The family of Claude Bedard is sad to announce his passing, Thursday, March 8, 2012 at the age of 86. Claude was born March 18, 1925 to Arthur Bedard and Amelie Laliberte in Montreal, Quebec. He was the youngest of eleven children. He is survived by his brother Roger Bedard of Quebec.
At a very young age, Claude and his buddy rode in a train boxcar and headed west to work at harvest time. He learned the English language by cutting out words from the newspaper to correspond. He was working at a bushcamp in Manitoba when he met his wife Doreen and they married on October 4, 1949. Claude worked as a section man with the CNR in Ghost River, Manitoba. He transferred to Atikokan in the fall of 1955. They arrived by train and lived in the west end across the tracks for a few years, until they found alternate housing and finally moved to the Lone Pine area around 1960.
Claude quit the CNR in 1956 and he had various jobs in the area until January 1959, when he started work for Patty Harrison, a contractor who was preparing the mine. When the contract was finished, six months later, Claude transferred to Caland Ore Company, where he worked for 21 years, until it closed. He then taught carpentry at Confederation College for 3 months and then was hired by the Ministry of Natural Resources as maintenance man until his retirement in 1992.
Claude had excellent carpentry skills and enjoyed working in his workshop. Along with his boys, he built the family cottage at Perch Lake in 1977 and he and his family enjoyed it for many years. Claude and Doreen were true troopers, enjoying making snowmachine trails in the winter to access remote lakes, cutting and hauling firewood, gardening, mushroom and berry picking and showing their older grandchildren Jason and Tara how to do it all. Claude was always the first to check the ice conditions each year, so they could get back out to the cabin for the winter. He ploughed the ice road for many years with an old cockshut tractor. His knowledge, experience and life lessons will be forever treasured.
Claude was predeceased by his wife Doreen in 1998 and his son Brian in 2004. He is survived by his brother Roger Bedard (Lorraine) of Quebec, his daughter Lorna Marr (Tom), Adrian Bedard (Wendy) of Atikokan and Tracey Towle (Perry) of Thunder Bay, six grandchildren, Jason Mattson (Tammy) of Atikokan, Tara Mattson (Al) of Winnipeg, MB, Owen Bedard (Dakota) and Carleen Bedard of Oliver, BC, Adam Towle, Curtis Towle and Scott Towle of Thunder Bay and two step grandchildren Terrance and Tamara Andrews, six great grandchildren, Christopher and Michael Foy, and Cole and Darbie Mattson, and Taylen and Launa Bedard as well as numerous nieces and nephews in Quebec.
Claude's last few days brought him much happiness when his brother Roger (90 years old), sister-in-law Lorraine and nephew Guy made the trip from Quebec to see him. Claude enjoyed reminiscing in his French language and it was evident that this brought him much joy. The family is very thankful for this reunion for him. A special kudos goes out to Adrian, his son, who was able to help him stay in his home during the last four years.
As per Claude's wishes, there will be no service. Cremation has taken place and a family interment of ashes will be held at a later date. In memory of Claude, donations may be made to the Atikokan General Hospital or the Heart and Stroke Foundation, c/o Green Funeral Home, Box 427, Fort Frances, ON P9A 3M8..
The family thanks the staff at the Atikokan General Hospital for their kind, friendly and compassionate care.
On line condolences may be made in care of www.greenfuneralhomefortfrances.com