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Obituary: Cecile Henley, 1919-2013

It is with deep sorrow that the Henley family announces the passing of Cécile Henley, on Feb. 14, at the age of 93, at the Sacred Heart Hospital in McLennan.

Born to Honoré Guindon and Rose-Anna Rochon, on May 26, 1919, Cécile was the third and the last living member of a family of five children.

She attended school in Falher but at the age of 15, when her mother died suddenly at a parish retreat, Cécile had to quit school to help out at the family home. Two years later, her father died of cancer. In order to earn a living, Cécile worked as a housekeeper. On December 26, 1941, at the age of 22, Cécile married Philippe Henley at the church in Jean Côté.

Philippe and Cécile moved to a farm, northwest of Jean Côté where they raised their family of five children. They traveled with horses and a “democrate” (buggy) or with a “caboose” in the winter.

They had no luxuries in the house: no running water, no electricity and no telephone. They worked hard clearing the land, seeding, harvesting and caring for the farm animals. The crops were not always good but there was always plenty of food supplied by the farm animals and the large garden they planted every spring.

In 1964, Philippe and Cécile moved to Peace River where they became owners of a four-plex apartment building. Cécile helped Philippe to clean offices and later worked as a chambermaid at the McNamara Hotel and Peace Valley Inn.

After the death of Philippe in 1982, Cécile moved to the Golden Age Manor in Girouxville. In 1993, she returned to Falher, the village of her birth, where she lived in the Manoir Ste-Anne.

She worked many hours as a volunteer, especially at the Girouxville Museum and at Grandma’s Den. In recognition, the Girouxville Chamber of Commerce awarded her an honorary plaque. She traveled to several places in Canada and the US and even went to Australia, where her daughter Irène and grandson Brian were living at the time.

After having gone through two surgeries in 1997-1998, she moved to the Villa Beauséjour. She celebrated her 90th birthday in 2009 surrounded by her entire loving family. Shortly after, she broke a hip, precipitating her move to the Manoir du Lac in McLennan, in order to receive more intensive care.

Cécile will be remembered for her unwavering religious faith, her pride in the French language and culture - she had a life membership in l’ACFA and read Le Franco every week - her quiet nature, her beautiful crochet and knitted garments, her strong competitiveness at playing cards and bingo, her witty sense of humour and her radiant smile.

She was predeceased by her husband Philippe; her parents Honoré and Rose-Anna, her son Edmond; her son-in-law Greg Scheurwater (Juliette); her brothers Gérard and Rhéal; her sisters Honora Bégin and Ida Côté; and several sisters and brothers in-law.

She will be sadly missed and forever remembered by her loving children, Adrien, Paul (Evelyn), Irène and Juliette and their families consisting of Michel and Emi (Ben, Eli, Marigold); Marc and Michele (Raymond, Sheldon, Wanda and Ryan and daughter Shelby); Karen; Gilbert and Suzanne (Janelle, Kevin, Jason); Brian and Angela (Cameron, Chase, Cruze), Joanne and Wes (Carter, Alyssa); Darren and Kelsey (Hayden); Denis; Eric and Amanda; Lori and Michael (Ali, Christopher, Solomon, Alyse, Megan); Tara and Michael (Kiernan, Quinn, Caelan, Kara), Edmond`s son Rob and Carmen (Mathieu, Joscelin); Marilyn (Edmond) and Bob McIntyre and daughter Jodie and Greg (Cole); Sylvianne Guénette, Albert and Renée La France (Samuel, Jesse and son Marcel); her in-laws Aurore Guindon (Rhéal), Sister Aurore Henley, Dan and Claire Girouard, Roland and Marguerite Henley; and numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.

Funeral services for the late Cécile Henley will take place on Saturday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m., at the Notre Dame de Lourdes Church in Girouxville. The funeral procession will depart from Girouxville around 2 p.m. for the interment ceremony at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Peace River. Funeral arrangements will be under the direction of the Chapel of Memories in Peace River.

Donations in memory of Cécile Henley may be made to the Smoky River Palliative Care Society, c/o Lucille Leclerc, PO Box 132, Falher, AB, T0H 1M0.

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