It is with profound and intense sadness that we announce the passing of our inspirational mother and grandmother, Lauretta Margret Trudeau (nee Gaspers). She passed away on November 18, 2021 in the Victoria General Hospital after suffering from a stroke. Lauretta lived an impressive 93 years, enjoying her independence and sharing her joyful personality right through to the end of her life.
Beloved by all who knew her, Lauretta had a distinctly special, caring nature that left everyone she met with a warm feeling inside. She had a contagious laugh that was heard often as she had a wonderful, witty sense of humour. Always an optimist, Lauretta would confidently look to a better tomorrow and encourage those around her to share in her positive attitude. As a mother and grandmother, Lauretta was patient and selfless. She had a genuine concern for others that always took precedence above any of her own needs. Although she endured many hardships throughout her life, Lauretta was a resilient woman who was blessed with a strong will that enabled her to face any challenge.
Lauretta found great joy in spending time with her loved ones. She was always up for a phone call and would happily spend an evening chatting with her nieces in Saskatchewan. She also loved being with her grandchildren and will be remembered as a tremendous source of emotional support for them. Lauretta was jovial, compassionate, honest, and nurturing, which made spending time with her a real privilege. As a nature lover, Lauretta was always happy to welcome the spring and summer months as she enjoyed watching all the trees and flowers bloom as well as tending to her own garden and house plants. She also fondly remembered summer camping trips around Alberta with her children. Lauretta loved to travel and see new places. Later in life, Lauretta was fortunate to enjoy memorable trips to England, Australia, Hawaii, and Palm Springs with her family.
Lauretta was born in 1928 in Vanguard, Saskatchewan. She was the second of five children for Christian and Eva (nee Schwartz) Gaspers. Lauretta grew up on a family farm south of Hallonquist during a time of scarcity of most things, but where love and respect of family were plentiful. Although life on the farm was often challenging, she had fond memories of her childhood. She credited this to the love of her parents and the simplicity of life during this time.
From the farm, her family moved to the small town of Vanguard in the 1943. To help at home, Lauretta took her first job at Henderson Bros. Hardware at the age of 16. Upon Lauretta’s passing, her family was happy to discover that she had saved her first ever employment reference letter from this position in which she was described as honest, industrious, and eager to please. These are among the many admirable qualities that Lauretta continued to demonstrate throughout her life.
While living in Vanguard, Lauretta met her husband, Frank, who she married in 1947. As newlyweds, they moved to Vancouver for few short years before returning to Saskatchewan and starting their family in Swift Current. Frank and Lauretta had two children, Rocky (1953) and Dawnette (1957). Her life was forever changed when she suddenly and tragically lost Frank in 1962. With the support of her parents and siblings, she made it through this terrible time and in 1964 she married Howard Trudeau. Lauretta continued to lovingly raise her two children in Swift Current and welcomed a third child in 1966 with the birth of Daren.
In 1969 the family made the difficult choice to leave Saskatchewan and move to Calgary in search of employment opportunities. It was here that Lauretta spent the next forty years of her life. She worked various jobs, including in a pharmacy, as a dental hygienist, as a house cleaner, as a home care aide for the elderly, and as a grocery sample host. Lauretta made large contributions to the family home, especially in the later years when Howard was struck with long-term illness. Her independence and perseverance ensured the family was housed, fed, and clothed, while she also tended to Howard's growing medical needs.
In 2009, Lauretta and Howard moved to Lake Cowichan, BC to live with Dawnette and her family. They later relocated to Ladysmith after Howard's passing in 2010.
Lauretta’s uniquely bright spirit lit up every room she entered, and she will be deeply missed by her many loved ones.
She was predeceased by her husband, Frank Hornung (1962); older sister, Eleanor Hurl (2006); husband, Howard Trudeau (2010); younger sisters, Jeanette Sparrow (2013) and Mildred Haubrich (2018); and most recently, her cherished daughter, Dawnette Humphrey (nee Hornung) in March 2021.
Lauretta is survived by her sons, Rocky Hornung and Daren Trudeau (Louise); her brother, Bob Gaspers (Francis); son‐in-law, Jim Humphrey; grandchildren, Ryan Humphrey, Breanne Humphrey (Derek), Jamie Humphrey, and Jordan Humphrey; and many nieces, nephews, and extended family members.
Our family sends our most sincere thanks to Lauretta’s nurse practitioner, Sarah Kis-Toth at the Ladysmith Family Clinic as well as to Dr. Beatty and the fourth-floor nurses and care aides at Victoria General Hospital.