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André Gautron

Image by Nick Andréka

ANDRÉ GAUTRON

March 3, 1927 – May 17, 2024

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved father and grandfather, André, on May 17, 2024, at the Seven Oaks General Hospital at the age of 97. He was born in Haywood, Manitoba to Marthe Joly and Alexandre Gautron in 1927.  He met the love of his life, Marie-Paule Arbez, at a skating party in Haywood where she was teaching. They were married on August 24th, 1957, in Saint-Boniface, Manitoba.


André is survived by his children Lise, Alain (Valérie), Nicole (Douglas); his five grandchildren, Ivan, Katya, Anya, Juliette, Antoine; and his brother Yves (Lucienne). He is also survived by sisters-in-law: Jeannine, Mireille, Huguette, Odile, Edith; and brothers-in-law: George, Kevin, and Paul (Penny).


André is predeceased by his wife, Marie-Paule; his brothers – Jean, Pierre, Roland (and their spouses); and his sisters, Marie-Ange and Thérèse. He is also predeceased by his sisters-in-law: Marie-Reine, Claudette, Thérèse; and his brothers-in-law: Raymond, Roland, Roger, and Léon.


André graduated from Collège Saint-Boniface in 1948.  He worked at various jobs locally, before moving to Drummondville, Quebec where he was employed for 5 years with the railway. 


In his childhood, André witnessed the crash of a Tiger Moth trainer close to his home. He met the pilot who was unscathed, spurring a life-long love of flying.  His application to be a pilot in the Air Force was declined on a technicality, and this only reinforced his desire to fly planes. He went on to obtain his commercial pilot’s license in Drummondville, QC, learning to fly floatplanes equipped with floaters to land on the local river, and with skis to land on ice in the winter.


André then moved to Los Angeles, California where he obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University. After returning to Manitoba to marry Marie-Paule, they lived in Los Angeles until 1961, then returned to Canada, initially Calgary, before settling in Winnipeg in 1964.


André worked as an engineer for most of his career with Honeywell. When the political climate in the United States changed the attitude towards non-citizens working in sensitive industries, he decided to retain his Canadian citizenship and return to Canada. Honeywell had multiple offices in Canada which allowed for an easy transfer. He devoted most of his career working across Northwestern Ontario and the prairie provinces maintaining and repairing the medical equipment in hospitals and in air ambulances (helicopters). This division of Honeywell was eventually sold to PPG Biomedicals.  André continued his work with them until taking on a consultancy role before retiring.


André was well loved by family and friends and recognized for his kind and gentle soul.  He had strong family values and an endearing sense of humour. He had a very curious and inquisitive mind and stayed abreast of developments and changes in science, astronomy, and world events throughout his life. 


André loved travelling. Aside from having travelled extensively through the United States and Europe, he visited Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Russia, Israel, and Palestine. He greatly enjoyed going on cruises with Marie-Paule and their friends. He loved dinners with family and friends. He was active throughout his life, enjoying golf and downhill skiing until he was 95. 


After Marie-Paule’s passing, he obtained his private pilot’s license at the age of 81. He went on to take his glider training in Phoenix, Arizona. He continued flying gliders until the age of 96 as a member of the Invermere, B.C. Soaring Centre. Even during the last days of his life, he spent much of his time admiring the clouds, identifying those that had the perfect thermals for gliding.


He had a lifelong love of opera and classical music. Music always filled his apartment with lovely melodies, and he regularly attended New York Met productions at the cinema as well as Winnipeg Opera productions and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra concerts. 


André will be deeply missed by his family and all who knew him and his memory cherished.


In lieu of flowers, please consider making contributions in Andre’s memory to The Kidney Foundation of Canada or to the Canadian Cancer Society.


As per André’s wishes, a small family celebration will be held in his hometown of Haywood, Manitoba at a date to be determined.


André’s family kindly requests that all of his friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour his memory by watching the photo-biography above. Please, also consider sharing your own photos, memories, and stories by making use of the comment section on this page.

ETHICAL DEATH CARE

Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St. Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 - www.ethicaldeathcare.com

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