July 1, 2021
Our Mom, Gertrude Anita Marie Girouard passed away on July 1, 2021, after a brief struggle with Lung Cancer. She was 86 years old born on the farm in Northern Alberta to Dolorosa & Emile Garant. Two older siblings Emilienne (deceased) & Jeannine and a younger brother Paul (deceased). Gertrude married Philippe “Phil” Alfred “Ted” Girouard November 28th, 1951.
Gert followed Ted to Whitehorse, Yukon May 6, 1953, arriving pregnant with her first child Dorine by plane at night, amazed at the large town she was moving to with all the lights. The next morning was a totally different story by the light of day wanting to get back on that plane. Having Aunts and Uncles in Whitehorse helped in the transition to the northern frontier town. Two more children followed, first Rhea and then Rolland.
First years were spent working with her husband Phil for Department of Public Works on the Alaska Highway bridge crew, he as a Forman and she in the mess hall kitchen untill school requirements forced the family to be full time in Whitehorse. The family spent time replacing bridges at Mile 245, Lower Post, Stony Creek, Slims River and Snag.
In Whitehorse Gert worked at Tourist Services Restaurant, Klyd Wann Cafe, and the Edgewater Hotel on the day it burned. Mom had just started her shift when smoke was noticed, it was she who ran the hallways knocking on every door alerting everyone to get out. When the propane in the kitchen ignited it blew her out the door.
Gertie changed career options to work as Bar Maid and Bartender for many years at the 98 and the Regina. Gert took over management of the Bamboo Cocktail Lounge fall of 1969, being the first to bring live entertainment to Whitehorse and frozen pizza.
Gert played a good game of cribbage and not often turned down a chance to try and skunk someone. For several years she organized crib tournaments around town. She enjoyed watching most sports. In her youth she partook in track and field, baseball and curling. She also entered the Freighters Chain Up events several years taking home trophies.
Gert loved working outside in her yard, growing a garden and was known by many children and adults as the Carrot Lady. She only grew baby carrots as she said they were like eating candy. Not much stood in Mom’s way, when she set her mind on anything. One summer was spent building a 5 feet tall x 40 feet long rock wall planter with help from a friend. The wall was featured in two Canadian gardening magazines. It took two summers for Gert to finish building a 6 foot – 2 teir waterfall with pond, replacing 2 diseased spruce trees in the back yard.
In her later years, cross stitching became a passion for many years. She put countless hours in and learned many lessons. One lesson was not to attempt cross stitching if enjoying a glass of wine and watching All in the Family while visiting with her sister Jean.
Mom believed in working hard so she could play hard. Dancing was her thing and boy o boy could she dance. I recall seeing her so exhausted, I thought she would fall down until a friend called and suggested going dancing. It totally amazed me how she could always disappear to her room and a half hour later emerge looking like a new woman and a million dollars. Mom told of when Dad and her drove all the way to Whitehorse from Mile 245 for the dance in Whitehorse.
Mom often found great fun in telling various family members down south that we live in “God’s” country here. We will miss her smile, mischievousness, sense of humor, but most of all her love. She loved God, her children, grandson, family and friends and will be immensely missed by us all. Until we are together again Mom. Love you so much.
Gertie was predeceased by her husband in 1969 and Dorine in 2016. She is survived by her daughter Rhea, Son Rolland, and her grandson Joseph.
Funeral service will be held
10:30 AM, July 15, 2021, Sacred Heart Cathedral. In Liew of flowers donations can be made to the Canadian Cancer Society.Obituary
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