It is truly difficult to write words which can faithfully display the life of a person who has touched so many others; this challenge is multiplied manifold when trying to sufficiently illustrate the life of Louise LeBlanc.
"A mother is your first friend, your best friend, your forever friend." —Unknown
Louise was born on October 1st, 1938 in Irishtown, the first daughter and second of 7 children to Lewis and Florence Girouard.
She grew up on the family farm, fully participating in the farming chores with her brother and sisters and attended Irishtown's one-room school. Her upbringing cemented the values of hard work, family and selflessness; numerous local fundraising activities, often organized by her parents, engrained in her the importance of community and the love of music and humor. Her mother instilled in her the love of cooking, needlework and resourcefulness.
After attending Moncton High school, mum became a teller at the Canadian Bank of Commerce, living in Moncton during the week and returning home on weekends, eagerly awaited by her young sisters and brother, to whom she would often spoil with toys and gifts. It was also during her time at the bank that she would make lifelong friendships and would meet the person who would become her husband, Pierre LeBlanc, whom she would marry in 1961.
Her marriage to Pierre would bless them with the arrival of 6 boys between 1963 and 1967, and a seventh in 1971. They would move their young family to Bathurst in 1968 when they accepted a transfer for Pierre's new posting at Lounsbury's. She charged herself with taking care of her "brood" and maintaining a supportive and nurturing household for her growing family. Despite the never-ending tasks required of her, Louise always found the time to canvass her community for numerous charitable causes, spend hours baking sweets for friends as well as the staff at Lounsbury's and filling paper grocery bags of popcorn when her boy's friends would come over for "popcorn night". Evenings would be allocated to writing letters or Christmas cards to stay in touch with her family and numerous friends.
Eventually, summers would be spent at Pierre's ancestral home in Grande-Digue where long hours would be spent renovating the old homestead. It was there that she worked on her ever-expanding garden, where she would revel for hours in planting, weeding and harvesting, enjoying sharing her harvest with family and acquaintances. Saturdays would be spent roaming yard sales to add to an already sprawling salt and pepper collection inherited from her mother or to conquer Frenchie's with son Paul and family. All in all, watching her sons develop their skills, follow their career paths, start their own families gave her an immense pleasure as was the arrival of her cherished grandchildren.
Mum always found the positive in any situation or in any person. She enjoyed spending time with people, always making them feel welcome even when she was in the middle of a busy day. She always had the time to listen, encourage and was a good friend to everyone. She had a great sense of humor, would tell funny stories about past and recent events, enriching them by mimicking a subject's voice or mannerisms; countless hours would be spent playing cards with her sisters, laughing and telling stories until the early hours of the morning. She was a wonderful cook and proficient gardener, always looking to experiment and try new things. She was a tireless worker, generous to a fault, devoted to her family and friends. She enjoyed and appreciated nature.
Louise was predeceased by the love of her life Pierre in 2017 after 55 years of marriage. She leaves behind sons John (Sonia Ahier), Lewis (Doreen Bourgeois), Marc (Suzanne Albert), Ronald (Melanie Dupuis) and Guy (Heather Manning) as well as her cherished grandchildren Pierre, Sylvie, Madeleine, Marilou, Jacob, Sarah Jasmine, Catherine, Noah and Caleb.
She also leaves behind her treasured sisters Jeannine (Robert Gallant), Doris Wheaton, Claudia (Danny Donnely) and sisters in law Helen (Raymond Girouard), Gilberte (Eric LeBlanc) as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by loving sons Paul (2020) and Roland (Chantal) (2022), her parents Lewis and Florence, brother Raymond and well as sister Yvette.
Our family has lost our magnet, our compass and our buoy; however, her genuineness, dedication, indomitable spirit as well as her faith and love will ensure her memory will live on.
Funeral Mass for Louise will be celebrated at 2 pm on Tuesday, December 12, 2023 from Our Lady of the Rosary Church, St. Peter Ave., Bathurst.
Arrangements are in the care of Elhatton Funeral Home, (www.elhatton.com), Bathurst.