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Born: Apr 24, 1939

Date of Passing: Jul 06, 2023

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April 24, 1939 - July 6, 2023

It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Madeline Frances Coopsammy.

Madeline was born in Trinidad in 1939, when it was still a British colony. She was the last and most precocious of three siblings. That “Joie-de-vivre” and curiosity would hold her in good stead throughout her life as a teacher, writer, volunteer and parent. People were always drawn to her.

She won a scholarship to study at Delhi University, India, and would earn her Bachelor of Arts (honours). She then immigrated to Canada to earn her Bachelor of Education at the University of Manitoba before getting married and moving to Portage la Prairie where she taught, raised her family, and was active with the Catholic Church and its choir.

Madeline went on to earn her Master of Education from the University of Manitoba and later taught grade three at Machray and Shaughnessy Park schools in Winnipeg, before retiring in 1996. She spent years as a Volunteer with the Cari-Cana pavilion at Folklorama and Thin Air Writers festival. She was thrilled to be one of its featured authors in 2019.

A frequent book reviewer for the Winnipeg Free Press, Prairie Fire, and The Indo-Canadian Telegram, reading books, writing and storytelling were her passions. Madeline’s poetry and short stories have been published in anthologies, journals and studied at schools across North America. Her 2004 poetry collection, Prairie Journey, was followed up by a young adult novel, The Old Songs, released in 2019, a coming-of-age story set on a small multi-cultural British Caribbean island at the advent of independence.

Through her stories and poetry she tried to create a better understanding of the possibilities, challenges and triumphs new immigrants face coming to Canada but also the rich tapestry of experiences and culture they’ve helped weave into the fabric of Canada, today.

Madeline leaves behind her loving husband, of nearly 55 years, Lloyd, daughter, Eleanor (D’Arcy), son, David, grandchildren, Torin, Meera, and Riley. She will also be missed by her loving sister, Meg (Boyd), her niece Jacinta (Terry), countless other nieces, nephews and cousins in Trinidad who enjoyed many laughs with their auntie and her colourful personality.

She was predeceased by her brother, Nick, her mother, Veronica, father, Hugh, and her sister, Marion.

A special thanks to her many friends who were always like family and visited with her often in her final days. The family would also like to thank Leslie Blair at Grace Hospital and the staff at Grace Hospice for your kindness and care.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Grace Hospital Foundation or the Diabetes Canada.

In keeping with Madeline’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a memorial mass celebrating her life will be held on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. in the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church, 4588 Roblin Boulevard.



As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jul 08, 2023

Condolences & Memories (23 entries)

  • Dear Mr Coopsammy, I'm sorry to hear of the passing of your lovely wife, Madeleine. It was always a joy to meet up with her in church. May she rest in peace and live in God's glory! Merci M Coopsammy pour votre persévérance et patience à l'école sécondaire! Soyez assuré de ma prière pour Madeleine et pour vous dans votre deuil. Sincèrement, Joanne - Posted by: Joanne Dionne (friend/acquaintance/former student of Mr Coopsammy ) on: Jul 22, 2023

  • Dave, Elenore and extended family, we are so sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. Knowing you Dave from our time working together (from Dillon) and Dave and Elenore (from Allan) from growing up in Portage, she must have been a special person to have amazing children. Prayers out to you all. - Posted by: Dillon and Allan Cavers (friend) on: Jul 17, 2023

  • We were so sorry to hear of Madeline's passing. We remember her great hostessing skills and her and Lloyd's warm welcome at their home in Charleswood. We loved all her writings! Sincere condolences to her family. Pauline and John and family - Posted by: Pauline Chudzik (Church choir) on: Jul 15, 2023

  • She was one of my favorite elementary school teachers I still remember her trying to teach us the song Kokomo to preform at a school concert but we couldn't get down the lyrics. You will be missed! - Posted by: Jordan (Student ) on: Jul 14, 2023

  • Sincere condolences on Madeline’s passing. We have many great memories of our neighbourhood when Lloyd, Madeline, David and Eleanor lived in Portage. Truly sad to hear of Madeline’s passing. She will be missed. - Posted by: Dennis & Joan Zwarich (Friends and former neighbours ) on: Jul 12, 2023

  • Condolences to Lloyd, Eleanor, David and the rest of the family. We will remember Madeline fondly for her sense of humour and her dedication to family. She will live on through writing. May she rest in peace. Diane, Adrian and Robin - Posted by: Diane Dwarka (Friend) on: Jul 12, 2023

  • Dave, my sincere condolences to you and your family. Tracey Rush - Posted by: Tracey Rush (Former co-worker of David) on: Jul 11, 2023

  • Condolences to all the Coopsammy family. I (Alan) rode many a time with Madeline from Winnipeg to Portage on a bus and had many a pleasant visit. Lloyd taught myself and Norma and then our children. She was the epitome of grace and kindness. While I know the family is in grief you all were fortunate to have such a person in your life. All of you take care. Eleanor and David take care of your Dad. - Posted by: Owens family Norma, Alan, Brian, Dawn, Emily and Michelle (Acquaintances) on: Jul 11, 2023

  • Such sad news for all left behind. Our condolences to Lloyd, Eleanor, David, and family. Madeline was my teacher at Crescentview - very enthusiastic. We knew each other from church, and Mom and Madeline had writing in common, too. I enjoyed seeing Madeline from time to time over the years. Now she has seen the face of God! Keeping all of you in our prayers. - Posted by: Ruth Mulligan; Jim & Helen Mulliga (Friends) on: Jul 10, 2023

