Shirley (Gillespie) St. Jean

October 11, 1938 ~ February 7, 2024 (age 85) 85 Years Old

Shirley St. Jean Obituary

Peacefully passed away at Water’s Edge Care Community on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, at the age of 85 years.

Shirley was a loving and generous mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and was known as “Mamsie” to her family and friends. She is lovingly remembered by her daughter Debbie and her husband Roland Fowler; daughter Carol and her husband Dave Oley, granddaughter Amanda, great-grandchildren Ayden, Callia, and Trent; daughter Karen and her husband Ivan Beauchamp, grandson Mike and his wife Jaimie, great-grandchildren Easton, Ecco and Emmett; grandson Mark and his wife Sarah, great-grandchildren Austin and Fiona; grandson Steven and his wife Emily, great-grandchildren Noah and Dawson; granddaughter Mary and her husband Anthony Olurin, great grandchildren Leo, Alex and Ben; grandson Danny and his partner Sierra Crowell.

She will be dearly missed and fondly remembered by her loving and caring sister Anne and her husband Roy Katzmarzyk and her sister-in-law Penny St. Jean.

 She will also be missed by her niece Paula and her husband Bill Donovan, nephew Peter and his wife Brenda, nephew Patrick Rouillard and his wife Leigh-Anne; nephew Gerard St. Jean and his wife Margaret, cousins Arline Heintz, Don May and his wife Rachel, and many more cousins, nieces and nephews in the May, Gillespie and St. Jean families.

She will be reunited in Heaven with her husband Angus St. Jean, her parents Thelma and Alex Gillespie, and her brother Jim Gillespie and his wife Donna. She will be adventuring with best lady friends, Betty, Pearl, Ann, Marg, and Olive. Get your pants on ladies, here she comes!

Shirley was born in Kapuskasing and grew up in North Bay. She met her husband Angus when she was working at Pineland Camp on Marion Lake in Marten River, and he had a dump truck hired on with Miller Paving for the reconstruction of Highway 11. They were married in 1958 and moved to Temagami in 1962 when they purchased the Wigwam Grill and Gas Station. As young entrepreneurs, they also built a very successful sand, gravel, excavating, and trucking business, Angus St. Jean Trucking and Temagami Transport, that they operated together until Angus died in 1987; then passed it down to the next generation.

Mamsie devoted her time to her family, helping with her six grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren; travelling in Canada, US, and Europe with her family and friends; volunteering at Temagami Public School and supporting children’s events; and enjoying time with her friends at the Temagami Home Support and the Friendly Group.

After living in Temagami for 56 years, she moved to North Bay to be closer to her family as she started her dementia journey. Mamsie was fortunate to have the support of staff and residents at Barclay House Retirement Residence where she lived for 3 years, and Water’s Edge Care Community where she lived for the past 14 months. Special thanks to Darlene Tripp from Hello Darlene and Echo Keeshig from Bayshore Health Care, for their weekly visits and companionship. Thank you also to the many personal support workers (PSW’s), foot care nurses, hairdressers and house cleaners who helped with her care; and the Red Cross volunteer drivers who made sure she got where she needed to get to. It takes a village to care for a loved one with dementia and Mamsie was blessed to have so many kind people to who genuinely cared for her.

Mamsie loved family gatherings, rocking the babies, taking care of the children, shopping with her lady friends, travelling, fishing and cottaging, and may have been a bit of a crazy cat lady. She lived a rich and full life of 85 years, with a great big heart full of love that she willingly shared with others.

In memory of Mamsie, we ask that you give someone an extra big hug, call a friend, rock a baby, or pet a cat; and share your love.

The family is planning a private Celebration of Mamsie’s Life in the spring of 2024. Online condolences can be made at www.mcguintyfuneralhome.com  

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