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LEONA MARIE ST. ONGE (DECLOUX)
Born: Nov 11, 1943
Date of Passing: Oct 11, 2021Offer Condolences or Memory
LÉONA MARIE ST. ONGE
November 11, 1943 – October 11, 2021
Léona St. Onge passed away October 11, 2021 after suffering for too long with Parkinson's disease and dementia.
She was predeceased by the love of her life, Jean-Paul, her sister Jeannine, and her brother-in-law and dear friend Aimé. She will be missed by her daughter Suzanne, her sons, Marc (Kim) and Danny, her grandchildren, Sebastien, Sasha, Léa and Ben, her brother Ray (Lucy), sister Linda (Blair), brother-in-law Ray (Linda), her nieces and nephews and many cherished friends.
Born in Winnipeg, Léona grew up in St. Boniface and St. Vital and married her high school sweetheart, John, in 1966. Together, they had three kids who completed their
family. She worked as a medical lab technologist, having trained at St. Boniface Hospital and then starting her career at Winnipeg Clinic. She paused work when she and John started their family. After John's death in 1983, Léona went back to work, first as a Returning Officer with Elections Canada, then with the Canadian Census before
ultimately landing a lab tech position in Hematology at CancerCare Manitoba, working alongside her sister Jeannine. She retired in 2008 from there after 22 years.
Mom was a passionate volunteer. She served in the Catholic Women's League for 35 years at Christ the King Church and was a reader at mass for many years. She was a
volunteer usher with MTC for over 40 years. Proud of her Belgian heritage, and along with her sisters, she worked the Belgian Pavilion at Folklorama. And she spent lots of time supporting her kids as a volunteer with Girl Guides, Scouts and Special Olympics Bowling. She was a strong, resilient and loving woman. Faced with raising a child with special needs, being suddenly widowed at the age of 39, tackling single parenthood, and re-entering the workforce after over 13 years, she never made her kids feel like it was a struggle. Later, she bore the challenge of her Parkinson's disease with grace and occasional swearing.
Mom loved camping and road trips. The family spent many summers in the tent trailer at Blue Lake, Rushing River and Spruce Woods as well as on road trips to BC and Thunder Bay. As her kids got older, she was able to travel more, visiting Marc in California and Ottawa and travelling to Europe and Africa.
She was the gadget lady, always having the tool for the job. Need a mini whisk? A pudding mixer? A pickle fork? Léona was your gal.
Mom loved to laugh. She could never tell a joke properly, which often made them funnier. Rarely the instigator, she was always willing to go along with whatever shenanigan, laughing hard with her breathy wheeze to the point of being out of control.
Léona, as we knew her, left us in 2020 as dementia really took hold. But as we let go of that version of her, we got to know a new version, and enjoyed her tales of imagined (but very real to her) trips to California every weekend or of her illicit activities in Brandon with "Tammy the cop". Her disease at least allowed her some final adventures.
Heartfelt thanks to the compassionate nurses and staff at ActionMarguerite St. Vital for their care of mom over the past year and half, made especially challenging due to the pandemic.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Parkinson Canada or Special Olympics Manitoba.
Funeral services will be held at the end of October. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, attendance must be limited. For more information and to request an invitation, please email at LeonaFuneralService@gmail.com
E.J. Coutu & Co. Funeral Directors
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Oct 16, 2021
Condolences & Memories (15 entries)
My deepest condolences to Mark, Suzanne, DJ and cousin Gisele! As a family friend I was also the official babysitter for the St. Onge family and remember Leona as being warm, welcoming, thoughtful and very no nonsense! Beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. Virtual hugs to the family! - Posted by: Claire Carriere (Family Friend) on: Oct 24, 2021
We are so sorry to hear of Leona's passing. My husband knew her and her family through Christ the King, but years later we ended up sitting right next to each other at Goldeyes games when we both had the same mini-packs. Lots of giggles, trash talking, and getting to know each other were had for a few years. We really looked forward to seeing them at games. After we stopped going to the games, I'd often see Danny out and about in the community, and part of our conversation always included asking how his mom was doing. - Posted by: Angie Conrad (Aquaintance) on: Oct 22, 2021
To a dear friend - She was a super mom and family always came first. Crossed paths many times in our lives but picked up quickly where we left off. When we both worked at CancerCare we met regularly. She had a “joie de vivre” and patients loved her. To her children I offer my sincere condolences. She is now at peace with her sister and best friend Jeannine. God bless you Léona Rest In Peace Your friend Jeannine Beaulieu-Du - Posted by: Jeannine Du (Friend ) on: Oct 18, 2021
