Lionel Joseph Gagnon was born in Girouxville, Alberta, to Archelas Gagnon and Juliette Tardif.
Dad was the second child of four siblings and one half-sister. Dad is pre-deceased by his son, Michel, father Archelas, mother Juliette, sister Bernadette, brother Raymond and his son-in-law Richard Roteliuk.
Lionel is survived by his wife Laurette, sister Eugénie Roy, half-sister Thérèse Gauthier (Banister), his son Lou, son Cam (wife Linda), Roger, (wife Debbie); daughter Diane (husand Paul); daughter Alice Roteliuk (widow of Richard); grandchildren: (Lou’s) Suzy, husband Marcel and their children, Nickolas and Noah; Karole, husband Brian and their child, Ryden; (Cam’s) Tracey, husband John, and their children, Brooke and Kayden, Paulette (husband Andrew; (Diane’s) Jo-anne (husband David) and their children, James and Josée; Robert (wife Shannon) and their children, Joshua and Hailey; Justin (wife Amanda and their children, Dominic and Hayden; (Alice’s) Sharon (husband Jerry) and their children, Austin and Jayda; Rachel and her children, Keanu, Chase and Damien; Randy (no children); and Kim Gravengard (widow of Michel).
Dad was born and live on a farm northwest of Girouxville until he was 16 years old, and started making a life on his own.
Dad met mom in 1950 and they courted for nearly a year. They married on May 1, 1951. Soon after, they started a family.
Dad had numerous jobs, from being a truck driver to working in the lumber camp.
Dad and mom settled on their acreage northeast of Donnelly, where he worked at Donnelly Corner as a part-time school bus driver.
In 1980, dad started working for East Peace Gas Co-op, where he worked for 15 years. Before retiring, he trained his son-in-law, Paul, to take over his job.
On November 28, 1993, mom and dad lost their youngest son, Michel.
In 1995, dad decided to retire and in 1996, they downsized to Falher.
During his retirement years, dad did miscellaneous little jobs. He started doing woodwork, which included birdhouses, children’s lawn furniture and “Pick-Pick” boards.
He also kept busy with cutting the grass and taking walks uptown for a piece of pie or a chocolate bar. He loved his sweets.
He always took the time to berry-pick with his grandchildren, or watch his grandchildren and great-grandchildren play sports, go to concerts or just sit down and play a card game. He also enjoyed going to watch the Falher Pirates.
For dad’s 80th birthday, Diane bought him a ticket to go watch his first-ever Montreal Canadiens hockey game.
When they were at the hotel waiting for their ride, a large limo pulled up and Diane told him “our ride is here.” He was so surprised. The look on his face was priceless.
One of Alice’s fondest memories is spending time with her dad berry-picking. He knew all the berries and he always said they were all goo to eat (even if they may not have always been safe to eat).
Lou remembers all the drives with dad to the Little Smoky, where they would spend time walking around and taking in nature.
Cam and Roger remember the many years in their 30s, where dad would spend hours watching them play baseball in Donnelly during the summer, and hockey in Nampa during the winter.
One of dad’s favourite memories was watching Mike play baseball.
Dad’s health started to deteriorate. In 2012, he moved to the Villa Beausejour in Falher.
As his health continued to deteriorate, he moved to the nursing home in McLennan. After a short time there, he fell and broke his hip.
He was bedridden. He looked forward to all the visitors coming to see him. Dad will be remembered for his kindness, big heart and that smile that could light up any room or photo.
A celebration of life was held at the Log Cabin in Falher on May 6, 2017, from 1-4 p.m.