Marie-Ange Dancause, 1918-2009
Marie-Ange (Gauthier) Dancause passed away on Sept. 11 at the Sacred Heart Health Centre in McLennan at the age of 91 years. She was the third living child of Ovila Gauthier and Florentine Ethier, born in Morinville on May 15, 1918.
She grew up in Morinville until she was 10 years old when the family of 10 moved to Donnelly in 1928. The family first settled in a farm house south of Donnelly and later moved to a homestead about a mile away where their dad built a new house. The children walked two miles to Peavine School where Marie-Ange completed the fourth grade.
Life on the farm was frugal. Her position in the family resulted in her assuming many household chores and responsibilities. At a very early age she learned to clean, cook and sew. She was very patient and meticulous and loved to sew, a skill that served her well throughout life.
She was 15 years old when she left home with her sister Rose to do housecleaning. Many families in this region have come to know these two sisters. In the 40s, Marie-Ange and her sister Rose spent a lot of time caring for the children in the Honoré Maisonneuve family during the winter months. The Maisonneuve children had great respect and love for Marie-Ange. They called her “ma tante”, and still do.
She also worked at housekeeping for Dr. Arthur Piché in McLennan, and later worked at the Hospital in High Prairie until she married Adélard Dancause of McLennan in 1951. In 1954, they adopted a daughter, Célina.
Marie-Ange enjoyed gardening and canning and maintaining her own home and sewing to her heart’s content. Fancy clothes for Célina and her many dolls including matching dresses. She even made a set of doll furniture out of orange crates that Célina still treasures.
In 1960, Adelard transferred to Edmonton and continued to work for Northern Alberta Railways. In Edmonton, Marie-Ange provided janitorial services for Edmonton Catholic Schools for four years and learned English.
When the grandchildren Scott and Kelvin came along, Marie-Ange was very excited to be a grandmother and spent many happy hours babysitting and looking after the boys.
In 1986, Adelard was hospitalized with Alzheimer’s disease and Marie-Ange was left on her own for seven years until 1994 when he passed away. She visited him often feeding him meals even though he did not recognize her.
She maintained her home and yard in Edmonton until she moved to Manoir du Lac in McLennan in 2007 at age 89. She was finally “retired” and continued a longtime hobby of making puzzles, sewing, knitting and quilting. Throughout the years Marie-Ange had also maintained the genealogy books for both the Dancause and Gauthier families, another one of her favourite hobbies, along with gathering and cataloguing family photos.
Marie-Ange was predeceased by her brothers Henri, Emile and Alexis and sisters, Alice Rose Alma, and Annette. She is survived by daughter Celina Fullerton and grandsons Scott and Kelvin Fullerton, sisters Alexina Demeule, Irene Maisonneuve and Cecil Lefebvre.
Funeral services for Marie-Ange Dancause were held on Sept. 19 at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in McLennan with Father Joseph Jacobson officiating. Organist was Caroline Jacobson, soloists were Mimi Lavoie and Paul Dubrule.
Pallbearers were Scott Fullerton, Kevin Fullerton, Denis Demeule, Roland Gauthier, Maurice Gauthier, and Gilles Dancause.
Interment followed at the McLennan Cemetery. Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Chapel of Memories in Peace River.