  • Our sincere condolences to Lloyd, Eleanor, David, and grandchildren. Winnipeg has lost an author and poet who strived to meld her Caribbean roots with her adopted life here in Canada. To the end, she still kept asking when we were going to publish that anthology of Winnipeg’s (MB) Caribbean personalities. Her writing leaves a rich tapestry of her life’s experience. I will forever miss her quirky sense of humour. My life has been greatly enriched by her friendship. May she Rest in Peace. Joy and Algernon - Posted by: Joy Bissoon (Friend) on: Jul 10, 2023

  • Dear Coopsammy family, extending our deepest and heartfelt sympathy on the passing of your dear mother Madeline Coopsammy. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute! It's evident that she was quite the trailblazer and has left an enduring legacy of her deep commitment to her family and community. My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. Maya Angelou So sorry for your loss. Lynda Ruban staff and friends at the HSC Foundation - Posted by: Lynda Ruban (staff at Health Sciences Centre Foundation) on: Jul 10, 2023

  • David, Sorry to hear about your mom passing. Thoughts are with you and your sister and other family members. Take care my friend. Chris Owens - Posted by: Chris Owens (Friend) on: Jul 10, 2023

  • I remember Mrs. Coopsammy very well, she was my teacher at Shaughnessy Park. She taught us Caribbean songs, and I remember dancing with her one time at recess. She had trouble once trying to use the overhead projector, she let the class spend the remaining time making hand puppets. I remember when she had a car accident and was off for weeks and we all made her cards. I always wanted to connect with her, she was very kind teacher. - Posted by: Kenny (Former Pupil) on: Jul 09, 2023

  • Deepest condolences to Lloyd and family on the passing of Madeline, wife, mother and grandmother. It was a surprise to hear about her passing. We will miss her smile and talents. May she rest in peace. - Posted by: Ken & Cythia Manswell (Friend) on: Jul 09, 2023

  • It is with deep sorrow I learnt of Madeline's passing. As one of her former students while attending Diego Martin Secondary School in Trinidad, I had the distinguished honour of being in a couple of classes she taught. She was a very committed teacher and friend. She had the ability to garner the attention and respect of her students. Her commitment to her profession and her students was demonstrated by her offer of extra lessons at her home on weekends before the GCE examinations. We had the pleasure of meeting in Winnipeg again when I was invited to give a lecture at on of her classes in Winnipeg. Our friendship continued over decades. My sincere condolences to Lloyd and the rest of the family. May God bless you and grant you eternal heavenly peace and rest. You will always be remembered. - Posted by: HAROLD RAMPERSAD (former student of Madeline at Diego Martin Secondary School in Trinidad) on: Jul 09, 2023

  • Dear Lloyd and Eleanor, My heartfelt condolences to you and the family. Madeline was a good friend and I will miss her. Uma - Posted by: Uma Parameswaran (Friend) on: Jul 09, 2023

  • I first heard of Madeline Coopsammy when I was starting out as a high school English teacher, writer, and theatre artist in Toronto in the late 1980’s. It was a revelation to me that we had writers of Indo-Trinidadian descent exploring our own (at the time) largely-untold histories of migration from India through Trinidad and Tobago to Canada. Strangely enough, I was born and raised in Winnipeg, where Madeline lived and taught. But our paths never crossed, even though we had much in common. She was a pioneer, as a woman writing of the immigrant experience of Canadians of Indo-Caribbean heritage, in the brave and perilous transplanting from tropical island to landlocked prairie. I am grateful for her influence and extend my heartfelt condolences to her family and friends. Nira Dookeran - Posted by: Nira Dookeran (A reader and admirer) on: Jul 09, 2023

  • My sincere condolences to Lloyd, Eleanor, David, D'Arcy, Torin, Meera, and Riley for the loss of a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a mother-in-law. I enjoyed Madeleine's personality at the many family Christmases at the MacLean's. She always had a laugh and I admired her literary prowess. May her soul rest in peace. Sincerely, Muriel St. John - Posted by: Muriel St. John (Friend ) on: Jul 09, 2023

  • Madeline, a most genuine friend, a writer of distinction and a beautiful personality - I remember the launch of her book at the University of the West Indies Library and her gathering at her home in Winnipeg with Lloyd and her family - reflections of her warm personality and an accomplished author. My condolences, especially to Lloyd, and her friends in Winnipeg and her aunt Jacinta in TT. May her soul find a blissful place. Winston - Posted by: Winston Dookeran (A friend ) on: Jul 08, 2023

  • MADELINE's warm smile and short but welcoming comment were always there whenever we meet. My condolences to her Family. - Posted by: Faizul Rahim (Friend) on: Jul 08, 2023

  • Heartfelt condolences to Lloyd, Eleanor, David and grandchildren on Madeline’s passing. She has left a gaping hole in the lives of everyone she touched and will be sorely missed by family and friends far and wide. She was sharp, witty, genuine, a prolific novel and poetry writer and critic and faithful spouse and parent. Till we meet again, Madeline, God be with you. Rudy & Audrey - Posted by: Rudy & Audrey Ramchandar (Friends for 55 & 25 yrs) on: Jul 08, 2023

  • Eleanor, I am so sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing. Blessings to you and your family. - Posted by: Susan Borkowsky (Acquaintance ) on: Jul 08, 2023

  • On behalf of the Deen family, please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of Madeleine. We enjoyed many social events with her and will certainly miss her laughter. May she rest in heavenly peace. Ed and Zinny Deen - Posted by: Zinny Deen (Friend) on: Jul 08, 2023

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