Alexina was born on December 28, 1923 in Morinville, Alberta to Ovila Gauthier and Florentine Ethier. Her family includes three brothers: Henri, Emile and Alexis and five sisters: Rose, Marie-Ange, Annette, Irene and Cecile.
The family moved to the Donnelly area when she was eight years old. They travelled by train with all of their possessions. Alexina attended Peavine Creek School southeast of Donnelly where she completed her Grade 6.
She said she and her brothers and sisters had to walk two miles to get to the school. Sometimes the story was so exaggerated that they walked uphill both ways in three feet of snow!
When she was a teenager, she worked at the Lapointe Farms tending to the farm animals. She always said it was very hard work especially when she had to bring the cows in late at night and she had to get up early in the morning to milk them. She often said that we had no idea what hard work was all about, and I think she was right!
There were many homesteaders in the Donnelly area and they often gathered for house parties and dances to listen to the local musicians. This is where she met Adrien Demeule who was an accordion player.
They courted for a short time and were married on November 5, 1940. They lived with Adrien’s parents on their homestead seven miles southwest of McLennan. They moved to McLennan on November 21, 1946 where they rented for a short time while they were building their first home.
Alexina and Adrien had five children:
Alexandre was born in 1944. He married Margaret Langford in 1970 and they had two children,
Michelle and Rene.
Arthur was born in 1947. He married Judy Klassen in 1984.
Denis was born in 1951. He is single.
Rita was born in 1957. She married Wally Stephenson in 1991.
Jocelyne was born in 1960. She married Rod McArthur in 1979. They had two girls: Randi and Lindsay. Randi married Andy Gauchier and they have three children: Brooke, Andrew and Sasha. Lindsay has three children: Hunter, Jasmine and Braden
Alexina was involved with many organizations in McLennan. She was a member of the MFC with the church. She was also a member of the Nursing Home Auxiliary and the Golden Age Club. She always provided baking and knitted items for these organization’s fundraising events. Her bread was always one of the favorite items. She also delivered Meals on Wheels and volunteered at the McLennan Municipal Library.
Her employment career started at the hospital in the laundry department. She then moved to the Co-op store where she was employed as a clerk.
Unfortunately the Co-op burned down. She then went to work for Vic Beland and then his brother Gerry Beland. She then began working at Viden’s General Store for Vic Fournier and Dennis Thibault in the hardware department until her retirement in 1985. This was her favorite job because she met so many people. One of her duties was gift wrapping and this is when she discovered people’s birthdays. Alexina was well known for remembering people’s birthdays. She also had a couple of part time cleaning jobs at the TD Bank and the Doctor’s office.
After her retirement, she started doing woodworking projects. She made benches and birdhouses and also made a hope chest for her first grandchild Michelle.
She made doll furniture for her granddaughters Randi and Lindsay. She also enjoyed knitting and baking. On Sundays she would play crib in all the seniors clubs in the area.
Alexina was an avid Edmonton Oilers fan. She never missed a televised hockey game. The family always knew what to buy her for her birthday and other special occasions. She received a lot of Oilers memorabilia. Her favourite player was number 99.
Alexina was a very honest person. If she was undercharged at the grocery store, she would return and pay the difference, even if it was only five cents.
Alexina was predeceased by her parents Ovila and Florentine Gauthier; her husband Adrien; her son Alexandre; her grandson Rene; and her daughter in law Judy; her three brothers, Henri Gauthier, Emile Gauthier and Alexis Gauthier; and her five sisters Rose Beaudette, Marie-Ange Dancause, Annette Pouliot, Irene Maisonneuve and Cecile Lefebvre.
She is survived by her two sons Arthur and Denis Demeule; her two daughters Rita Stephenson and Jocelyne McArthur; her three granddaughters Michelle Demeule, Randi Gauchier and Lindsay McArthur; and her six great-grandchildren Brooke, Andrew, Sasha, Hunter, Jasmine and Braden.