Online fundraiser launched to support family of Whitehorse teacher, infant killed by grizzly

An online fundraising campaign has been created to support the family of a Whitehorse French immersion teacher who, along with her infant daughter, was fatally attacked by a grizzly bear Nov. 26 at their trapper’s cabin in central Yukon.

Valérie Théorêt, a 37-year-old teacher at Whitehorse Elementary School, and her daughter, 10-month-old Adèle Røsholt, were fatally attacked Nov. 26 at their cabin near Einarson Lake, about 200 kilometres northeast of Mayo, after going for a walk.

The bear then charged Théorêt’s partner and Røsholt’s father, Gjermund Røsholt, as he returned from checking a trapline. Gjermund shot and killed the grizzly before discovering Théorêt and Adèle’s bodies.

The Yukon Trappers Association created a GoFundMe campaign entitled “Love for Valerie & Adele” Nov. 29, with a goal of raising $5,000 to support support Gjermund and his family.

“It is with heavy hearts that we say good-bye too soon to our dearly loved Valerie and Adele, the campaign description reads. “Our memories of their radiant smiles and energy will continue to bring us joy and comfort in times of sorrow and grief. Their beauty and zest for life and adventure will buoy our spirits and guide us along this difficult path.”

The campaign had exceeded its goal by the morning of Nov. 30.

Tributes to Théorêt and Adèle continued to pour in online this week.

Théorêt and Adèle’s friends and family requested time and space to cope with the loss in a statement shared by the Yukon RCMP Nov. 28.

“The loss of Valérie and Adèle has had an immense impact on their family, friends, and the community of Whitehorse,” the statement reads, adding that a date for a celebration of life will be announced at a later date.

“We thank you for your concern, condolences and for respecting our privacy at this time.”

In a Nov. 28 blog post, employees at Whitehorse design firm Aasman Brand Communications, where Théorêt had worked as an art director before turning to teaching, remembered her as ambitious and filled with boundless energy, someone who larger than life and, for fun, took her colleagues on canoeing and kayaking adventures.

The post also listed some examples of Théorêt’s designs, including a vibrant Yukon Larger Than Life poster and logos for the Old Log Church Museum and Yukon Transportation Museum.

“I have always been impressed with Val’s ambition,” creative strategist Eleanor Rosenberg wrote. “She made bold choices — in design when I first knew her as a colleague, and in life when she became a friend … She brought warm colour into every corner of her life — a lot of ruddy oranges and reds in particular — in campaigns, fine art projects, and more recently clothes for Adèle. I have a feeling those colours will always remind me of her rosy cheeks and warm smile.”

The GoFundMe campaign is online at www.gofundme.com/gjermund-roesholt

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

Jackie Hong

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