- About Us
Blanche Arsilia (Aquin) GoethalsFebruary 14, 1920 ~ September 9, 2017 (age 97)
Blanche Arselia Goethals (Aquin)
Blanche was born February 14, 1920 in Benard, Manitoba. She received her education K to 11 in Elie Public School. She chose to become a telephone operator in Elie. She enjoyed the voices of her subscribers for three years in Elie, one year of long distance in Winnipeg, and then was promoted to Chief Operator, located in Swan Lake, in 1944. Blanche trav-led to Swan Lake on the afternoon train of March 20, 1944. Lionel Goethals met her at the station and helped her arrive at the phone office. It was love at first site! Blanche and Lionel were married on October 14, 1944 in the Elie Catholic Church. Blanche’s lifestyle changed – now she was a “farmer’s wife”. They remodeled the family home into a duplex and lived next to Lionel’s parents, began their own family and farmed the College farm from 1944 to 1957. The family worshiped at St Martin de Tours in Swan Lake and raised funds for the new church with Father Boniface. In the spring of 1957 Lionel bought land east of Glenora Manitoba. Later that year the house was moved from Swan Lake to the Marringhurst farm. They were blessed with six children. Lloyd in 1945, Pat in 1948, Bryan in 1951, Fred in 1954, Ann-Marie in 1958, and Maurice in 1959.
The family made a good living working together on the farm. There were always lots of chores with the cattle, field work, acres of gardens and orchards. Work and family fun were always balanced out. We were often surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and neighbors at home and in social settings. There was always time to help the neighbors. The family belonged to the Glenora mission, and Mariapolis Church during these years.
While raising her family Blanche enjoyed all of their achievements – 4-H, cadets, curling, and graduations. Blanche also enjoyed gardening in general, competing in horticulture events, and inviting the neighbors to visit and pick various fruits & vegetables that she grew in her gardens and orchard.
Blanche & Lionel retired from the farm in 1975, moving into Pilot Mound. Blanche joined the Catholic Women’s League, the Rebecca Lodge, and the senior Choir. She was also very much involved with the church. She enjoyed creating beautiful ceramics for twenty years, she gave each of her children nativity scenes and hand crocheted tablecloths as souvenirs. She also crocheted alter cloths for the Pilot Mound and Morden Catholic Churches.
Blanche and Lionel downsized their home in October 1989, moving to the Milne Park Apartments in Morden Manitoba and continuing to winter in Arizona. Summers were spent visiting with and their children and grandchildren. Blanche and Lionel continued their participation in community activities during this period, worshiping at St John the Evangelist church. Family and friends assembled to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in Morden in 1994.
A few years later; in 1997, Blanche and Lionel sold their winter property in Arizona, bought a small travel trailer at Miller’s Campground and continued their journey of life by moving to the Oddfellows Tower in Portage la Prairie. Celebrations of all sizes and description seemed to arrive often no matter the location; in town or at the park – 80th birthdays, 60th wedding anniversary, small dinner parties, surprise lunch visits and every drop in coffee break.
Blanche and Lionel were active with St John parish and the Good Shepherd Church were they worshiped and came together in community with family, friends, and neighbors to share in the experience of life well lived.
Blanche now had ample time to crochet, practice the organ, fund raise for the new church, and visit with other tenants of the Towers. She celebrated the year 2000 by crocheting a special alter cloth for the church and many rosaries for young members taking their First Communion. Blanche and Lionel continued to enjoy outdoor living until after their 85th birthdays in 2001, when they sold their camper.
As time rolled merrily along Blanche and Lionel realized that they needed more help with the everyday routines of life, thus they moved to Sturgeon Creek assisted living residence in Winnipeg. This was the first time in 62 years together that they did not have to cook, clean, or even make the bed. They fit in from day one!
Subsequently both Blanche and Lionel took up residence at Actionmarguerite in St Boniface. They were able to continue enjoying each other’s company until the end. They celebrated every birthday and anniversary together and always with a party involving pie or cake and musical entertainment with and for the enjoyment of all the residents and family members.
Blanche is remembered by her caregivers for her gracious gentle nature, her sense of humor, her singing voice, her musical talent, and her devoted love for Lionel – always sealed with a kiss.
Blanche ascended with the angels on September 9, 2017.
Blanche was the fourth of a family of nine. She was predeceased by her husband; Lionel Goethals; parents; Edwin and Marie Anne Aquin of Elie, MB; brother, Romeo and his wife Annette Poirier; brother, Lucien and his wife Jennifer Rushton; brother Lionel and his wives Annette and Rose; sister, Cecile and her husband Leopold Reignier; sister Juliette and her husband Arthur Lambert; and brother-in-law Joe Frenette.
She will be missed and remembered by her children, Lloyd (Mary, Grace); Pat (James); Bryan (Maggie, Dale); Fred (Pat, Gayle); Ann-Marie (Brian, Alex); and Maurice (Irma); grandchildren Charles; Shelley (Cory) & Kristopher (Porsha); Jeffrey (Pat) & Julie (Karen), Aubrey & Kristen (Ryan); Jason, Maurice (Nina), Joseph & Nicholas (Sandy); Melisa (Michael) & Michael (Kelly); Sarah, Lisa (Stefan), Jordan (Kelsie) & Alanna; great-grandchildren, Dakota; Kristopher (pd), Nicholas & Cassidy; Jasmine, Raven & Grayson; Elizabeth & Conner; Phoenix; Jackson & Brooklyn; brother Herman and wife Flora; sisters Edwina Frenette; Orise Legare and husband Fernard as well as, many nieces and nephews.
In accordance with Blanche’s wishes cremation has taken place and a Memorial Service will be held Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at Omega Funeral Home, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. A private family interment will take place at Swan Lake Cemetery, Swan Lake, Manitoba.
Donations may be made to Actionmarguerite Foundation; 185 Rue Despins, Winnipeg, Manitoba R2H 9Z9.
Messages of condolences may be made online at www.omegafuneralhome.com