Obituary of Rosa Bernadette Gamache
Rosa Gamache (nee Laplante)
July 31, 1924 – October 18, 2023
A Life Well Lived
On a beautiful sunny morning, after a full life of 99 years, longtime Quesnel resident Rosa Gamache (nee
Laplante) passed away peacefully in her home beside the Fraser River.
Mom was born into a very hardworking, French Canadian, Catholic, pioneer family in
Cold Lake, Alberta, the 5th of 10 children. In spite of being raised during the
depression, Rosa had fond memories of a happy and idyllic childhood on the farm where she loved
school, athletics and family. Hospitality and charity were abundant in her home as were conversation,
laughter, music, dancing, and many celebrations, all enveloped in love.
Rosa and Philippe married 1944 and enjoyed raising their eight children on the farm in the Fort Kent
area surrounded by their extended families and social activities of the church.
Due to many years of drought and very little crop, Dad was forced to pursue a different source of income,
logging, which he knew nothing about at the time. Mom stayed on the farm with the
8 children for the first few years and then, as Dad succeeded in logging in Hinton, they made a difficult decision
to leave their extended family, culture, and language but adapted for the love of their family.
Philippe worked at horse logging until the early 1960s while Rosa worked full time, a
conscientious parent helping and encouraging the children with their education and always taking pleasure
in watching their children compete in many sports.
In l967 they sold the Hinton house and bought a skidder for logging and moved to BC where eventually
Dad and sons, Léonard and Réal, formed Gamache Logging. Mom was an integral part of the business, looking
after the bookkeeping, delivering repairs and troubleshooting. Even after Dad retired from Gamache Logging,
Mom invested in property rentals, first on her own, then with Ernest and Annette. Though Rosa and Philippe
always worked hard, they also found time for fun. They loved to dance, play bridge, golf and curled amongst
many things, always open to learning new things.
Both Mom and Dad were active members of St. Ann’s Catholic church. Mom spent over a decade
volunteering along side Father Sheffield, running the weekly church bingo with the future goal of opening a
Catholic elementary school in Quesnel. Mom’s drive and energy were admirable. Her faith, simple, “Love,
Joy, Hope.” She enveloped love.
Around 1980, Rosa and Philippe began wintering in Yuma, Arizona continuing all the
activities they loved, hosting family, meeting new friends, travelling extensively. Rosa always enjoyed
celebrating many significant birthdays and anniversaries with large gatherings and parties. As part of the
tradition, this is where Grandma encouraged grandchildren to dance the polka, Schottische and other dances. Mom and Dad
always made an effort to attend every wedding within the extended family.
Rosa and Philippe took much joy in their many grandchildren and, great grand children and
great, great grandchildren, always happy to see them. The candy drawer was always available, as were laughter, cards
and hospitality. Sadly, at the age of 85, Dad suffered a serious stroke, and their lifestyle was seriously altered.
Ernest assisted them in staying in their home along the Fraser River and they continued to enjoy life the best they could. Mom and
Dad celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary with a large party of 150 + people with Dad in his wheelchair, standing once, with the
help of his children for their last dance. We will miss our strong, extraordinary, joyful parents.
Rosa was predeceased by her loving husband, Philippe in 2016.
She is survived by her sister, Emma, brother, François, children, Léonard (Sue) Laurent (Terry) Réal (Terese), Armand (Val), Léa,
Ernest, Annette, Carmen (Veikko), many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great, great grandchildren, and many
nieces, nephews and extended family and friends.
“Her children will rise up and call her blessed.” (Prov 31:28) and she was.
Thank-you St. Ann members, friends, family for all the prayers for our Mom and family.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated Monday, October 23rd, 2023 at St. Anns Catholic Church at 11:00 a.m.