On Saturday, August 4th at his residence in Ste. Amelie following a short battle with cancer, Paul Martin passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family at the age of 90 years.
Papa was born in La Patrie, Quebec to parents Antonio & Leona Martin (nee Brodeur); he was the third of eight children. He worked as a chore boy in the lumber camps in Quebec with his father until the age of 14 when he became old enough to work at the sawmills. Later on Papa enlisted in the army during World War 2. Upon his discharge, he moved out west to the Peace River Country where he farmed near Girouxville. He farmed there for 11 years.
Papa found his true love Francoise Peeters and they were married on October 29, 1957 in Ste. Amelie. They moved to Ste. Amelie in 1959 where he farmed and raised his family.
Papa was a hard working man up until he became ill this spring. Retirement was just a word for him as he remained quite active in assisting with his son’s farming operations. He was always there to help fix broken machinery and to haul grain during combining season. Papa would never hesitate to help his children when he saw that they needed help.
Papa had other activities which kept him busy during the different seasons. Springtime was maple syrup time. It was not unusual for him to be up to his waist in snow going out to the maple trees to tap them. Papa would spend the night boiling the sap while listening to music on the radio. The family knew not to disturb him during this time as we knew that would all get to enjoy the gifts of maple syrup throughout the year.
Spring and summer was fishing time. Papa and Mama would leave early every morning to try and catch “the big one”. He enjoyed fishing with his grandchildren. There were many fond memories of the fishing and camping trips in the summer.
Papa was an avid gardener, always making sure that there were no bugs on his potatoes, rounds had to be made sometimes twice a day. He was very proud of the onions that he grew. Summertime also meant watching baseball on TV and going to baseball games to see his grandchildren play. Fall meant going into the bush and cutting down fire wood for the winter. Papa was usually a year ahead with that. He had decided last fall that it was going to be his last time getting firewood as it was starting to get a bit tiring.
Winter was less busy for Papa than the other seasons. However the yard still needed to be shoveled and plowed and he enjoyed getting on the old tractor to complete that job. Sports in the winter especially “What about those Habs?”, the Montreal Canadiens, Papa’s favorite team on Hockey Night in Canada on CBC on Saturday night. These games provided him with many fond memories. He also enjoyed reading history books and watching documentaries on the History Channel during the winter.
Paul and Francoise also did a bit of travelling down east to Quebec and down through the United States in their motor home. The last trip for them was out west last year to see his old homestead in Girouxville. He had never returned there since he had moved to Ste. Amelie. He received great pleasure in seeing some of his old friends.
Papa was a devoted father and grandfather. It was very important for his children to complete school as he had not had the opportunity to do so himself. He was always very supportive and provided the extra encouragement we needed when things got tough. Papa had a saying “things don’t get done by themselves”. He was a strong, independent person throughout his lifetime and did not like to be fussed over.
He was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Ste. Rose Branch for several years. Papa was proud to take part in the annual Remembrance Day parade and service. Papa was very patriotic and never failed to remember the fallen soldiers. He also service on the Ste. Rose Caisse Populaire board for several years.
Papa was predeceased by his son Edouard in 1991 and by his parents Antonio and Leona and his siblings.
He leaves to mourn his passing and cherish many fond memories; his wife Francoise of Ste. Amelie, his children Michel (Joanne), Suzanne Rodrigues (Alberto), Jean (Norma), Paul (Bernice), his grandchildren Jose, Nicole, Jamie, Jean-Paul and Jacob and 5 step grandchildren, his sister Madeleine in La Patrie, Quebec along with numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.
Papa’s last wish was to be looked after at home. This would not have been possible with aid from Ste. Rose Homecare, Occupational Therapy, Ste. Rose General Hospital staff, Palliative Care, Super Thrifty Pharmacy as well as Dr. Gudmundson, Dr. O’Hagan, Dr. Hanna and Fr. Eric. A special thank you to you all.
A graveside service for Paul was held on Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 2:00 PM at the Ste. Amelie Cemetery. Fr. Eric Zadji officiated. Paul Martin Jr acted as urnbearer and Suzanne Rodrigues gave the eulogy.
Flowers are gratefully declined, should friends so desire, please consider making a donation to the Canadian Cancer Society in memory of Paul.