Romuald Laurence Gagne

Peacefully, with family by his side, Dad ended his life’s journey on Saturday evening, June 29, 2002, at La Verendrye Hospital in Fort Frances, Ont.
Born in Fort Frances on Jan. 15,1912, Dad lived his entire life in Fort Frances, but for a time in Winnipeg as a teen, attaining his secondary school education at St. Paul’s College, and for seven years overseas serving his country in World War II.
A sergeant in the Canadian Army, Dad was stationed in Italy, France, Holland, and England. A member of the 11th Infantry Brigade, he was particularly proud to have been part of the campaign that liberated Holland from the Nazis.
While in England, he met and married our Mum, Bertha Mary Luff, who accompanied him back to Canada in 1946. Their family grew over the next few years to include seven children.
When Mum died in 1961, Dad became a devoted single parent of seven—and did an outstanding job in that role.
After the war, Dad worked for some years at the post office in Fort Frances. He ventured briefly into the business world, in partnership with his cousin, Henri Labbe, in running The New Lunch Café, before settling into his career of 25 years with Customs and Immigration here in Fort Frances.
In 1975, Dad married his second wife, Helvi (Kivimaki), with whom he shared 16 happy years until her death in 1991.
Shortly after his marriage, he also retired from Customs and became intensively involved in the study and practice of amateur radio, becoming well-known and respected among local and far-reaching ham radio operators.
Dad maintained his interest and involvement in ham radio until shortly before his death.
Dad was truly a lifelong learner who read voraciously to improve and refine his knowledge of the world, most especially information about aspects of Canada, nature, amateur radio, electronics, history, geography, and World War II.
His love of Rainy Lake, with particular emphasis on the Northwest Arm, was a focal point of his life. His happiest life memories centred around the land he inherited in Northwest Bay and the cabin he initially had begun building at Camp Narrows when he was called to war, and completed when he returned home.
That legacy—and the love of that land and cabin—live on in each of his children and grandchildren.
Dad is survived by his seven children, Steve (Kathi) Gagne, Mariette (Keith) McRae, Cis (Bob) Barron, Peter (Ellie) Gagne, Robin (Cynde) Gagne, Elizabeth (Gerry) Parent, and Daria (Lyle) Hammond; and grandchildren, Jeff (Eileen) Gagne, Tyler (Sarah) Gagne, Craig (Missy) Gagne, Jonathon Ballard, Rachel (Chris) DeFranceschi, Bradley (Dawn) McRae, Neil McRae, Christy (Denis) Barnard, Joelle Barron, Michael (Rose Lynn) Barron, Peter Barron, Eric (Vanessa) Barron, Chris Gagne, Michael (Candace) Gagne, Daniel Gagne, Jessica Pearson, Samantha Pearson, Celeste Christiansen, Jillian Gagne, Paul Gagne, Matthew Parent, Alex Parent, Mark Parent, Amy Van Drunen, Katy Van Drunen, Timothy Van Drunen, and Jordan Hammond.
Dad was especially proud of his first great-granddaughter, Jacy Gagne, and was eagerly anticipating a new grandchild in September.
Two sisters, Marianne Gagne of Fort Frances, Ont. and Jeannette Pearson of Santa Rosa, Calif., and numerous nieces and nephews, also survive, as well as two brothers-in-law, Sam Burton of Burnaby, B.C. and Sid (Eileen) Luff of Brighton, England.
His brothers, Phil Gagne, Daniel Gagne, Bernard Gagne, and Leon Gagne, and sisters, Deneige Warren, Agnes Gagne, and Cecile Burton, predeceased him; as did his great-grandson, Jordan Stephen Gagne.
In all things he did, Dad placed his faith and trust in God. He was a lifelong dedicated parishioner of St. Mary’s Parish here in Fort Frances. Prayer and reflection were part of his daily routine, and he modeled his faith in his actions.
His gentle manner, his generosity and kindness, and his loving and caring ways were his gifts to all he knew.
A prayer service will be held Tuesday, July 2, 2002 at 7 p.m. at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Fort Frances.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, July 3, 2002 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Fort Frances. Fr. Eugene Whyte O.M.I. will officiate, with interment in Holy Cross Cemetery in Fort Frances.
Pallbearers will be Romuald’s grandsons, Jeffrey Gagne, Bradley McRae, Neil McRae, Tyler Gagne, Michael Gagne, and Tim Van Drunen.
If friends so desire, in memoriam donations may be made to St. Mary’s Church, 206 Victoria Ave., Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 2B9.
Godspeed, Dad. We will miss you always. You were the best.
I have fought the good fight to the end;
I have run the race to the finish;
I have kept the faith.
Timothy 2:7-8