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Born: Nov 14, 1939

Date of Passing: Jan 12, 2022

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1939 - 2022

It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of our beloved Hubert on January 12, 2022.
He will be deeply missed by his wife of 57 years Denise (Desrochers), his children Jacqueline (Doug) Dheere, Christian (Christine Maynard), Daniel (Lise Trudeau), and Nathalie (Shawn) Polinchuk, his grandchildren Sky, Isabelle, Dominic, Samuel and Catherine. They were all a source of great pride, joy, and comfort throughout his life.
Also missing him are his brothers Louis, Jean (Armande), Jules (Louise), Claude (Suzanne), his sisters Berthe, Florence, Yvette (Roland), and sister-in-law Colette. From his wife's family missing him are Léo, Edna, Donna (Roland), Janet (Edgar), Briand (Pat) as well as many nieces and nephews from the Balcaen and Desrochers families. They had a special place in his heart.
Hubert was predeceased by his parents Joseph and Madeleine (Dugas) Balcaen, his siblings Fernand, Maurice, and Lina, in-laws Georgette, Dominique, Denis, Gérard, Jeanne, and Maria. He was also predeceased by his wife's parents René and Annette Desrochers, in-laws Romain, Cathy, and Lily.
Hubert was born and raised in a large family on a dairy farm in La Broquerie. At the age of 13, Hubert left the family farm to attend boarding school at the Collège Saint-Boniface. After graduating secondary school, he continued his university studies at the Collège Saint-Boniface to complete his Bachelor of Arts. He went on to study at the University of Manitoba where he obtained his Certificate in Education and finally, his Master of Arts degree.
During his university studies, Hubert was working part-time as an orderly at the Saint-Boniface Hospital when a pretty, young nursing student from Mariapolis caught his eye. Hubert and Denise were married in 1963. Together, they settled in Saint-Norbert where they raised their four children. Hubert was a caring husband who always supported his wife Denise in her numerous artistic endeavours. He was an attentive father who aimed at instilling good values by example. He was involved in his children's lives by way of volunteering as a hockey coach, and accompanying his children to numerous sports practices, music lessons, and extracurricular activities. His children hold fond memories of the Saturday afternoons spent with papa at the Bibliothèque de Saint-Boniface where they would borrow loads of Tin Tin, Smurfs, and Lucky Luke books. Hubert was engaged in volunteering within the community where he was generous with his time. He enjoyed singing in the church choir. He was also an active member of the Knights of Columbus. A pious man of great faith, Hubert took great comfort in his daily early-morning prayers.
Hubert started his career at the University of Manitoba as coordinator of language laboratories. Soon thereafter, the university offered him a position as a French professor. Hubert was passionate about the French language and the French-Canadian culture. In teaching, it was not only important for him to teach the language and culture, but to make human connections and to inspire his students in learning. Hubert's work ethic was beyond reproach. His efforts to plan and teach meaningful classes to his students earned him a Merit Award of Excellence in Teaching. He enjoyed teaching for 30 years until his retirement in 1998.
Beginning in 1967, Hubert undertook a lifetime venture volunteering for Development and Peace. He was a true advocate for social justice and environmental issues. Development and Peace was the perfect organization for him to employ his efforts in making the world a better place. Hubert served as the first president of the local chapter in the Saint Boniface Diocese. His dedication to Development and Peace earned him the Evangelium Award. Hubert continued his work for Development and Peace in various leading roles until 2019.
In 1976, Hubert took a sabbatical leave to further his studies at the University de Laval and moved the whole family to Quebec City for one year. Unfortunately, for the first four months of the term, the university faculty was on strike. Hubert found the silver lining in the situation and spent that time with his family discovering the province of Quebec, Quebec City, cross-country skiing and sledding in the Laurentians. The wonderful memories created that year are a solace to his family.
Hubert loved sports and was a fan of the Winnipeg Jets, the Canadiens de Montreal, and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He played tennis at the Max Bell Centre before classes during his years at U of M. He cross-country skied, cycled, and golfed until his illness made it impossible in his later years. He was an avid reader and would read anything and everything that piqued his interest. He had a gift for writing and wrote not only for his career, but for pleasure as well.
Hubert, papa, pépère, we will miss your kindness, your generosity, your laughter, and your genuine concern for our well-being. You took good care of us and now it is your time to rest. You are one among the stars in heaven, and we will continue to love you always.
Cremation has taken place and a celebration of Hubert's life will occur at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Hubert's memory to Development et Paix, 1425, boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest, 3e étage, Montréal, QC H3G 1T7
Etre homme, c'est précisément être responsable. C'est sentir, en posant sa pierre, que l'on contribue à bâtir le monde.

