mom was quick to develop her maternal skills and by the age of 27 had four more healthy babies to love. Right up to the end of her life, the touch or caress of a baby brought such joy to Mom.
At the age of 18, Emma married the love of her life, “her Johnny” on December 3, 1949 and they remained devoted to each other for over 64 years until Johnny’s passing in 2013. Mom and Dad began their life together in Old St. Boniface, staying close to their family roots. Mom was a founding member of the North St. Boniface Council created to improve an area that, at the time, was lacking in quality infrastructure by the politicians of the day. As for business sense, Mom was the catalyst to helping Dad see his dream of opening up a successful welding & manufacturing business, St. Boniface Welding.
Mom was a devoted wife, a wonderful mother, a loving grandmother, a kind sister and a devoted friend. She had boundless energy and a strong work ethic. She was a very independent woman who loved to read, follow politics and get involved in helping others. One of the things we’ll remember most about Mom is her love of a good laugh. She had an infectious laugh and loved to bring joy to others. Mom also loved to sing, play cards (and cheat a little), and play the piano. In the latter years, Mom enjoyed passing the time playing bingo or going to the casino. Mom did not shy away from expressing her delight at winning as a burst of laughter would come from the bingo table or slot machine whenever lady luck shone upon Mom, big or small.
Mom was a kind and gentle woman who was not afraid to offer her help in the service of others. She had a dream of one day becoming a nurse. She kept that promise to herself and at the age of 50, enrolled in the Red River College program to upgrade her high school skills. Proudly, Mom graduated as an LPN from St. Boniface General Hospital at the age of 52. Mom was and continues to be an inspiration to many of her family members and colleagues.
After graduation, Mom and Dad moved to Kelowna, or God’s Country as dad called it, where Mom accepted a nursing position at Kelowna General Hospital until the age of 68. Even in her 80’s Mom cared for Dad during the last five years of his life.
Mom was a life-long learner. When computers became en vogue, Mom took to learning how to use the operating tools, email, graduated to Skype, and then learned how to research. Mom enjoyed researching both the Perreault and Rodrigue genealogies. In between, Dad and Mom enjoyed travelling in Canada and the USA in their motor home or with their time share. Mom also loved to visit Puerto Escondido, Mexico where she lounged away hours in the swimming pool. In the last few years Mom faced her failing eyesight with determination, a sense of independence and bravery.
The family would like to thank all the staff at Brandt’s Creek Mews for their kindness and the exceptional care they gave our mother on a daily basis. Cremation has taken place and a celebration of Emma’s life will be held at a later date in Kelowna, BC. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial donation to either the Canadian Alzheimer Society, alzheimer.ca or the CNIB, www.cnib.ca.
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