Lillian Viola “Lums” Bruyere, 80, passed away Friday, June 25, 2010 at the Atikokan General Hospital Extended Care Wing in Atikokan, Ont. with her family by her side.
Lillian was born Sept. 23, 1929 in Fort Frances, Ont., the second child (of nine) of George and Mabel Calder.
In 1947, she and Thoedore Bruyere, also of Fort Frances, were united in marriage. Theodore went to work with J.A. Mathieu Lumber, and the couple lived at both Sapawe and Camp 113, where they raised six children.
In 1965, they moved right into Atikokan. As the children got older (the last was born in 1959), Lillian got more involved in work and community life.
Theodore passed away in 1974.
Lillian worked as a cab driver, school bus driver, Shop Easy delivery person, and tree-planting crew boss. But she probably was most famous for her cooking (a job she originally felt she wasn’t qualified for!) She cooked at Tip Top Lodge, Ontario Hydro, Armstrong’s bush camps, and the West Fort Hotel.
She continued to cook as a volunteer after retiring; her wild rice soup was an Atikokan favourite.
Lums was a mother figure or aunt to many besides her own; her house was known as a refuge and always was full. She was a Bingo fan, and a great supporter of the Atikokan Native Friendship Centre.
Her home even served as the ANFC facility for a while during its early days, when Lillian was working in the bush.
She always was willing to help, particularly with seniors, and was especially known for her willingness to provide a ride to wherever was needed.
Lillian is survived by her six children, Louis “Smokey” (Virginia) of Fort Frances, Ont., Lawrence “Ike” (Carol) of Edson, Alta., Peter (Faye) of Fort Frances, Ont., Wendy (E.J. Joudain) of Fort Frances, Ont., Roberta of Atikokan, Ont., and Albert of Thunder Bay, Ont.; 15 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
She also is survived by her siblings, Dempsey (Barb), Doug (Dixie), and Georgina, all of Fort Frances, Ont.; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Lillian was pre-deceased by her parents; her husband, Theodore; sisters, Gloria May Calder, Vivian “Pud” Pepin, and Norma Fults; and brother, Norman Calder.
A graveside remembrance was held at Little Falls Cemetery in Atikokan on Wednesday, June 30, 2010, followed by a gathering at the Legion Hall in Atikokan.
A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.
In memoriam donations to the AGH Extended Care Wing, in lieu of flowers, would be appreciated by the family.