Family and friends may view the obituary and sign a book of condolence online at

Desjardins Funeral Home

Publish Date: Jan 29, 2022

November 14, 1939 - January 12, 2022

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of our dear Hubert on January 12, 2022.
Longer obituary to follow.
Family and friends may sign a book of condolence online at

Desjardins Funeral Home

Publish Date: Jan 15, 2022

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 15, 2022, Jan 29, 2022

Condolences & Memories (10 entries)

  • Dear Denise, My deepest sympathy to you on your loss. I knew you when you were newly married and I remember you sharing a recipe for spare ribs that Hubert really enjoyed. May he rest in peace and may you and your family cherish your many memories of him. Bunny Paci (nee Kammermayer) - Posted by: Bunny Paci (Former co-worker on 5A at SBGH) on: Jan 31, 2022

  • Chère Denise, J'ai été désolée d'apprendre le décès d'Hubert, et je t'envoie mes plus sincères condoléances. J'ai travaillé auprès d'Hubert pendant plusieurs années, et de tous mes collègues, il était de loin le plus charitable et le plus sensible aux besoins des autres. Jamais une parole désobligeante sur autrui, jamais la moindre plainte sur les conditions de travail qui étaient loin d'être toujours idéales. Il était très aimé par tous ses étudiants et par ses plus proches collègues. J'ai enseigné un cours de conversation de deuxième année qu'il avait créée, et je dois dire que jamais le département n'a pu en offrir un meilleur. Nous avons souvent discuté des critères sur lesquelles nous devrions établir notre gamme de notes, et il m'a toujours remerciée pour mes idées. Je me sentais valorisée et j'étais constamment impressionnée par son esprit d'humilité et par son désir de toujours faire mieux, même s'il avait beaucoup plus d'expérience que moi. Je retiendrai de lui le souvenir d'un collègue chaleureux, comique, naturel et avant tout, très humain. Louise Renee (Provost) - Posted by: Louise Renée (Provost) (Collègue) on: Jan 30, 2022

  • My condolences Denise to you and your family. - Posted by: lorraine roy (Friend ) on: Jan 29, 2022

  • Chère Denis et la famille Balcaen, je souhaite ajouter mes plus sincères condoléances à celles des personnes qui l'ont fait ci-dessus. J'ai été correcteur pour Hubert à l'Université du Manitoba. Ce que je retiens avant tout, c'est la grande générosité d'Hubert. Générosité d'esprit, générosité d'action, générosité du coeur. Hubert incarnait le dévouement. Sans doute à toi, chère Denise et à vos enfants, mais à ceux et celles qui l'entouraient. J'ai très brièvement collaboré avec lui pour Développement et Paix. C'était un convaincu de la cause de la justice sociale sur le plan international, et il croyait que toute personne pouvait contribuer à son avènement. Je me souviens également de sa bonne humeur, et un dicton dont il m'a fait part: "Un homme doit être comme le café: bon, chaud et fort." C'était bien Hubert! Je suis reconnaissant de l'avoir croisé sur mon chemin de vie. Et je sais qu'on se reverra! Bonne route, cher Hubert! - Posted by: Daniel Bahuaud (Friend) on: Jan 25, 2022

  • Mes plus sincères condoléances à Denise et à toute la famille à Hubert. Je suis désolée. La douceur et le sourire de Hubert était toujours appréciés. Il était un homme remarquable qui m’inspirait. Il était humble et d’une bonne âme. - Posted by: Odette Sabourin (Amie) on: Jan 22, 2022

  • Mes sincères sympathies à toute le famille Balcaen.. - Posted by: Lorraine Tetrault (amie ) on: Jan 22, 2022

  • I am so sorry Denise for for loss. Please know that you are in my prayers. - Posted by: Lise Rouleau (Friend) on: Jan 20, 2022

  • We shared many good times and conversations on the golf course. Enjoy heaven my friend. - Posted by: gerry todd (golfing buddy and good friend) on: Jan 16, 2022

  • J’offre mes sincères condoléances à la famille de Hubert et à ses proches. - Posted by: Daniel Proteau (Confrère du collège) on: Jan 16, 2022

  • So sorry for your loss. Your family are in our thoughts. Deepest condolences. - Posted by: Kerry O’Hara (Family friend) on: Jan 15, 2022

Desjardins Funeral Home

Desjardins Funeral Home

357 Des Meurons St. (Map)
Ph: 2042334949 | Visit Website

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