Photography

       


Germaine (Lajoie) OWENS

November 26, 1934 ~ February 22, 2018 (age 83)

Marie Lucienne Germaine Evelyne Owens (nee Lajoie)

November 26, 1934 – February 22, 2018

It is with great sadness that the family of Germaine Owens (nee Lajoie) announces her passing after a long and full life on February 22, 2018, at the age of 83 years. Germaine will be lovingly remembered by her children Terry Forsythe-Owens, Allen Owens (Donalda), Lise Owens and Denise Kelly Owens (Tara). She will also be fondly remembered by her brother-in-law Francois Lefebvre and grandchildren Danny, Tomas, Alec and her 6 great grandchildren and her in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends in B.C., Alberta and her home province of Quebec.  Germaine was predeceased by her husband Dale Owens, her parents Lionel and Olia Lajoie of La Baie, Quebec, as well as her 8 brothers and sisters. Germaine will also be fondly remembered and dearly missed by her best friend of 50+ years, Joan Field, of Salmo, B.C.

 

Germaine was born in the small village of Bagotville, Quebec, on November 26, 1934, the  second youngest in a family of 9 siblings. Germaine's father was the town police chief and her mother and grandmother were teachers. She grew up playing hockey with her Rocket Richard brothers and sisters on the town’s outdoor rink and picking blueberries on the sunny slopes of La Baie, attending church each and every Sunday with her family.  She followed in her mother's footsteps and trained with the nuns and began her 25+ year career as a school teacher in her hometown. It was there that she met her husband, Dale, who was stationed at the Canadian Forces Base Bagotville at that time.  As Mom could not speak a word of english, Dale had to become fluent in french quickly to charm the police chief's daughter.  Apparently, he had a natural language talent, and both at 21 years of age, they were married on December 26th, 1954.

Germaine and Dale were together for over 49 years and shared many homes and supported one another through language barriers, illnesses, career changes and the unloading of  numerous moving vans.  They lived in northern Quebec, Germany,  Stewart, B.C. (on the border of Alaska), Salmo and Nelson in the beautiful B.C. Kootenays, Hinton, Alberta, Gabriola Island, Nanaimo and Comox on the scenic West Coast.

Germaine and Dale began these adventures together when they sailed across the ocean and were stationed and lived in Lahr, Germany for two years. It was here that they had their first child, Therese (Terry). They did return to Quebec and welcomed their second child, Allen into the world. From there a new posting in the air force allowed them to head out west to Comox, B.C. where Dale would soon retire his uniform and leave the forces. Dale found work in Nelson, B.C., where his mother and stepfather resided. Germaine landed a teaching position as well, but not before she had her second daughter Lise, and then Denise Kelly five years later, to complete her family of four.

Mom was a dedicated, disciplined and passionate educator and taught French as a Second Language, as well as Home Economics in local high schools in B.C. and Alberta over the course of 25 years. Never satisfied with staying still or with doing the same thing for very long, Germaine enjoyed additional careers in real estate and property management after retiring from teaching and worked hard well into her 70s. Germaine loved to travel and enjoyed a cruise with Dad to the Panama Canal, as well as trips to Mexico and Hawaii. She was an avid gardener, a wonderful cook and she loved to read. She and Dale were well known for lively dinner parties (aka house parties) as well as their prolific vegetable gardens, flowers, trees and beautifully landscaped homes that they shared over their 49-year marriage. They were drawn back to the wild and mystical salt air and gorgeous ocean views of Vancouver Island and lived as empty nesters in Nanaimo together for over 25 years.

Those who knew Germaine will miss her spirited, mischievous determination, fierce loyalty to her children, and wily sense of humour.  Germaine beamed with pride anytime she talked about her grandsons Danny, Alec and Tomas or her cherished great grandchildren.

Mom, we miss you so very much but we take comfort in knowing that you get to see Dad, your own mother and so many others that you we know you dearly missed over the years.

The family will be having a private celebration of life for Germaine sometime in the next few months on the beach near where Dale is resting at Pipers Lagoon, Nanaimo. Details of the gathering will be emailed to family members and friends.

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