It is with great sadness the family of Mrs. Yvette Lessard announce her passing on Monday, March 15, 2021 at the age of 90 years. Vigil of Prayer will be held Friday, March 19, 2021 and the Funeral Service will be held Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. both from St. Leon Roman Catholic Church with Reverend Barry Tkachuk as celebrant. Interment will take place at a later date at St. Leon Cemetery.
Yvette’s memory will be lovingly cherished by her children: Daniel (Charlene) Lessard, Susan Lessard (Reg Lorenz), Claire (Andre) Neovard, Annette (Ed) Senger, Jacqueline (Cliff) Dyck, Raymond (Sheila) Lessard, Yvonne (Philip) Lacerte; brothers: Paul (Mary Adele) Nedelec, Charlie (Jennifer) Nedelec; sister Helen Roach; sisters-in-law: Louise & Mildred Nedelec; brother-in-law, Albert (Elaine) Lessard; and of course her 18 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren who will forever hold her beautiful spirit in their hearts.
Yvette was predeceased by her husband, George; infant son, Joseph; infant daughter, Marie and infant grandson, Spencer Dyck; infant great-grandson, Joel Ironstand; parents: Thomas and Delphine Nedelec; brothers and sister in laws: Roger (Mildred) Nedelec, George (Josephine) Nedelec, Rene (Ann) Nedelec, Lucien Nedelec, John (Jenny) Nedelec, Andrew Nedelec, brother-in-law Jim Roach; Father and mother-in-law, Lucien and Rosalie Lessard; brothers & sisters-in-law: Helen (Gilbert) Brock, Delia (Maurice) Malenfant, Victor (Doreen) Lessard.
Yvette Marie Therese Nedelec, was born April 2,1930, and according to mom was the reason for the depression. The sixth of ten children and the first girl. Can you imagine having five older brothers and three younger. I'm sure she was tormented and protected by all those boys. Helping with the house would of started young. I know she was thrilled when her baby sister Helen was born. I do remember her saying she would lay under Helen's crib and rock her to sleep. As mom got older she mentioned ironing all the boys dress shirts, which was quite the chore. It was never mom's favourite job. But just as with anyone of her generation, hard work was a part of your life.
As some of her brother's went off to war and later to work, mom always held her family close to her heart. She soon ventured out. She would take one year of schooling at the convent in North Battleford and the last two years at Vawn. "It was hard to adjust as I felt like an outsider." In 1949 she was asked to teach grades one to eight, about 30 kids, at a one room school house. In her words, "It cured me of all desire to be a teacher." She also worked at the Notré Dame Hospital in the pharmacy.
Soon she met George Lessard and the romance began. From what I understand dad was quite the charmer, funny, great dancer, loved his family and hers. But Mom would move to Victoria after a promise to her brother Roger. She worked as a file clerk. That city would forever be special to her.
The courtship continued. Dad was working at Great Slave Lake, letters were exchanged, a marriage proposal was made on her 23rd birthday. They were married August 20, 1953.
Mom spoke of them living in what she described as a granary, with a cat sleeping on the end of the bed, pouncing on mice. They then got the small house, which later we would know as the chicken coop. The first five children came to that home. Mom said it was tiny, but it was theirs. Dad had painted and fixed it up and made it a home. They had bought a bigger house, moved it onto the farm, but sadly it burned down before they could move in. The house that still stands on the home quarter, was moved fall of 1961 and that would be the home we all grew up in. Two more babies would make seven. That number would grow to eleven when mom and dad took in our Uncle Vic's children after the death of their mother. We had a full house and of course dad would add on to the home. Chores, lunches, meals, laundry, it never stopped. Mom never complained about the overwhelming amount she had to do, or we never heard it. Canning till the late hours, baking, gardening. We all got bread dough to the face when we'd get too close, once or twice. We didn't often see mom's silly side. That would be much later in life. Oh and the gardening. The rows of potatoes, weeding and more weeding. She would say that is where she got her alone time. Her mother apparently said the same.
But you need playtime. Mom always knew friends and family were important to dad. Snow machines coming across the fields, us kids would be upstairs crowded around the floor vent trying to see or hear who was visiting. Music, dancing, and could they dance. That love of music, dance, celebration was certainly passed down. We all learned our work ethic from our parents too, and that was something she was very proud of. We were all very happy when they did a trip to Hawaii with two of her brothers and wives. They had a blast. Soon we all went out on our own and the weddings started, seven weddings in seven years. Grandchildren began to arrive.
In 1986 tragedy struck and her dear George passed suddenly. Her faith in God would sustain her. She would say her prayers, roll out of bed before she had a chance to feel sorry for herself, as she would say, and she would walk. That became her therapy then and for many years to come. I've only mentioned a few challenges mom faced in her life, but as before, she picked herself up and made the decision to have a house built. Daniel would take over the farm. Mom bought a lot in Meota. She was so proud of her home. She put so much thought and love into everything she did. Many a family gathering was held and our numbers became too much, we migrated over to the Do Drop Inn across the street.
In 1997 mom decided to go to Europe with again, two of her brothers. What an adventure she had. They visited her fathers original home, got in touch with relatives, had an amazing time.
The bond she had with her brothers and sister, the love and mutual respect was truly inspiring to witness. Trips out to Victoria, Trail, Calgary to see her siblings, and I was always lucky enough to have her come to Rocky Mountain House too.
Mom volunteered with the Catholic Women's League, Do Drop Inn, Senior Housing Board and Wellness Clinic, to name a few. She received Volunteer of the Year in 1999, for her devotion to her community.
Mom loved her time in Meota. Neighbours that always looked out for her. Being a part of the church, singing with the choir, walks with her friends, shuffle board at the Do Drop Inn. She was competitive and a heck of a good player, grandkids witnessed that side often. Gardening and creating a beautiful yard she was so proud of. Having grandchildren over to stay, hearing her families laughter brought her great joy. Great grandchildren began to arrive, her world was full, every new arrival was celebrated.
But when the time came and the decision made, Battleford's District Care became her new home. Most of the family close enough to spend time with mom. But never enough time, your never prepared. I'm sure I can speak for us all when I say, how truly blessed we feel to have had her for almost 91 years. To have had such a loving mother was a true gift from God.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan 2550 12th Ave Regina, SK S4P 3X1. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Trevor Watts of Eternal Memories Funeral Service & Crematorium.
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