On behalf of SCE LifeWorks, wishing your family condolences and hoping your fond memories give you solace. - Posted by: Oly Backstrom (We support Danny) on: Oct 18, 2021
I was saddened to hear of Leona's passing. I recall with fondness her trip to our cottage, with Danny. She seemed always happy. And caring for friends and family that way she did, has made her a saint. It appears cruel to suffer so, after the life of challenges she faced; but she knew complaining would get us no where. I'll miss the updates I'd always get from Marc and Kim, about his Mom, Suzanne and Danny, but I know the memories will be recalled many times, with warm food and cold drink. And now thru the young eyes of her wonderful grandchildren. My thoughts and prayers are with the whole family at this time of sorrow. May it soon be only happiness, as you recall the many happy memoires she's left you with. - Posted by: David Knowles (family friend) on: Oct 18, 2021
Back in the old days, late 50’s at l’Academie St. Joseph, Leona was my very good friend. We lost touch after high school, each going our own way, but she remains strong in my memory. La description de Leona par ses enfants décrit cette même personne vibrante de ma jeunesse. Bon repos, Leona. Mes condoléances à la famille. Rachel DeGagne’ - Posted by: Rachel DeGagne (Classmate, friend in our teen years) on: Oct 16, 2021
My sincere condolences to Suzanne, Marc, Danny and their families. I have many fond memories of Leona. The picnics she organized for the Chaput clan, as well as the cousins' breakfasts, playing board games and charades, ushering with her at MTC, to name a few. I often think of her when I walk along the side of my house as it is lined with the small succulent plants, hens and chickens, which I got from her. The side of her house was also lined with these plants. Leona was faced with many challenges in her life but maintained her " joie de vivre". Leona, may you rest in much deserved peace. - Posted by: Janine Labelle (Cousin) on: Oct 16, 2021
Hi Leona, heard from Gigi that you’ve gone to the other side. I hope your travels went well! We treasure the time that we knew you and your family when we were young Belgian students in Winnipeg. Your kindness at welcoming us in your home, whenever we showed up with Jeannine and Aimé, made us feel part of the family. After all these years and when everything else has gone the heartwarming memories remain. Take care there and please say hi to John and the other wonderful people who have taken the trip. We’re thinking of Suzanne, Marc and Danny and send them our wishes for strength and courage. Warm regards Thierry and Iris - Posted by: Thierry and Iris Bogaert- Laebens (Friend) on: Oct 16, 2021
My sincere condolences to Suzanne, Marc, Danny & families. Your Mom Leona was a beautiful lady who always had such a positive attitude about life. She was a pleasure to work with during her time at CancerCare Manitoba. May she Rest In Peace. - Posted by: Venetia Bourrier (Colleague & friend) on: Oct 16, 2021
Goodbye to a gentle childhood friend ... we walked to school together from the early grades, and graduated together. We celebrated 50 years of being out of school just 11 years ago - I'm glad we had the chance to reconnect at that time. Rest in peace - well deserved, that's for certain! God bless you all her family and friends. My most sincere condolences. - Posted by: Annette Bonomo (friend) on: Oct 16, 2021
I remember Léona from my long ago childhood friendship days with Suzanne. She was a loving and hard working mom. Today, I work in a supportive role for Danny and was shocked to hear the news from him of her passing. My deepest condolences to you, Suzanne Marc and Danny. - Posted by: Lynne Shillinglaw (Friend) on: Oct 16, 2021
To Danny & family. My thoughts & prayers are for your families at this time. I knew your mom through Special Olympics as I would always see her at these events. I was the coach for 20 years at Mosienko Thunder Rollers. May she rest in peace. God bless; stay safe & take care. - Posted by: Margaret Martin (Friend) on: Oct 16, 2021
Sending much love and sympathy to Suzanne, Marc, and Danny on the death of your beloved mom!! She was such a good person, and, great fun! We have lovely memories of our time with your family! Hugs from the Braekevelts - Posted by: Janice and Charlie Braekevelt (friends) on: Oct 16, 2021
Sorry for your loss, she is in a better place and not suffering. - Posted by: Michael & Claudette Sweeney (Cousin) on: Oct 16, 2021
I would like to express my condolences to Leona’s family . She loved her family and frequently talked about them. Leona was very easy to work with. She was quick to laugh and always showed up for work despite her illness. Despite all the hardships in her life, she never complained. Rest In Peace Leona. - Posted by: Marlene Dinelle (Co-worker) on: Oct 16, 2021
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