The family of Madeleine Gagnon-Landry are saddened to announce her passing on November 11, 2023, at Hogarth Riverview Manor, Thunder Bay, at the age of 98.
Madeleine was born 1925-08-23 in Sainte-Rose-de-Watford, Quebec. She moved with her family to Sainte-Germaine-Boulé in the Abitibi Region of NW Quebec at the age of nine as part of the migration of families who would become the founders/pioneers of small communities there; then moved to Red Rock, ON in 1946 where her parents had resettled. She is pre-deceased by her parents Arthur Gagnon and Claudia Rodrigue, her spouses, Lionel Landry (1976) and Paul Couture (2010), her brother, Jean-Paul Gagnon (Jeanne Audette), as well as eldest son, Denis Robert, August 3, 2023.
Madeleine lived a very full and meaningful life and was a lifelong wonderful example for her family. She is remembered as a beautiful, gracious and dignified woman. She raised her family with Lionel in Red Rock where she lived for 30 years until 1977 when, after Lionel died suddenly in a fishing accident, she and Tony sold the house and relocated to Sudbury where she earned a two-year bilingual diploma in Library Technology. She was 54 years of age. She had been a dedicated volunteer librarian at the Red Rock Library and active in the community. She demonstrated she was a life-long learner and would do homework alongside her children as she did the equivalent of English high school studies in her second language. Her lessons would arrive via Canada Post and would return that way!
Mom never wanted any attention on herself. She was a social activist and member of the Council of Canadians for decades; She and Lionel both taught us to accept everyone equally regardless of race, nationality, social status. She was well-read and interested in current and world events and, even until the end, was always interested in knowing what was going on in her family’s lives and in the communities around her. She received the Nipigon Gazette for many years.
After earning her Diploma, Madeleine moved to Thunder Bay and worked for the Lakehead Catholic School Board in their Instructional Materials Department. She enjoyed an early retirement after she married Paul Couture in August 1985 and went on to live in Granby, Quebec for 25 years. Her parents had taken up residence there in 1966 and she wanted to be present to them in their final years.
In Granby, Madeleine and Paul were active in the Club d’âge d’or and took up ballroom dancing. Mom, as a volunteer for the local Palliative care organization, Albatros, classified all their resource books and set up it up using the Dewey decimal system. She and her contribution were greatly appreciated. She also joined the Genealogical Gagnon family association and travelled with them to France to visit the ancestral home there. Her ancestors in Canada arrived in 1635 and were some of the founding families of old Quebec where there is a monument commemorating them. Madeleine enjoyed another trip to Europe to visit sister cities to Granby as well as an Alaskan cruise.
Throughout her life Madeleine was very committed to fostering good nutrition. It was to this she attributed her longevity and very good health till the end. She shared recipes as well as scientific medical journals that she received regularly from two medical institutions in the USA, from Tufts and Berkely. Whenever she came across something that she thought would interest her family, she would make photocopies and mail them out. She was always thinking of them.
Madeleine moved to Ottawa where Michelle lived in January 2011 after her late husband Paul died. She still loved to walk and felt at that point that she could retire… She was 88 years of age. She lived in assisted living and would love to read and write. However, more Advanced Macular Degeneration crept in. In 2016 Michelle and Madeleine, aged 92, both moved back to Thunder Bay with help from the family. Madeleine felt more at home here and was able to orient herself better. She loved geography and maps… As her cognitive impairment progressed as well as her AMD, things became more and more challenging. At the time of her passing she was suffering from profound vision loss. Staff at Hogarth Riverview Manor will remember her as a feisty person as well as a gentle soul who was ever so grateful for every kindness shown to her.
Madeleine is survived by five children: Michelle, Gerald, Lynn (Ron Rody Jr.), Daniel and Anthony (Tony); thirteen grandchildren and twenty-three great grandchildren as well as nieces and nephews on both the Gagnon and Landry sides of the family.
Her grandchildren and great grandchildren include:
Denis’ children – Diana (Chris Butler), children (Thomas, Nicholas & Meghan), Burlington, ON. Odette Landry, children (Jaidyn, Lily and Cody), Lacombe, AB. Natasha Steer (son Zachary), Ajax, ON, Lindsay Hyde (Karan Khani) and son (Koan), Surrey, BC.
Michelle, Thunder Bay.
Gerald, children Johnnah (David Fowler), son (Ezra), Keremeos, BC, Laurin, (Jessica Quinton), children (Layla, Caidyn, and Kenna), Calgary, AB., Tanya, (Bruce Oliver), daughters (Hannah and Elizabeth), Neebing, ON.
Lynn, (Ron Rody Jr.) Thunder Bay, son Nathan (Cindy Boissoneault), sons, (Calvin and Marcus), Rockland, ON, daughter Jasmine, daughter (Ziva), Thunder Bay.
Daniel, Camrose, AB, son (Jonathon (Nettie), Manning, AB; Richard, daughter (Julia), son (Matthew), Kelowna, BC, daughter Kristen (Craig Sharp), daughter (Sophia) & son (Oliver), Lacombe, AB.
Anthony, Sundown, MB, daughter (Morgan), Hinton, AB).
The Celebration of Life for Madeleine will be held at 1pm on Saturday Nov 18, 2023, at Kateri Church, 451 Syndicate Ave. N., Thunder Bay. A reception will follow shortly after the Mass. Fr. Gerry MacDougall will preside.
Donations in lieu of flowers will be gratefully accepted by the Alzheimer Society of Thunder Bay, Hospice Northwest, Thunder Bay and the CNIB Foundation. Gratitude to Dr. Long and staff who cared for mom on 5S at Hogarth. Special thanks to the dedicated RNs and RPNs on duty during Madeleine’s short illness.
Condolences may be made through www.nwfainc.com