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IRENE DOROTHY CHARTRAND
August 29, 1935 – September 21, 2019
With her loving family by her side Irene Dorothy Chartrand passed away on Saturday, September 21, 2019 in the St. Boniface General Hospital, due to complications related to surgery. Irene was a fighter, so very resilient in her many battles with illness related to her original nemesis, Diabetes.
Irene was born on the trapline on August 29, 1935. Irene rarely spoke in detail to anyone, even her children, about her childhood. Irene's family were transient in those years. Nomadic mostly in the area between Swan River and The Pas, Manitoba. This included the tiny towns such as Baden, National Mills and Pelican Rapids. Survival depended on the trapline and bush work for the partners of Alvina Genialle, Irene's mother. Alvina died while giving birth resulting in all her children orphaned abruptly. While most siblings were taken in by extended family in the area, around Pelican Rapids, Irene was left homeless. As a result, the government placed her into the Pine Creek Indian Residential School, despite being Metis.
It was this hardship that transformed Irene into the strong willed, deep valued person that people have come to know. The person who has cherished her children making certain they never experience what she had to endure. Never once was she heard to complain about her ordeals, the impoverishment or even discomfort or physical pain. Everything she did was accentuated by a positive outlook and an attitude that we are all born into challenges. Faith, Love of life and positivity should guide us all. This philosophy was what she wanted
her loved ones to be influenced by. Irene trusted her faith in God.
The story goes she was released into the Camperville community after her residential school life. The legend goes on to reveal that her sister Martha walked the 13 miles to Camperville to liberate Irene and piggyback her to her home in Duck Bay. There, Irene started a new era in her timeline. In her late teens she met and married Antoine (Swede) Chartrand. He was a fisherman and held other jobs in the community. Irene settled into her homemaker lifestyle. She grew and maintained her garden. She gave birth to ten children.
Irene was the core and rock of her family. Sometime later, in the mid 1970’s as the community experienced a decline Irene uprooted her family to Winnipeg for a better quality of life for her beloved children. Amid this transition she and Antoine divorced, and she moved forward confidently as a single parent. With support from important and devoted extended family and friends she persevered in raising her children. Ironically, she and Antoine became good supportive friends again as they grew older.
She is survived by her children, Anthony (Ann), Raymond, Robert (Connie), Ruby (Serge) Alvin, Mildred, Richard, Karen, Colinda (Randy), Selina, and Jennifer. Irene raised several of her grandchildren, who she loved as her own. She was especially fond of Anthony, Rafeal, and Robert Prettie. She leaves to celebrate her great life many grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and, other cherished relatives, and community friends.
Irene was predeceased by her former husband Antoine Chartrand; her beloved sister, and eternal-friend, Martha Chartrand and several brothers and sisters. Irene will be missed dearly.
Irene Dorothy Chartrand was a terrific mother, an authentic Kookum, a sister, a wife, an aunt, loyal friend, and quite possibly the best bannock-maker ever.
Irene Chartrand's family appreciates and thanks all that the Seven Oakes Hospital Dialysis Unit did to accommodate and assist Irene with the many years they serviced her there. Thanks also to the St. Boniface Hospital Intensive Care Unit staff for the care that they provided to Irene. Lastly, we thank her personal physician Dr. Abdulhamid Abdulrehman for all the years he devoted to the care of Irene Chartrand.
In Lieu of flowers the family asks that people donate to the Canadian Diabetes Association. The family thanks all for their kind support at this trying time and thank all for showing their love of Irene Dorothy Chartrand.
Pallbearers will be messrs. Nathan Chartrand, Daniel Horan, Rafael Chartrand, Andre Chartrand, Robert Scherban, and Corey Foster.
Viewing will be at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, September 29, 2019 at 603 Wellington Crescent at Academy Road (Unitarian Church). Prayers will be said at 8:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Monday, September 30, 2019 in the Kateri Parish, 548 Home Street at Ellice Avenue, with the Reverend Father Vijay Arokia the celebrant. The casket will be open for viewing at 9:00 a.m. Interment will follow the mass, in Brookside Cemetery.