February 5, 1936 - May 3, 2023
George “Kelly” Francois Laliberte - dedicated husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend - passed away on Wednesday, May 3, 2023.
Born on February 5, 1936, to Raoul and Mary Julie Laliberte, Kelly (whose namesake was a hockey player) spent his childhood in St. Claude, Manitoba, with his parents and nine brothers and sisters: four brothers Real, Gus, Butch and Rollie and five sisters Alice, Claudette, Helen, Estelle and Isabel. He liked to talk about his childhood, spending countless hours with the Major family helping on the farm, playing baseball or taking the train to Rathwell with his brothers to play hockey (although he was quick to say that his sisters were good hockey/baseball players too).
Kelly’s formal education ended early in life so that he could work on the farm. His greatest regret was that he did not get a university education, always telling his family to “go to school and become a doctor or lawyer”. That said, he was brilliant. He could build anything he set his mind to; his cottage, decks, garages, a boathouse, sheds, porch swing, etc. and was happiest when he was working on a project. Kelly worked for many years at Coldstream in Winnipeg, while also working as an insurance agent with his wife out of his home. He retired when he was 65.
Kelly’s biggest passions in life were his wife Joyce (or “mom” as he most often referred to her as) to whom he was married for 60+ years and family, the “lake” in Rush Bay, Ontario, hockey, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and rock and roll music. Many stories were told of the Proteen dances in the North End of Winnipeg that he and Joyce went to with his siblings when they were young. He and Joyce were fantastic dancers and could be seen “jiving” the night away whenever “good music” was playing.
Kelly was an amazing man. He had a heart of gold and would not hesitate to help anyone in need. He was so strong, both in personality and physically. He could be seen moving large boulders at the lake when others couldn’t or carrying a fridge on his back to “get it out” of the house. He loved to call people by nicknames. You knew that you had a special place in his heart when he referred to you as “sausage” or “buddy” or his greatest love “mom”. He had a terrific sense of humor and there was always a mischievous twinkle in his eye. He loved his grandchildren and spent countless hours watching them play every manner of sport, especially hockey.
Kelly is survived by his daughter Nicole, brothers Rollie and Gus and sisters Alice, Helen and Claudette. His loving grandchildren are Steven Laliberte (Rennae), Darien Krasnesky (Alexia), Shayne O’Connor (Dylan), Devon Ramsay (Sydney) and Kelly Ramsay, as well as great grandchildren Charlie, Cooper and James. He was preceded in death by his wife Joyce, daughter Christine, brothers Butch and Real and sisters, Estelle and Isabel.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Society of Manitoba.
“You held my hand when I was small
You caught me when I fell
You are the hero of my childhood
And my later years as well
And every time I think of you
My heart still fills with pride
Though I will always miss you Dad
I know you’re by my side
In laughter and in sorrow
In sunshine and in rain
I know you’re watching over me
Until we meet again
Love you always Dad”
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