Elie Esquirol Obituary

Service Information

 
In Memory of

Elie Esquirol

May 23, 1912 - October 1, 2012
Obituary

Esquirol - Elie Esquirol, age 100 years, passed away peacefully at Lady Minto Health Care Center in Edam, SK on October 1, 2012. Elie leaves behind to forever cherish his memory his children: Trudy Iverson (Jerry), Emilie Bayet (John), Hubert Esquirol, Therese (Teedee" Humenny, Art (Sue) Esquirol, Edmond Esquirol (Bev Leonard), Daniel Esquirol (Bev), and Pierre Esquirol (Charlene); 17 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; sisters in law: Alice Baillargeon, Therese "Terry" Golley (Jim), Aline Gagne, and Emma Hamel; three close cousins: Dennis Esquirol, Henriette Bru, and Emilienne Mighton; as well as many nieces and...
Esquirol - Elie Esquirol, age 100 years, passed away peacefully at Lady Minto Health Care Center in Edam, SK on October 1, 2012. Elie leaves behind to forever cherish his memory his children: Trudy Iverson (Jerry), Emilie Bayet (John), Hubert Esquirol, Therese (Teedee" Humenny, Art (Sue) Esquirol, Edmond Esquirol (Bev Leonard), Daniel Esquirol (Bev), and Pierre Esquirol (Charlene); 17 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; sisters in law: Alice Baillargeon, Therese "Terry" Golley (Jim), Aline Gagne, and Emma Hamel; three close cousins: Dennis Esquirol, Henriette Bru, and Emilienne Mighton; as well as many nieces and nephews.

He is predeceased by his wife Estelle; parents Martin and Maria Esquirol; daughters Rosemarie and Evelyn; granddaughter Natalie Esquirol; daughter-in-law Janice Esquirol; son-in-law Mike Humenny; sister Marie Weber (Emanuel "Manny"); brothers-in-law Phillipe, Victor, Omer, and Leonard Gagne, and Eugene Baillargeon.


Eulogy - Elie Paul Esquirol (May 23rd, 1912 – October 1st, 2012)
(delivered by Hubert and Pierre Esquirol)

I would like to thank everyone for being here today and sharing this celebration of dad's life.
I would also like to thank our family for giving Pierre and I the privilege to deliver this Eulogy.
8 days, 4 months & 100 years ago, the hands of God created a life.
A life that would become a son, a brother, a loving husband, a cherished father, a treasured Pepere, a respected neighbor; a life for which we are all thankful.

Martin & Maria Esquirol emigrated from France in 1910 with their two year old daughter Marie. Two years later on May 23, 1912 a brother for Marie was born and he was named Elie.
In later years, Elie and family members would return to France to re-visit his roots and extended family.
Elie was born in the family's log house in an area 8 miles north of the village of Jackfish, known to many as the 'Swamp'.
Family folklore has it that when it rained, his mother placed him underneath the kitchen table to keep him dry.

Elie spent his childhood on the family farm, attending Jackfish Creek School up until grade eight. Later at the age of sixteen he ventured to Saskatoon where he enrolled in a 'Welding & Mechanic's course'. This formal training in addition to his innate capacity to mend and build machinery served him well and he shared this knowledge with his sons, neighbors and hired men.
Many farming implements were fixed, many neighbors were helped and in later years many wood working creations such as the log house replica, wooden vases & bowls, and bird houses were made by his hands to be enjoyed by his family. This hobby would sometimes find Elie searching for specialty woods, exploring the countryside to find willow branches to weave into baskets. He had learned to do this when he was a child watching his parents.
While in his nineties, he built a log-type birdhouse for each one of his grandchildren. These have now become treasured keepsakes of his handcraft.

In the early years, dad farmed with his father. Much of the land was bush and it had to be cleared and broken for crop production. It was during these years that dad spent time working at a saw mill north of Glaslyn, where he obtained lumber, to build his first home. Dad spent most of his adult life farming, with a start from his father, for the most part producing grain, livestock and dairy.
Dad met and later married our mother Estelle Gagne on November 10, 1941. Mom & dad were blessed with 10 children, 5 boys and 5 girls.
Two of our sisters passed away at a young age; Evelyn born and died in 1955 and Rose Marie born in 1953 and passed away on Boxing Day in 1964.
We all grew up and over the years we have helped nurture the family, which continues to be blessed with new members. At Dad's Centennial birthday celebration there were 61 of us.
There were three other very significant people in his life; Denis Esquirol, Henriette Bru and Emilienne Mighton. They were his first cousins and they were very dear to him. Denis was more like the brother that he never had.

The horse played a very significant role in our lives. Trudy & Emilie drove themselves three miles to Jackfish Creek School at the age of ten and nine. The passengers eventually included Hubert, Teedee and Art. By later years, Eddy and Pierre became active in breeding and racing. This involvement was something Dad was quietly proud of. His enthusiasm for horses remained undaunted into his golden years, attending rodeos and horse sales and just last year dad was taken to the Edam Rodeo three nights in a row.

Elie built a strong foundation for his family. He had an unwavering faith in God. He was an active member of the Jackfish Parish for over 70 years and later the Edam Parish. More recently he regularly attended mass at Lady Minto. We all knew that mom and dad prayed together each and every night. As a matter of fact, when mom had moved to Lady Minto and dad was living alone, …………. a family member dropped in to visit him one evening. Because his car was in the garage and he didn't answer the door, the hidden key was used to gain entrance to the house. You can imagine the relief of seeing him through the partially opened bedroom door on his knees saying his evening prayer……….not wearing his hearing aid. Dad never preached to us, but he taught by example, instilling in us the importance of harmony and cooperation…….many times we heard him say…....'accordez-vous' (get along) and 'melez-vous de vos affaires' (mind your own business).

Our dad was a loyal and committed father. His devotion to Mom was evident as we grew up and that commitment remained steadfast until their last years together. We were often witnesses to this enduring love;…… for example, he would spend countless hours patiently untangling her knitting yarn or while at Lady Minto, he could be seen stopping at mom's room to assist her to the dining room. When mom passed away two and a half years ago, Dad experienced an emptiness that nothing or no one else could fill.

By his example, Dad instilled into us a strong work ethic. As a result he was very proud that we all grew up to be successful contributing members of society……... Only Eddy has spent the last 23 years in prison doing 'hard time'. Dad insisted that we learn fairness and integrity in our dealings with others. He treated his hired hands with respect and honesty; some of these men remained his lifelong friends.
Dad enjoyed every aspect of his work; whether he was checking his crops, herding cattle on horseback, or delivering a newborn calf. As a result, he failed to see the value or the importance of R&R. It wasn't easy to convince Dad to take us to a hockey game or to the lake.
When you met Elie you were greeted with a handshake;
a handshake that not only had substance but integrity,
a handshake that clenched yours,
a hand shake that had character,
a handshake that had meaning,
a handshake that had strength,
a handshake that you would never forget.

In faith, with his hands held together, he was a true Christian…
In marriage, he took the hand of our mother, a marriage that lasted over 68 years…
In our family, his hands taught us discipline, respect and appreciation…
In life, his hands taught us a work ethic, allowed us all to live life without interference, modestly proud of each of our accomplishments…
In our community, he lent his hand in municipal council, hospital & school boards and church committees.
When it came to our neighbors, dad didn't hesitate to lend a hand whenever he was called upon.
And in a sense, he was a local historian. He willingly gave, when anyone wanted information about pioneering, family trees and local historical events. He was familiar with the development and growth of various communities ………. including Jackfish / Vawn / Edam and Minnehaha.

In keeping with this Thanksgiving weekend, we are thankful to have had Dad in our lives for so long, we are thankful for the father and grandfather that he was to us all.
We are thankful for what he gave us in terms of hope for the future and pride in the past. We are thankful for the man that he was in our community. We are thankful that he lived a long, productive, contented and meaningful life. We are thankful that Dad was able to spend the last few years of his life in a restful and caring environment at Lady Minto Centre. It's a rare gift to be able to spend your final years in a modern facility in your home community surrounded by family and friends. At this time, as family, we would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to the entire staff of the Lady Minto Centre.
We are thankful for our dad and our mother, for our close family, our friends, our neighbors and community and that we have so many memories of dad to cherish in the years to come.
It goes without saying that we will all miss our dad.

Trudy will miss doing the hourly rounds at Lady Minto, peeking in on Dad at night, watching him sleep so peacefully, admiring his beautiful complexion, and being grateful for having had the privilege to care for him.
Emilie will miss the pleasure of having Dad at Turtle Lake, taking him fishing, and then sharing a meal and a few glasses of wine with him.
I (Hubert) will miss the detailed historical accounts of land ownership for each quarter section along the road from our farm to Edam. When explaining how certain neighbors acquired any given property, he was guarded in his explanation because this often reflected romances or re-marriage.

Teedee will miss his unconditional love and acceptance for each and every one of us.
Art will miss the relationship dad had with each of his grandchildren.
Dad recognized each one of them as a special Individual.
Art and Sue will also miss their evening walks to Lady Minto to visit dad.
Eddy will miss his regular Sunday night phone calls and his drives out into the countryside with dad. An integral part of those visits was driving back to the farm to reminisce and be absorbed into a life gone by.
Danny will miss Pepere's role as the last grandparent to his children. He will miss, simply put, his existence. Dad was around for so long that we almost considered him invincible. He was always there and we just expected him to always be.

I (Pierre) will miss the handshake of a humble man.
So as we gather around our cherished father, treasured Pepere, respected neighbor, may we give him a hand up on his horse, may he ride down the path, thru the meadows and over the hills into the distant sky.
May he arrive at the gates of heaven, greeted by our God, may God lift our Mother up into the saddle, as they ride into eternity!!
Dad, we love you, & will miss you forever!!


Prayers were held on Friday, October 5, from Christ The King Roman Catholic Church in Edam, SK. The Funeral Mass was celebrated on Saturday, October 6, from the Edam Community Centre with Reverend Father Phinh Do as celebrant. Interment of cremated remains will take place at a later date. If friends so desire, donations in Elie's memory may be made to the Lady Minto Health Care Center (PO Box 330, Edam, SK S0M 0V0), or to a charity of the donor's chocie.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Kristeen Thiessen of Sallows and McDonald - Wilson and Zehner Funeral Home, North Battleford. 445-2418

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